4 July 2009

Now Back to our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Posted by Ryan Anderson

As of yesterday at noon, I am happy to report that I passed my A-exam and now have a M.S. in Astronomy, and am a PhD candidate! That’s right, I somehow managed to convince my committee that shooting rocks with lasers and looking at landing sites on Mars is worthy of a PhD. Being grilled about the fundamentals of your science by Jim Bell (my adviser and lead scientist for the rover color cameras), Steve Squyres (lead scientist for the rover missions), Bob Kay (petrologist and geochemist), and Yervant Terzian (radio astronomer) is a grueling experience. But then at the end being complimented on your work is a great feeling.

And then relaxing and hanging out with friends, going berry-picking, eating good Indian food: even better.

My advice to future grad students facing their thesis proposal exam (every school seems to have a different name for this exam…): start planning early. The earlier you have an outline of your thesis and can start going over it and discussing it with your adviser, the smoother the process will go. Also, find out about the paperwork your school requires for the exam ahead of time so you don’t have to deal with it the day-of.

Anyway, I hope I’ll be able to post here a little more regularly now that things have settled down. Have a great 4th of July!