• IPAC

Summer Visit - 2012 - HR4AGN

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 HR4AGN team came to visit in August 2012. The core team educators attended, plus 12 students, and one additional scientist.  The scientist mentor is Dr. Varoujan Gorjian. IPAC staff member Jacob Llamas (SSC) assisted, as did Dr. Jean-Christophe Mauduit (SSC).


  • [It was surprising to me that] there wasn't any sort of 'checklist' like method or clear direction as to how to analyze the data after the first couple of graphs.
  • [student:] I think [we did] scientific research because we are using the data to make graphs.
  • The best thing about the trip for me was watching how much my students' learning had evolved over time. So much of what we have done so far had a really steep learning curve, and it was really great to see them communicate the details of our project at the end of the Caltech visit.
  • This experience changed the way I think about astronomy. Before this program, I wasn't sure what astronomy entailed. Now, I think I have a better understanding of the work astronomers do, especially the complexity of their work. There are many facets of astronomy that I had never thought of before. [..] I guess my previous conception of astronomy was that it was mostly pictures, not physical data.
  • The most surprising thing [was that] I realized that the work that most of the astronomers do can be done by civilians who have the knowledge and know how to access data on the internet. It's fascinating that the internet offers such a rich database that most people don't know about.

Summer Visit - 2012 - HR4AGN