Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Have been writing a lot of in-class activities for my intro astro course, testing them out in preparation for inclusion in an in-class activity workbook to be published next year through Kendall-Hunt.  Was driven to change from the activity book I've used for the past 3 years because a significant # of students would bring the workbook to class but not fill it in, because they wanted to sell it back at the end of the year!  So I told them I'm going to change workbooks next year, rendering sell-back difficult if not impossible.  Kendall-Hunt has a lot of activity books from which to pick and choose activities to include in your own book, in addition to providing ones of your own (I find I have to provide the bulk of the stellar and extragalactic activities, as those are rather rare).  Workbook will also include labs, like the new one on transiting extrasolar planets I just wrote.

Also am teaching an upper-division/graduate course on stars & nebulae.

Also am on a theory-faculty job search committee.  146 applicants!  Ha ha I remember what having time for research used to be like.

Still, with last week's arrival of my postdoc Paola Rodriguez Hidalgo, it's time to bring research back into the mix.  For example, I have an idea for using variability in BAL troughs to constrain the small-scale structure of quasar accretion disks...