ASTR630 Assignments


Homework: Read and reread these Problem Solving Hints!


TERPS 2018 Class Project

You are all invited (required!) to attend The Exciting Results in Planetary Science (TERPS) Conference to be held Dec. 8 in the Astronomy Department at the University of Maryland, College Park. The Abstract Deadline is Monday, October 6 by 11:59pm EDT; turn abstracts in here. The conference will be attended by top scientists from around the department (professors, researchers, graduate students) and you will be presenting invited 10-minute oral presentations on your recent research results. Start thinking about a Planetary topic that you would like to investigate further and report on to your peers! Your main resource should be a solid Icarus paper on your topic (Icarus is the most prestigious scientific journal in Planetary Sciences), and you should consult additional papers and the text for backup material. In addition. you will be doing a mini-research project of your own by re-deriving some of your chosen paper's results and then pushing them further. For example, you might replot some figures, derive some equations, run some simulations, or analyze some observational data. You can search for scientific research papers by subject or author with the ADS Astronomy and Astrophysics Abstract Service. Limit your search to Icarus papers by typing "Icar." in the box under " Select References From:". Your abstract should consist of the reference for your source paper, and a 1-page summary of both its content and how you intend to extend its results. This summary should differ from a standard abstract by providing more context. Describe in your own words the problem that the authors solve, why it is important, and how you will extend it.

Your presentation will be strictly limited to 7 minutes with 3 minutes for questions, so prepare accordingly. Typically you will have time to show 5-6 slides. Pitch your talk to the level others in the class who have not read your paper. Cole Miller's Ten Commandments of Oral Presentations and Further Hints on Giving Talks provide excellent advice! Conference munchies will be provided!

Besides the abstract due in October, a PDF copy of your talk and a ~2 page description of your extension to the project are due near the end of the semester. This description need not repeat material in your abstract and PDF talk, but should rather should supplement those writeups. Its purpose is to help me evaluate the scope of your research projects and achievements. I will grade your projects 1/3 on the quality and quantity of the research that you performed, 1/3 on the design of your PDF slides and 1/3 on your actual oral presentation. For some examples of interesting projects that students have chosen in the past, check out TERPS 2010, TERPS 2012, TERPS 2014, and TERPS 2016.

Do not panic - I am not expecting another second year project! Reading and research for this class project should take the equivalent amount of time as roughly 2 HW sets. So read a paper of interest and extend it a little bit, where a little bit is defined by the "2 HW sets" time limit.


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