• IPAC

Summer "Visit" - 2020 - OIRMA

Our regular summer visit to Caltech was hijacked by COVID-19. So we did an online work week instead -- 4 days when all the participants on the team come together to work intensively on the data. Reload to see a different set of quotes.

OIRMA worked July 5-9, 2020. The 5 core team educators attended, plus 6 students.


  • I was super impressed with the uniformity of effort and contribution from both educators and students. I think seeing this meant a lot to the students.
  • Real astronomy is DATA. It is having to think outside the box to turn the invisible visible by using multiple sets of information from potentially multiple sources. I expected this would be part of the research project but was surprised by the ability to successfully change methods for data collection during the project.
  • It was very interesting that we had to immediately pivot our plans. It doesn’t get more authentic than when Plan A didn’t work, and as a team we had to talk out our next steps on how to find applicable data. It has also been very interesting to see how that develops as we all branch into our own pieces of the research, and how that dialogue continues.
  • [student:] I realized that good astronomers admit their lack of perfect knowledge and remain curious to strengthen their own intuition and identify new issues.
  • [student:] The best thing about this week was the sensation of work and progress. Learning about the relevant astronomy was definitely fun and valuable, but when we analyzed light curves, pored through databases, and created spreadsheets of candidates, I felt that I had taken tangible steps towards my goal. At that point, I had actually done astronomy, not just learned about it.

Summer "Visit" - 2020 - OIRMA