Dear Second-Year Students,

Congratulations for surviving your first year of graduate school! Now you get to do it all again, but with a twist: the Second-Year Project. The Second-Year Project is your chance to explore a possible thesis topic without fully committing to it. After presenting your project near the end of the Spring semester, you are free to switch to a different project and/or a different advisor.

In Fall 2010, the Astronomy Department offers the following courses that you might be interested in:

ASTR610 Instrumentation
ASTR630 Planetary Science
ASTR699 Second-Year Project (2 credits)

Recall that it is a requirement that you take either Instrumentation or computation (offered next fall) and that you take either Planetary Science or Galaxies (offered next fall). You can find other possible electives from the course offerings of other departments; Physics, Aerospace Engineering, Meteorology, Computer Science are good places to look. Two classes, the Second-Year Project, and a TA-ship is a reasonably full load. You may want to consider adding an additional course if you have a fellowship or are extremely Gung-Ho! I have cleared all of you to register for the above three classes - please talk to me about other electives and/or if you are considering an extra course.

Doug Hamilton
Graduate Director