2012 NRAO Charlottesville Summer Student Information

TIP Last Update: JeffMangum - 28 June 2012

Table of Contents:

ALERT! Charlottesville Summer Student Calendar ALERT!

General Information

Most information presented here can be found at:

Who and Where are the CV REUs?

There are 11 summer students at NRAO-CV this year, all at our Edgemont Road offices. The NRAO-CV summer students are:

  • Anna Ho is a rising Junior in Physics from MIT. Anna is working with Scott Ransom and Paul Demorest on Pulsars. Anna is based in Room 205 at Edgemont Road (244-6839) until mid-August. Her email is mailto:aho@nrao.edu aho@nrao.edu.

Travel Reimbursement

You should have received a reimbursement form when you picked up your paycheck. If not, do one of the following:
  1. Get one from either Fonda Hamric (Rm ER-263) or Mary Mayo (Rm NTC-211).
  2. Fill-out the Travel Reimbursement Form online.

There is a maximum reimbursement of $850 for travel and $275 for temporary accommodations while you located local housing. Include receipts up to that amount. See Summer Student Travel and associated documents for further details. Fill out form and give to Fonda or Mary.

Car/Bike Sign-Out

We have AUI and Government cars and a single mountain bike available for sign-out. Government cars are only available for observatory business (e.g., trips to Green Bank). AUI cars are available for short-term sign-out for e.g. grocery runs. Cars needs to be arranged directly with Richard Bishop mailto:rbishop@nrao.edu rbishop@nrao.edu; receiving room, on the first floor of the Edgemont Road building). The bike is kept there and can be signed out if the key is there. Keep it locked up, and use the available helmets. Do not abuse these privileges, or we will loose them.For daily transportation, UVa has an extensive, and free, bus system.


You should be set up with a computer, computer account, and NRAO username.To see how to set up to read email for your NRAO username, set up a webpage, print using NRAO printers, log in from home, etc., see the Gold Book. For computer requests use the Help Desk.

Summer Lecture Series

Lectures will be held at various dates and times throughout the summer in Conference Room 230 of the Edgemont Road building, starting on TBD and probably ending on TBD. The schedule is posted and maintained on the Charlottesville Summer Student Calendar. You can add items to this schedule, but will need to set up a wiki account to do so.

Past summer student groups have generally thanked the summer student lecturers with lots of questions. Feel free to request specific topics.


Feel free to use the canteen facilities (fridge, microwave, etc) at the ER or NTC facilities. There are several semi-regular lunch activities which you may like to participate in:

  • Monday/Tuesday: We will order-in pizza for a "Student/Staff Pizza Lunch" in the ER library. Students eat free! This is a good opportunity to hold impromptu discussions with the staff on topics of interest to the students. Possible topics are:
    • Astropolitics
    • Careers
    • Effective Communication of Science Results
    • Current Topics in Astronomy
  • Tuesday: We sometimes have informal brown-bag (i.e., BYOL) lunch talks, dubbed Tuna Lunch, in ER-230 by visiting or local astronomers.
  • Thursday: Various members of both NRAO and UVa astronomy have pizza lunch together at Anna's Pizzeria, off of Alderman road before Fontaine Avenue. See the map here. A group usually starts walking from NRAO-ER at about 11:50pm. We encourage you to join us. Greasy pizza or Italian subs are the menu. It costs about $6-$7/person.

Other Weekly Activities

Green Bank Visit

We will make a day-trip to our Green Bank facility on 2012-06-14.Green Bank WV is ~2hr 40min drive west of Charlottesville.We will tour the Green Bank Telescope (GBT), the NRAO GB facilities and the Visitors Center, and the historic telescopes located on the Green Bank site.This will also be an opportunity for you to meet the Green Bank summer students.

Very Large Array Trip and Observing Project

You will have the opportunity to design and carry out a series of experiments using the Very Large Array (VLA) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA).This will involve a trip to our NRAO site in Socorro, NM where we will work with the NRAO Socorro summer students on these observing projects.The dates for this trip are July 22-26.The general agenda for this trip will be as follows:
  • 2012-07-22 (Sunday): Fly CHO -> ABQ and drive ABQ to Socorro.
  • 2012-07-23 (Monday): Work on VLA/VLBA data analysis
  • 2012-07-24 (Tuesday): Work on VLA/VLBA data analysis
  • 2012-07-25 (Wednesday): Trip to VLA site
  • 2012-07-26 (Thursday): Drive Socorro to ABQ and fly home ABQ -> CHO
See the VLA/VLBA observing projects information page for further information on the observing projects.

