Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
University of Chicago
MW 1:30-2:50 TACC 41
This course is designed to prepare you for summer research projects. Here is a semi-random outline.
- Hashing out idea with advisor
- Sanity checks and order of magnitude reasoning, dimensional analysis
- Literature search, citation trail
- Try to reproduce known result to test understanding
- Keep good notes, preferably electronic and collaboration friendly
- Google Docs
- Keep modular
- Version control
- Document as much as possible (especially after finishing modular portion)
- Informative variable names even if cumbersome
- Figures - can be rough (see presentation) but label sufficiently to recall later
- Figures, figures, figures!
- Will work in class to perfect technique
- Minimalist: less is more
- Immediately obvious what main point is
- Content visually distinguishable in all presentation forms (colors, line-type, line-width)
- Text legible at journal size and projected for talks (never smaller than the journal text)
- Line art in vector format (eps, pdf)
- Overlay images in raster format (png, jpeg) with vector labels and text
- Write from the inside out (abstract last)
- Don't be afraid to restructure or streamline
- Construct paper as if giving a talk (not as a timeline of your work, notes)...
- And give a talk on every paper; sell your work
- Treat each talk you give before you get tenure as a job talk!
- 4/4: Make test figure (your choice of complexity but suggest a few curves, labels) for in class critique
- 4/11: Revise figure taking into account feedback and explain choices and compromises
- 4/18: Give a short talk on the background material for your research project, use this also to practice your elevator speech (bozo, no-bozo); alternately try giving a journal club talk on the paper you will pick next...
- Pick a paper from your background research and critique it's structure (not its science)