Our astronomy and astrophysics Class of 2012bwillman | July 5, 2012
Hello! I’m back from a year of junior leave. The fact that the Astronoblog is currently on the front page of www.haverford.edu has motivated me to finally post a couple of things that I’ve wanted to share for awhile.
We caught five of our eight astronomy and astrophysics majors in one photograph on graduation day. In this pic (I believe taken by Erin Boettcher’s parents) we have students going off to PhD programs at Davis, Chicago, Wisconsin, and Colorado and visiting professor Elizabeth Wehner going off to a faculty position. Three other great students are missing from the picture (including a Watson Fellow and Fulbright Fellow). No matter their next steps, each one of the eight students contributed to making a great class of 2012. I was lucky to have them.
From left to right: Ivan Meehan, Elizabeth Wehner, me (Beth Willman), Megan Bedell, Erin Boettcher, Andrew Sturner, Steve Boughn, Jacob Gilbert. Maya Barlev, Emily Cunningham, and Annie Preston are absent from the photo. And, yes, you counted right. Six of our eight astronomy (5 majors) and astrophysics (3 majors) were women this year.
Mr. Sturner and Ms. Barlev went on to present their senior thesis work at the AAS meeting in Anchorage, AK shortly after graduation. Andrew was recognized with a Chambliss student poster award at this meeting. There is a nice article about it on Haverford’s news page. We’re so lucky to have the Green Fund supporting student travel to present the results of their research at national conferences.
Three students (Erica Hopkins and Mariah Baker – class of 2014; Erin Boettcher – class of 2012) are now working hard in my lab to get a paper ready to submit to Astronomical Journal presenting the results our time-series observations of Segue 2 and 3 at the KPNO 0.9m telescope. About 10 Haverford students have participated in this project – from obtaining and analyzing the data, to simulating the detectability of RR Lyrae stars. I’ll be proud to have such an all-star co-author list!