I love talking about black holes. The interactions with the public help me keep a cosmic perspective, when I get lost in lines of code and statistics. I also see outreach as an opportunity to challenge the lab-coat, crazy-hair stereotype.
Public Lectures and Stargazing Nights (2011-present) Columbia Astronomy Public Outreach I am a regural volunteer for the biweekly events in the department. As a roof volunteer, I have facilitated stargazing from the roof of Pupin [photo]. As a lecture volunteer, I have made short presentations covering a variety of topics, held extended Q&A sessions, following the main lecture, and discussed short astronomy-related documentaries. I have also served as the lecture captain, in charge of coordinating the event. Here are the summaries of the events I coordinated: ●The History and future of Black Holes (May 2016) by Dan D'Orazio [summary] [photo] ●On the care and Feeding of Black Holes (Dec. 2015) by Aleksey Generozov [summary] [photo] ●The Glorious Past of Our Monster Black Hole (Oct. 2015) by Shuo Zhang [summary] ●Neutral Particle Power (Feb. 2014) by Jia Liu [summary] I have also given two of the Friday night lectures: ●Explosive Lighthouses: Gamma-ray Bursts from the distant universe (Oct. 2014) [poster] [summary] [photo] ●Black Hole Duet: Hearing the universe for the first time* (Oct. 2016) [poster] [summary] [photo] [crowd] *The lecture was featured in Barnard's eNews BWOG
1000 Girls, 1000 Futures (2015-2016) New York Academy of Science, Global STEM Alliance The program connects high school girls around the world with women STEM professionals. I participated in the pilot year and I was paired with Julia (Huiyuan) Chen from the Chinese Academy of Science, currently an undergrad at UPenn. For her project, we attempted to develop "the Break-App", an iphone application that helps you manage the time spent of your phone and forces you to take breaks (or break-up with your phone).
Saturday Night Lights and Street Science (2014 and 2016) World Science Festival The WSF is a week-long celebration of science with events throughtout NYC. I was a telescope volunteer for the Stargazing Party in Brooklyn Bridge Park. I also helped with the LIGO exhibit at the Science Street Fair in Washington Square. [photo] [photo] [photo] [photo] [photo]
Goals For Girls (2015) Intrepid Summer Science Camp With fellow graduate students and the chair of the department, we hosted the middle school participants of the Science Camp for a day visit in the Astronomy department. The girls were very curious about black holes and we had a nice chat about our lives outside of science (personal life, hobbies, etc.) and our paths to Astronomy.
Girls' Science Day (2015 and 2016) Women in Science @ Columbia Outreach Program The biggest outreach event organized by WISC brings to campus middle school girls for a day-long program of hands-on activities. With a group of astronomy graduate students, we developped interactive experiments to demonstrate astronomical concepts. Some of the experiments included the scale of the universe, hot-air balloons, air-rockets, the expanding balluniverse.
Saturday Science Starters - S3 (2015) Women in Science @ Columbia Outreach Program As part of the astronomy team, I helped with astronomy-related demonstrations for middle school students. For this event, we built a comet with dry ice and talked about the solar system. We also explained why the sky looks blue and the sunset red, simulating the Earth's atmosphere with a tank of water and milk.
Explorations of Science (2013 and 2014) Double Discovery Center, Columbia College The program is addressed to low-income, first-generation college college-bound and minority students from Manhattan. The class "Exploration of Science", lead by Kerstin Perez brought the students in touch with real scientists from various disciplines. I was invited to run the Astronomy session, which included a short lecture, some hands-on activities and discussion about my career in astronomy. ●2014 Session: "Electromagnetic Spectrum", Optics experiments, and Career in astronomy Q&A ●2013 Session: "Gamma-ray Bursts", Solar observing, and Career in astronomy Q&A
Sidewalk Astronomy (2012-2016) Columbia Astronomy Public Outreach Sidewalk astronomy brings telescopes to various locations throughout the city for impromptu observing. This gives the benefit to do science outreach, when people are not seeking/expecting it. This way we approach a different crowd that we normally wouldn't get a chance. Over the past few years, I have participated in the following events: ● Stargazing at Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, New York 2016 [photo] ●Lunar Eclipse observing event, Columbia Univ. campus, New York 2015 [photo] [photo] ●Stargazing nights, Harlem, New York 2015 [photo] ●Venus Transit observing event, Union Square, New York 2012 [photo] [NY Times]