• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2016 - HIPS AGN

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 HIPS AGN team came to visit in June 2016. The core team educators attended, plus 8 students.


  • I thought that science has a right or wrong answer. And it still does, the object is either an AGN or a YSO (probably). But given the limited data we have sometimes, we just don’t know and have to make a reasonable guess as to what the right answer is. It gives me a much better appreciation for astronomers who made “wrong” conclusions based on limited data.
  • [student:] The most important thing that I learned during my time at Caltech was definitely the importance of collaboration during large scale projects. I previously thought that scientific research was incredibly daunting and fiercely independent. But I learned how vital teamwork and a strong mentor is in the field of science is.
  • There were huge benefits to working together in person for a week! We got to know each other, which is key to working long distance, especially with a large and diverse group. And before the trip, the group wasn’t really a “group” yet. Now we’ve all worked side-by-side, had discussions, debates, taught each other and learned from each other. I have high hopes for our continued work this summer and fall.
  • [student:] [The] on-site work was the most beneficial to this project. Communication was so vital to articulate the steps of the process as well as constantly checking your work along the way to match numbers.
  • [student:] I think the two most important qualities in any astronomer are hard work and passion. Hard work is necessary in constantly building the knowledge base required to succeed, and passion is necessary in providing the intrinsic motivation required to succeed.

Summer Visit - 2016 - HIPS AGN