• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2014 - SIRXS

The summer visit to Caltech is 3-4 days long and is the only time during the year of work when all the participants on the team come together in person to work intensively on the data. Generally, each educator may bring up to two students to the summer visit that are paid for by NITARP, and they may raise funds to bring two more. The teams work at Caltech; the summer visit typically includes a half-day tour of JPL, which is a favorite site for group photos. Reload to see a different set of quotes.

The SIRXS team came to visit in July 2014. The core team educators attended, plus 11 students.



  • [student:] It surprised me that so much astronomical data was available to the public. I was even more surprised by the fact that this was not just a little data, but it was so much that one would not be able to go through it all in a whole lifetime.
  • [student:] Attention to detail is a quality that every scientist has.
  • [..] I’m familiar with tackling problems, creating potential solutions, testing them, and re-iterating the process. Research is sort of the opposite in that implementing a solution is not the goal, but rather to learn things we didn’t know before. This polarity between engineering and science was never clearer than during this entire project. This lack of planning or organization in the research process made me somewhat uncomfortable.
  • One happy surprise was the element of serendipity in moving the project forward. I did not anticipate that one of the two post-docs who were sitting in to observe (for education, not science) would suggest that we use software that would change the way we managed our data.
  • [student:] One thing that stood out to me is the how complicated diagrams and graphs can get.

Summer Visit - 2014 - SIRXS