Adam Burgasser receives Distinguished Teaching Award

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Cool Star Lab PI Adam Burgasser has been awarded a UCSD Distinguished Teaching Award for 2016. He was nominated by the Physics Department’s Education Vice Chair Tom Murphy, and recognized for his broad contributions to the educational mission at UCSD; efforts to develop interdisciplinary courses between Physics, humanities and the arts; and commitment to student learning.

From the nomination:

Adam J. Burgasser has shown tremendous dedication to education in a diverse set of classes, teaching a broad array of students. His commitment has been epic; the connection he has forged with students has been profound; and his activism to increase the quality of the UC San Diego community is extremely admirable. As one student described, Professor Burgasser has “a uniquely genuine and passionate interest for his students to succeed, for UC San Diego to thrive, and for physics to be as tangible a topic as any other; he embodies the type of physics professor other professors should strive to become.”   Professor Burgasser not only has acted as a successful ambassador of physics to students on our campus but also has built educational bridges to a variety of points beyond campus.


Cool Star Lab students participate in Physics GRE Bootcamp


Cool Star Lab undergraduates Ivanna Escala and Rosalida Lopez were among 100+ students who participated in the Southern California Physics GRE Bootcamp at CSU Long Beach August 22-23.  Supported by the California Professoriate for the Advancement of Physics Careers (CPAPC) and funded by UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, APS Bridge Program, and the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics and the Physics department at CSU Long Beach, this is the 3rd year of the SoCal Bootcamp, and the largest to date.  Its purpose is to provide test preparation for students planning on taking the Physics GRE for graduate school, particularly those underrepresented in the sciences. It is timed to occur a few weeks before the first testing date in September.

PI Adam Burgasser also attended the camp on Saturday to talk about the Physics graduate program at UCSD and answer students’ questions about graduate school. Three UCSD Physics graduate students were also in attendance as Teaching Assistants and to talk about their graduate experience. Morehouse-UCSD Physics Bridge Fellow Julian Pilate-Hutcherson attended the Northern California BootCamp held at UCSC that same weekend.




A Mindset Workshop

jpegI’ve recently gotten turned on to the concept of Mindset and how it influences the way my students (and I) respond to challenges and successes, and generally learn.  The basic idea, developed out of an extensive body of educational psychology research by Carol Dweck and others, is that our interaction with the world lies on the spectrum between two poles: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. And where we sit on this spectrum in our various spheres in life – academics, work, relationships – can have a profound impact on our happiness, ability to persist in challenges, and success.

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Cool Star Lab Brings the Stars to Logan Heights Library

On March 17th, San Diegans county-wide got a chance to look up at the stars with the help of astronomers from many of our colleges and astronomy clubs.  Organized by the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and part of the annual San Diego Science Festival, Astronomy Night was a chance to bring the Universe down to Earth.

Adam Burgasser was one of the guides, setting up at the Logan Heights Public Library just east of downtown around 7pm.  Using the CASS Celestron 10″ teaching telescope, kids, parents and community members had the opportunity (in many cases, for the first time) to see the bands and moons of Jupiter, “baby stars” in Orion, and the sister stars in the Pleiades.  While skies were pretty obscured by city lights, the telescope and several Galileoscopes provided a chance to pierce the glow and view our starry heavens.


Fleet staff Eileen Best and Adam Burgasser at the end of Astronomy Night (photo by Desiree Nash).

Undergraduate Melisa Tallis presents piece in Project Planetaria Showcase


Undergraduate researcher Melisa Tallis probably didn’t think that in her first year at UCSD she would be producing abstract, data-driven artwork. But her piece 67 x, produced with Adriana Feketeova from the Department of Visual Arts, was one of four novel artworks presented at the TDDE 131 Final Project Showcase in June 2013.

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