Astrophysics REU 2011

U of Wisconsin-Madison



Week 1


Tue, May 31 Travel to Madison


Tue, May 31 6:00 – 8:00 pm The Regent

              All program pizza dinner at the Regent (Informal group meeting at 6:30)


Wed, June 1 10:00 – Noon Chamberlin Hall 4274

              Astrophysics REU program orientation. Bagels, coffee, and juice. Brief tour

of Astronomy and Physics Departments.


Wed, June 1 11:00 – 2:30 pm Union South & Memorial Union

Lunch, ID cards & buss pass distribution


Wed, June 1 2:30 – 3:45 pm Chamberlin & Sterling Hall

Meet with Advisors


Wed, June 1 4:00 – 4:45 pm

University Tour: meet at the fountain in front of Engineering Hall


Wed, June 1 5:00 – 7:00 pm Varsity Hall 2, Union South

All-Programs Welcome Dinner, Italian Buffet & Ice Cream


Thu, June 2 10:30 – 11:00 am Astronomy Library

         Introduction to UW library resources with Kerry Kresse


Fri, June 3 12:00 – 1:30 pm 4421 Sterling Hall TBA

         Department of Astronomy Welcome Pizza Party!


Sat, June 4 6am-2pm [Farmer’s Market] §

            Capitol Square. Held every Saturday morning during the summer, you can get all manner of fresh produce, as well as cheese curds so fresh they make your teeth squeak! (



Week 2


*Mon, June 6 10:45 – Noon Chamberlin Hall 4274

Astronomy Seminar series: Prof. Bob Benjamin, Department of Physics, UWW, “Galactic Structure”


Mon, June 6 1:30 – 2:30 REU Central (Sterling Hall 3521)

(tentative date/time)

Tutorial: Into to Unix and IDL with TBA


Week 3


Mon, June 13 10:45 – Noon Chamberlin Hall 4274

Astronomy Seminar series: Dr. Marsha Woif, Department of Astronomy, “Science is Bland Without SALT: Forefront Instrumentation on the Southern African Large Telescope”


Tue, June 14 11:00 – ?? The Space Place

Field Trip: UW Space Place Tour & Special Seminar: Dr. Jim Lattis, Space Astronomy Laboratory, “The History of UW Astronomy” (


Week 4


Wed, June 22 10:45 – Noon Chamberlin Hall 4274

Astronomy Seminar series: Dr. Matt Haffner, Department of Astronomy, “WHAM”


Thu, June 23 12:30 – 6:00 pm Meet in front of Chamberlin Hall

(tentative date/time)

Field trip: Yerkes Observatory. One of the last and greatest refractors in the world, this telescope was built in Wisconsin by the University of Chicago. You can marvel at the telescope design, the architecture, and the fact that the site is still used for scientific research. (




Week 5


Mon, June 27 10:45 – Noon Chamberlin Hall 4274

Astronomy Seminar series: Prof. Snezana Stanimirovic Department of Astronomy, “Radio Astronomy”


Wed, June 29 Noon – 1:00 pm Chamberlin Hall 4274

Web Page Design with Prof. Bob Benjamin


Wed, June 29 7:00 pm [Concerts on the Square]

Capitol Square: The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra starts their weekly series of outdoor classical music concerts. Bring a picnic dinner and a blanket, or buy your dinner there. The series continues weekly through August 3.



Sat, July 2 7:00 pm [Rhythm and Booms!]

Warner Park. Madison’s premier firework show. Although you can see the fireworks from the UW-Memorial Union, for the full effect you’ll want to bus or bike over to Warner Park. Warning: It can get crowded, and be sure to bring mosquito repellent. (


Week 6


Mon, July 4 University Holiday


Wed, July 6 8:00 pm Washburn Observatory

Field Trip: Washburn Observatory Tour & Training: Paul Sell (


Thu, July 7 1:30 – 3:30 pm All Program Graduate Resource Fair

Varsity Hall 1 & II, Union South


Fri, July 8 10:45 – Noon Chamberlin Hall 4274

Astronomy Seminar series: Dr. John Everett, Department of Physics and Astronomy, “Winds: from the sun, galaxies, and black holes”


Sat – Sun July 9--10 9:00 am – 6:00 pm [Art Fair on the Square]

The unique and large selection of fine, handcrafted work includes ceramics, fiber, glasswork, graphics, jewelry, leather, mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture, and wood. (


Week 7


Mon, July 11 10:45 – Noon Chamberlin Hall 4274

Astronomy Seminar series: Prof. Sabastian Heinz, Department of Astronomy, “Black holes, nature’s most efficient engines”


Mon, July 11 1:30 – 2:30 Chamberlin Hall 4274

(tentative date/time)

Astronomy Seminar series: Prof. Francis Halzen, Department of Astronomy, “The IceCube Neutrino Observatory”


PS, You are also encouraged to check out before next Monday’s session on the Physics GRE with Bob B.!


