Virtual Conferences Are a Chance for Creative Destruction

This post started out as me typing up some notes I made during and after the recent virtual 237th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society. But they’re only sort of about that meeting. They’re the culmination of both attending and organizing scientific conferences in virtual spaces over the past year, and of a more-or-less impromptu […]


Translating Science Between Disciplines

When I was a new PhD student, my advisor gave me my first project: find the signatures of starquakes in the remnants of stellar explosions called neutron stars. The data was public, and she handed me the statistics reference for finding periods in astronomical time series, written by my other advisor, Michiel van der Klis. […]

Failure and criticism in Academia

This might not tell you anything new; I’m sure other people have written much more eloquently about this than I have. But I’ve received a paper rejection today, and I’m grumpy, so bear with me (or not; your choice). Something nobody tells you about until you’re somehow knee-deep into your PhD is how criticism and […]

Lessons Learned in Data Science

I have recently moved to Seattle to the newly founded DIRAC Institute, which means that my three years at NYU’s Center for Data Science (CDS)  are coming to an end. I thought I’d take this opportunity for a little actually quite long (sorry) retrospective and summarize those three years in this post. Coming to CDS was […]

Astro Hack Week and the Impostor Syndrome

At the first Astro Hack Week in 2014, our resident ethnographer Brittany Fiore-Gartland (whose blog post on Astro Hack Week is a fascinating read, please go and check it out right now!) pointed out something in her field notes, which she presented at the end and which I think stayed in all of the organizers […]