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Andrea Isella's Research Group webpage

Spring 2019 – ASTR 400/500


Instructor: Dr. Andrea Isella, HBH 354, x5491

Location: Meets in HBH 227, Wednesdays from 12:05 pm to 12:55 pm

Course Description: ASTR 400 (undergraduate) and ASTR 500 (graduate) are a 1-credit seminar class that meets every week at 12:05. The course may be repeated for credit. Junior and senior astro majors and all astro graduate students should sign up for this class each semester.

Speakers include experts from around the world who come to Rice to discuss their research. Rice faculty, graduate students and undergraduates also participate by giving talks, the graduate students every semester and the undergrads every other semester. Student talks do not necessarily need to be on their own research. Full-hour talks should be 45 minutes in length, and half-hour talks 20 minutes, with 5 minutes for questions. We must vacate the room before 1 pm, so please be on time. It is up to the speakers to ensure that their talks display properly, so please check your presentation ahead of time. Abstracts should be provided to the instructor no later than Friday morning before the talk so notices can be distributed.

Overall Course Objectives and Expected Learning Outcomes: The goal of this course is to give students experience in giving and evaluating oral presentations on current astronomical research. By the end of the course students will be able to evaluate whether a talk is clearly organized and accessible. Graduate students will gain experience in giving an oral presentation and over the course of the full year, undergraduate students will gain this same experience. Students will be exposed to a range of current astronomical research topics and gain an appreciation for the research being done in the department.

Grading: Pass/fail. At least 80% attendance is required to pass, and students must present a talk as described above.

Feedback: Students who work with a faculty member should get feedback on their talks from their advisers. The instructor will be available to provide feedback to all other students and answer any questions about the seminar immediately after the talks.

Disability Information:
Students with a documented disability that impacts their work in this class should contact me to discuss their needs. Disabled students should also register with the Disability Support Services Office in the Ley Student Center.

Schedule (click on the talk title to visualize the abstract)

Jan 9 Andrea Isella Organizational Meeting
Jan 16 Pat Hartigan The January 20-21 2019 Lunar Eclipse
Ryan Oelkers Light Curves for All Stars Observed in TESS Full Frame Images: Sector 1 and Beyond
Jan 23 Christopher Johns-Krull The Mean Magnetic Field Strength of CI Tau
Pat Hartigan Hubble Space Telescope Images of the HH7-11 Stellar Jet
Jan 30 Laura Flag The Formation of CI Tau b and Other Giant Exoplanets
Maxwell Hummel Radio Astronomy, Exoplanets, and You: Journal Club Presentation of Exoplanet Transits with Next-Generation Radio Telescopes
Feb 6 Asa Stahl Detecting Ocean Glint on Exoplanets Using Multiphase Mapping, and Other Topics
Feb 13 Hui Li (LANL) Interaction between Disks and Planets on Eccentric Orbits – Implications for Dust Rings, Gaps, and Spiral Features  Isella
Feb 20 Pinghui Huang (Rice-PMO) Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability driven by Dust-Gas interaction in Protoplanetary Disk
Feb 27 Daniel Kocevski (NASA) Understanding the Electromagnetic Emission from the First Gravitational Wave Detection of Merging Neutron Stars  Liang
Mar 6 Kevin France (U. of Colorado) The Potential Habitability of Rocky Planets around Red Dwarfs: Stellar Drivers for Atmospheric Chemistry and Stability Johns-Krull
Mar 13 Spring Break    
Mar 20  Andrea Isella Planet Formation Seen with Radio Eyes
Mar 27 Jason Ling Journal Club: Investigating the EDGES of Cosmology
Kun Hu Photon Splitting and Pair Creation in the Magnetospheres of Highly-magnetized Neutron Stars
Apr 3 Rae Holcomb/Adolfo Carvalho Measuring Periods of Fast Rotators from TESS Light Curves by Autocorrelation Analysis/ Exploring the Hubble 4 System Through Photometry and Spectroscopy
 Apr 10 Stella Offner (UT Austin)  Isella
 Apr 17  Erik Weaver