ay 212: dynamical astronomy home, information, syllabus, codes, links, lectures

ay212 projects

One of the major requirements of this class is a piece of original research work. This research will be done in collaboration with me, and in some cases with an additional advisor. In past years, about 3 out of 5 projects in my ay212/ay235/ay240 classes have led to published papers. Examples include:

(1) Sarah Martell's uvby-metallicity calibration (ApJL 2002, 577, 45-48--astro-ph/0207054) (2) Scott Seagroves and Justin Harker's Monte-Carlo simulation of a distributed network of observers (PASP 2003, 115, 1355-1362--astro-ph/0310084), (3) Greg Novak's analysis of the one to one eccentric resonance, (4) Genevieve Graves determination of the long-term luminosity evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy.

With a number of other papers on the way.

The goal for this Fall is for everyone to get a published paper out of this class. this is a great chance to get started early producing the publications that you will need in 4-5 years when you are applying for your first job. Furthermore, the cycle of research -> submission -> review ->publication -> dissemination -> citations is a slow one, and it often takes a number of years from the time that a paper is submitted before citations build up in significant numbers.

While I hope and expect that everyone will get a publication out of their research project, it is unreasonable to expect that all these papers will be finished by the time the class ends 2.5 months from now! Therefore, the formal requirement for the research project is to give a 20 minute "FLASH" presentation to the Department in early December. In this presentation, you will explain the results of your research, and put it into a broader context.

The projects are described below. We need to work out by the second class meeting who is doing what, and the projects need to be started immediately. Throughout the quarter, I will meet individually with everone for ~30 minutes per week. I've found that these collaboration meetings are the best way to make the projects a success. We will also maintain active discussion of the research projects during class. It is important to practive your talk at least once in front of me/other students as a warm-up for the real thing. I remember that when I gave my first talk I was so nervous that I could barely speak. Practicing talks in a constructive environment does wonders for eliminating anxiety. Also, because I am collaborating with you on the projects, I will back you up if someone starts asking tough questions during the FLASH itself.

Here are the Fall 2004 projects:

project one

The rediscovery of Neptune. (Katie Morzinski)

project two

Burrau's problem of 3 bodies. (Evan Kirby)

project three

Orbit structure of the m=2 singular isothermal disk. (Kirsten Howley and Stefano Meschiari)

project four

Genetic algorithm reconstruction of interacting galaxies M81-M82. (Ryan Montgomery)

project five

Accretion onto Population III stars (Kate Rubin)

project six

The Laskar Problem and the stability of the solar system (Luca)

project seven

The distribution of microbe-bearing meteorites launched from Earth through the Galaxy, and the seeding of extraterrestrial habitable planets. (Jess Johnson and Jonathon Langton)

project eight

Resonance branching ratios in downscattered systems. (omitted)

project nine

Formation and survival of terrestrial planets in the GJ 876 planetary system. (Katherine Kretke)

project ten

The Bizarre (and newly discovered) HD 128311 planetary system -- the use of dynamical integrations to constrain the parameter space of allowed system configurations. (Shannon Patel)

project eleven

Updating the Bahcall Soneira Model of the galaxy using broadband calibrations applied to the Sloan-2Mass overlap list. (Mark Ammons)

project twelve

High resolution semi-analytic linear stability analysis of self-gravitating protostellar disks. (Sally Robinson)

project thirteen

Minimum travel time of a microscopic spacecraft to Alpha Centauri. (Jeremy Wertheimer)