Paid position: Instructional Aides (Spring 2017)

Photo of peer tutoring

Help your fellow students!

The Department of Astronomy is seeking undergraduate Instructional Aides (IAs) for our introductory courses. 

Duties for an IA are set by the instructor for each class, and could include grading, tutoring, or copying and distribution of homework, exams or other materials.  Generally, attendance at lectures is expected.  We are particularly interested in getting experienced students to work in the lab sections of Astronomy 1101.

If you interested, please send me an email with the courses you can help with, and describe any previous experience as an IA or peer advisor.  The deadline for application is 5:00 p.m. Monday, November 28.

Here is a list of available courses:

Course      Instructor        Meeting times               Title
1101       Ryden              MWF 12:40 – 13:35      From Planets to the Cosmos
1101       (lab)                 W 13:50 – 15:40
1101       (lab)                 Tu 11:10 – 13:00
1101       (lab)                 Tu  13:50 – 15:40

1140       Stanek             TuTh  12:45 – 14:05      Planets and the Solar System
1140       Pinsonneault  MWF 9:10 – 10:05

1141        Lopez               TuTh 11:10 – 12:30       Life in the Universe

1142       Kochanek       MWF 11:30 – 12:25      Black Holes

1143       Weinberg        MWF 11:30 – 12:25       Cosmology: History of the Universe

1144       Johnson          TuTh 9:30 – 10:55         Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe

Volunteer opportunity: content editor / social media editor

29zfzy6i I am seeking one or two students who can help me take this site to a new level.  I am looking for (1) a content editor who can assemble links to resources around campus and elsewhere that directly help students, and (2) a social media editor who will gather scientific and astronomical content for everyone’s enjoyment.

Interested?  This would be a great opportunity to improve your research and communication skills, and that always looks good on a resume.  The position or positions would start as soon as you like, but no later than the beginning of next semester.  To apply, send me an email with (1) a very brief description of why you want the job, (2) links to a couple of interesting web sites along with a short description of their content, and (3) three example tweets (make up your own hashtags).  I’d like to receive your application by November 21.

A personal reflection

I have spoken with several of you this week, and I know that many of you are worried or fearful or upset at the results of this week’s election.

I want to state as clearly as I can that I am personally committed with all my heart – as is the Astronomy Department – to create and maintain an atmosphere of inquiry and learning, of diversity and inclusion, and of free expression in a safe environment.  All of you are welcome here, and we will do whatever we can to foster a healthy environment for every one of our students, and to improve things when we need to.

Please feel free to talk with me with any concerns you have.  Send email or make an appointment or – if you want to – start a discussion on this thread.

Scholarship opportunity

ohiostate We are pleased to announce the Tuttle Scholarship competition for Autumn 2016.

Established April 10, 2015, with a gift from Ann Tuttle, the Tuttle fund is used to provide one or more undergraduate scholarships for students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences who are majoring in astronomy and astrophysics.

Eligibility:  Majors in Astronomy and Astrophysics (including double majors in another discipline) who have demonstrated strong academic performance.  Preference will be given to those who have Junior status or higher.

Funds are paid into the winner’s OSU account, and so eligible students must be able to receive financial aid (i.e., your expenses are not already fully covered by other scholarships).

To apply:  send a 500 word essay to me at  In it, outline your scientific and/or teaching interests, career plans, and explain why this scholarship would be a boost to your undergraduate career.

Deadline:  Monday, November 21.   We anticipate awarding about $3,000 to one more more students, and reserve the right not to make an award this semester.