Cool Star Undergraduates present research at SCCUR

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Cool Star undergraduate researchers Ivanna Escala and Michael Lopez presented their research at the 2014 Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research (SCCUR) at CSU Fullerton on November 22, 2014.  SCCUR presenters undergo a competitive selection, and this was the first time students working in the Cool Star Lab attended SCCUR, joining 7 other UCSD students from different majors.

Ivanna Escala, who presented a poster on her research aimed at determining the physical properties of unusually magnetically active late L and T dwarfs, reported on her experience:

The Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research was an excellent opportunity to share my own work with a community of fellow undergraduate researchers.  Witnessing the breadth of the topics covered at the conference, from fields such as astronomy to chemistry and psychology, truly provided me with a sense of the degree to which undergraduates actively contribute to existing bodies of knowledge. Discussing my research in astronomy, and topics in astronomy and physics in general, was a pleasure, particularly because I felt that I was helping to spread knowledge and foster interest in the field. On a personal level, I found the conference very rewarding in that it reinforced my enthusiasm and passion for astronomy; it will likely serve as a stepping stone in my path toward a career in the astrophysical sciences.

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Michael Lopez, a McNair scholar who gave a well-attended talk on his work analyzing the near-infrared spectrum of the young brown dwarf  WISE J0528, reported on his experience:

The SCCUR is the third conference which I have participated in, and it was an enjoyable learning experience because it was the first one outside of UCSD. I really enjoyed it because there was only one other person who I knew was going to the conference and it was off campus so I did not know what to expect. For the first time I was presenting to a completely knew audience. The setting was very presenter friendly. There were many more students from all over the nation and a few faculty attending my presentation in a spacious room. This made it less intimidating and I had fun talking to them about their projects and their experiences. This is also the biggest conference I have attended. There were so many students from all over California and some form other states. As a result the oral and poster presentations were very diverse. It was neat to go through the program and read so many interesting project titles from different disciplines. I believe this was a good experience in presenting with not really knowing your audience or what the environment is going to be like and to meet other students.

Congratulations to Ivanna & Mike on their participation in the conference!

 

Morehouse Fellow Christian Aganze Wins Poster Award at SACNAS

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Christian Aganze, a Morehouse-UCSD Bridge Fellow working in the Cool Star Lab, won a poster award at the 2014 National Conference of the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists (SACNAS).  Christian won the award for his presentation of work done this summer to investigate the mysterious nature of GJ 660.1B, a cool companion to the nearby M0 dwarf GJ 660.1.  Using data in the SpeX Prism Library and published spectral index relations, Christian has found that this source is either very young or metal poor, but careful inspection supports the latter hypothesis.  This makes GJ 660.1B a new benchmark for metal-poor very low mass dwarfs, and is a cautionary tale for index-based gravity measures.

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Congratulations Christian!

Cool Star Lab Undergraduates Present Research at Research Symposium

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Undergraduate researchers in the Cool Star Lab presented their year’s work on May 28th, during the UCSD Faculty Mentor Program Undergraduate Research Symposium. This was the first Symposium to feature poster presentations by undergraduates.

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Adam Burgasser Awarded UCSD Outstanding Mentor of the Year

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Adam Burgasser was one of two awardees at the 2014 Faculty Mentor Program (FMP) Outstanding Mentor of the Year Award, in a ceremony held during the FMP Undergraduate Research Symposium on May 28th. Adam was nominated by undergraduate researchers Aishwarya Iyer and Melissa Tallis, both members of the Cool Star Lab who presented at the Symposium. The Outstanding Mentor Award is selected based on student testimonials, innovative or unusual mentoring practices, and other considerations, such as the number of mentees served and years of service as a mentor to undergraduates.  The other award winner was Alan Daly in the Department of Education Studies. Adam is extremely honored by this award, and so appreciative to Aisha & Melisa for the nomination!

Aisha Iyer Presents Research on TWA 30AB at American Physical Society Meeting

IMG_0256Aisha Iyer, an undergraduate researcher in the Cool Star Lab, attended the April 2014 American Physics Society Meeting in Savannah, GA, to present a poster on her research: Spitzer monitoring observations of TWA 30AB.  She was the recipient of an APS FPD Scholar Travel Award and supported by the UCSD Physics Department for her trip. Here’s what Aisha had to say about the experience:

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