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Target-Centric Astronomy

Astronomy has a kindred cousin, a cool one who wears his sunglasses at night: intelligence analysis. I don’t just mean reconnaissance satellites, either; the process of astronomy, that of observing and drawing conclusions, is possibly the most similar of all the sciences to the process of intelligence gathering. Both fields deal with low signal-to-noise regimes that are based primarily on observation rather than experimentation. Both fields must continually account for errors and biases that could easily lead to false or falsely credited conclusions. And thus it behooves us as astronomers to learn from our cousins on the other side of the fence, who may not have been in the business quite as long or have quite as much ground to cover, but who certainly have a lot more pressure to produce results. That’s why today I’m going to be talking about Robert M. Clark’s key textbook Intelligence Analysis: A Target-Centric Approach, and what lessons it holds for you as a professional scientist. Continue reading

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Getting Out of a Research Slump

Odds are, if you’re doing research, you’ve experienced a research slump. The bad news is that this is fairly unavoidable: it happens to everyone. The good news is that there are tricks you can try to help get yourself out of the slump and become more productive and efficient. Read on to find out more! Continue reading

Applying for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

If you’re an undergraduate in your senior year intending to go to graduate school in science or just finishing up your first year (and are a US citizen, national or permanent resident), you SHOULD apply for the NSF GRFP. Read on to learn why and how. Now is a great time to start thinking about your application! Continue reading

Careers In Astronomy: What am I Doing with my Life??

Title: Astronomy Career Profiles from the AAS Newsletter Archives Authors: Travis Metcalfe, Leila Belkora, Liam McDaid, Blake Bullock, Christine Pulliam, Peter Williams, Joshua Roth, Barb Whitney, Knut Olsen, Andy Howell, Luke Keller For those of you who feel like you have your life and your future completely figured out, I apologize in advance for this … Continue reading

Applying to Graduate School Part II: Submitting your Application

Making the grad application time easier and clearer. Continue reading

Applying to Graduate School Part I: Preparing to Apply

It’s that time of year! For those of you thinking about grad school, check out how you might prepare yourself for the application process and narrow down your list of schools. Continue reading

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