Wed, July 13 6:00 am Meet at The Regent (Yes, I did say 6:00 am)

              Field Trip: Fermilab. Fermilab is one of the top particle physics laboratories in the world, and also has been a major partner in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, one of the most important sky surveys of the last decade.


Fri – Sun July 15 – 17 8:00 am – 6:00pm [Maxwell Street Days]

A Madison tradition since 1975, this annual sidewalk sale and community event showcases downtown's unique State Street shopping district. More than 100 shops, boutiques, galleries and restaurants--many locally owned--offer terrific bargains on clothing, jewelry, gifts, artwork, food, drink and more in a festive, family-friendly event.


Week 8


Mon, July 18 10:45 – Noon Chamberlin Hall 4274

Astronomy Seminar series: Dr. Barb Whitney, Department of Astronomy, “RT-Models”


Mon, July 18 2:00 -- 3:30 pm Chamberlin Hall 4274

Practice Physics GRE & Physics GRE advice. Suggestions on how to prepare for this exam will be discussed (Prof. Bob Benjamin)


Tue, July 19 8:00 pm Chamberlin Hall 2223

Scientific Ethics Movie Night: “Contact”


Fri, June 22 Noon – 1:30 pm Chamberlin Hall 5280

Scientific Ethics Discussion, moderated by Prof. John Fields, Department of Philosophy, Edgewood College. There will be Pizza!


Week 9


Mon, July 25 10:45 – Noon Chamberlin Hall 4274

Astronomy Seminar series: Prof Matt Bershady, Department of Astronomy, “Galaxies”


Wed, July 27 1:30 – 2:30 Chamberlin Hall 4274

Grad School panel discussion. We will have a panel discussion of current graduate students and faculty who have served on the graduate admissions committee to discuss when, how, and where to apply for Astronomy and Physics graduate schools. (Baha, Bob, Dan, Jim, Snez, John, Katelyn)


Week 10


Mon, August 1 10:45 – Noon Chamberlin Hall 4274

Final Presentation Prep


Tues, August 2 10:00 – Noon Chamberlin Hall 4274

Final Presentations, Part 1. Coffee and cookies at 10:00 am


Meryl Sell

Blue Compact Dwarf Galaxies: Properties and Relations to their Environment


Allie Afittant

The Application of Experimental Methods to Determine Atomic Transition Probabilities


Ryan Sanders

The star formation history of a post-starburst interacting galaxy from SDSS


Tim Hutchinson

The Search for Turbulent Mixing Layers in the Magellanic Stream


Nick Pingel

Measuring Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) Turbulence using Spatial Column Density Distributions


Kerry Clavadetscher

OVII and OVIII emission from the soft diffuse X-ray background


Drake Ranqiust

Thermal and Dynamical Properties of CIV Absorbers (1.5 < z < 3.5)


Wed, August 3 10:00 – Noon Chamberlin Hall 4274

Final Presentations, Part 1I. Coffee and cookies at 10:00 am.


Roberto Rodriguez Torres

Spectral Response of the [OII] Spatial Heterodyne Spectrometer


Mallory Molina

Characterization of H-beta and OIII for Determining Black Hole Masses of Quasars


Jack Honor

Modeling Protostellar Radiative Transfer


Jeramy Lewis

Cylindrical Radio Telescope and Dark Energy Detection


Nick Stantzos

Characterizing Arecibo and GBT observations of the Outer Scutum-Centaurus Spiral Arm


Jon Beker

Spectral Analysis of an Unusual Binary in NGC7789


Aurora Kesseli

Multi-wavelength Variability in Young Stellar Objects


Martin Gostisha

Tracing the Full Extent of the Perseus Spiral Arm with WHAM


Thu, August 4 Noon Sterling

Farewell pizza lunch! Sterling Hall (Rain location: Sterling 4421)


Sat, Aug 6 All-day The Regent

Depart for airport. Airport transportation arrangements will be e-mailed to everyone.


§ All locations given in square brackets indicate that the event is not a planned event, but merely suggested. You will need to make your own plans for these events.

* Each Astronomy seminar is preceded by a 15-minute “check-in” period, and followed by lunch with the speaker at noon at the UW-Memorial Union (assuming speaker is available). A pre-talk reading will be handed out in the week previous to the talk (and can be picked up in Sterling 3521).