Visit from Green Bank Students

We will host a visit from the Green Bank summer students on 2012-07-31. We will have a session where GB students and CV students briefly present their summer projects to each other. In the afternoon all students will tour the NTC labs.Rough schedule is as follows:
  • 10:00 AM: GB students arrive
  • 12:00 AM: Lunch in CV230. JJ has sent you a menu from Panera Bread with which you can make your lunch selection.
  • 1:00 PM: Mark Adams will talk with us about how best to communicate the astronomy that NRAO does to the "younger" crowd (i.e. you guys).
  • 3:00 PM: NTC tour. Skip Thacker will give us a "beginning-to-end" tour of the NTC.

Other Summer Activities

Give me suggestions and I'll list them here. Here are some activities that previous students have done (these must be arranged on your own, and must not involve NRAO vehicles!).

  • Visit Montecello
  • Trip to DC (2hrs northeast)
  • Rafting on the James River (30min south)
  • Trip to Kings Dominion/Water Country (70min east)
  • Trip to Williamsburg/Busch Gardens/Jamestown (3hrs east)
  • Hike Appalachian trail (8mo, GA to MA. Or parts of it 45min W)
  • Drive Blueridge Parkway and/or Skyland Drive (beware motorhomes)
  • Visit many Civil War battle fields (Manassas, Bull Run, Appomattox, Brandy Station, Fredericksburg, Front Royal, Lynchburg, Spotsylvania Court House, Waynesboro, etc, etc). Heck, you could probably take part in a historical reenactment.
  • Trip to Baltimore (4hrs), Philadelphia (6hrs), or NYC (7.5hrs)

End of Summer Presentation (Oral and Written)

Near the end of your appointment, you will give a short (~15min) lunch talk to the scientific staff about your research, and will write up a short project summary. You can look at examples of past year projects and summaries to give you an idea as to what is required. You will also produce a short (~4 page) report outlining your summer research, and present this to JeffMangum by the end of September (PDF versions encouraged). You MUST hand in your written report on time if you want any hope of getting financial support to attend the January AAS meeting (see below).

All NRAO 2012 Summer Students and Projects

Attending the January AAS Meeting

You may apply for financial support to present the results of your summer project at the 221th meeting of the American Astronomical Society (to be held 6-10 January 2013 in Long Beach, CA. Matching funds from your host institute are usually expected. An application is required. See information at http://science.nrao.edu/opportunities/student-programs/NRAOstudents_aas. Funds are mostly for REU-funded students, so many of you may have a reducedchance. But we rarely have all students apply, so some funds are generally available.

End of Summer Questionnaire

To help us assess the research experience provided by the NRAO Summer Student Program, we would like to get your input regarding your summer research experience by asking you to complete a short (about 15 minute) survey.Please complete the NRAO Summer Student Program survey on or after July 01, 2012.Your responses to this survey are confidential, and all responses are anonymous.Let me know if you have any questions.

IDL Usage Policies

Since many summer students use IDL or GBTIDL, we would like to point out that there is a limited number of floating licenses for this package.See our IDL usage policies and best practices for information on IDL license usage.

Twiki Account Registration

Many scientists and engineers use wiki pages to communicate.If you would like to use this medium to post information about your summer project, you can register as a user by going to the TWikiRegistration self-serve topic.There is also a 20-minute TWikiTutorial available if you would like to learn how to use this communication medium.

Email Aliases

How to Change Your Distribution List Email Address

Once you arrive at your designated NRAO site, you will be given an NRAO email address.You should change the address to which email distribution list messages are sent to this NRAO address.This is done as follows (where I use the cvss distribution list as an example):
  1. Go to the appropriate list information page. For example, http://listmgr.cv.nrao.edu/mailman/listinfo/cvss.
  2. Scroll down to the "subscribers" area of the page and enter your current subscription email address and password.
  3. Click on your address to visit your subscription options page.
  4. Change your email address (and any other information you desire) in the "changing your membership information" section.

A Place For Presentation Materials

A wiki for uploading files



Don't hesitate to ask myself, Jeff Mangum (mailto:jmangum@nrao.edu jmangum@nrao.edu) or any NRAO staff member if you have questions.

-- JeffMangum - 2012-03-22
Topic revision: r9 - 2012-07-27, RachelSmullen
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