2017 NRAO Charlottesville Summer Student Information

TIPLast Update: JimBraatz May 22, 2017

ALERT! Charlottesville Summer Student Calendar ALERT!

General Information

Most information presented here can be found at:

Who are the CV Students?

There are 11 summer students at NRAO-CV this year, 3 Grad students and 8 undergrads. We may also have short-term visiting students throughout the summer The NRAO-CV summer students are:

  • Undergrads
    • Sofia Rojas from the University of Texas is working with Eric Murphy
    • Rory Bentley from LSU is working with Al Wootten
    • Josh Carder from WVU is working with Arielle Moullet
    • Jeremy Turner from Cornell is working with Jim Braatz
    • David Wang from Caltech is working with Scott Ransom
    • Wesley Red from South Carolina State is working with Dana Balser
    • Maryam Hami from Whittier College is working with Aaron Evans
    • Alia Wofford from Elizabeth City State University is working with Jackie Villadsen
  • Grad students
    • Luca Beale (UVA) is working with Jen Donovan Meyer
    • Yiqing Song (UVA) is working with Aaron Evans
    • Pallavi Patil (UVA) is working with Mark Lacy

Orientation Slides

Here are slides from the orientation presentation.

Summer Lecture Series

Lectures will be held at various dates and times throughout the summer. We will have a weekly science lecture series on Wednesday afternoons in Conference Room 230 of the Edgemont Road building. The schedule will be posted and maintained on the Charlottesville Summer Student Calendar. The best way to thank the summer student lecturer is with lots of questions. Slides for some talks are available here.


You will be set up with a "thin client" computer and an NRAO computer account when you arrive. The thin client needs to attach to a CPU. By default that will be polaris. It's fine to use polaris for some simple computing tasks, but for real number crunching you should reserve a node on the cluster. Here's how to do that, in a nutshell:
ssh -Y cvpost-master.cv.nrao.edu
nodescheduler 7 1
This will reserve a cluster computer for 1 week. Then you should ssh to the cluster computer you've been assigned, and work from there. See Jim if you have any questions on that.

Other useful computing resources:

Travel Reimbursement

You can find the necessary form to request your travel reimbursement in one of two ways:
  1. Get one from either Jessica Utley (Rm ER-351) or Mary Mayo (Rm NTC-211).
  2. Download the Travel Reimbursement Form directly.
There is a maximum reimbursement of $900 for travel and $300 for temporary accommodations while you locate local housing. Include receipts up to that amount. See Summer Student Travel and associated documents for further details. Fill out form and give to Jessica, Mary, or Lyndele. Note that if you have requested direct deposit of your stipend payments that your travel reimbursement will also be direct deposited.


For daily transportation, UVa has an extensive, and free, bus system, and the Charlottesville Area Transit buses are only $0.75 each way, or $20 for a month pass. Note that none of the buses go out to the NTC, so it is advisable to have a car or a plan for sharing rides if you need to work there.

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 UserRegistration self-serve topic.There is also a 20-minute TwentyMinuteTutorial available if you would like to learn how to use this communication medium.


Feel free to use the canteen facilities (fridge, microwave, etc) at the ER or NTC facilities. There are a few places to buy lunch within walking distance of ER, including the Observatory Hill Dining Hall and Crossroads Snack Bar.

There are also several semi-regular lunch activities which you may like to participate in:
  • 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, veggie options are available. It costs about $6-$7/person.

Other Weekly Activities

Green Bank Visit

We will make a 5 day trip to our Green Bank facility on June 5 for a Radio Summer School. Green Bank WV is ~2hr 40min drive west of Charlottesville. We will have lectures about radio astronomy, a few workshops, some observing time, and 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.

* Photos from the Green Bank trip.

Visit from Green Bank Students:

We will host a visit from the Green Bank summer students later in the summer. We will have a mini-symposium where GB students and CV students briefly present their summer projects to each other. We'll also have a 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 Monticello
  • 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)
  • Visit the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton (1hr west)
  • Trip to the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton (1hr west)
  • Hike Appalachian trail (8mo, GA to MA. Or parts of it 45min W)
  • Drive Blueridge Parkway and/or Skyland Drive to find lots of good hiking (beware motorhomes)
  • Visit many Civil War battle fields (Manassas, Bull Run, Appomattox, Brandy Station, Fredericksburg, Front Royal, Lynchburg, Spotsylvania Court House, Waynesboro, etc, etc).
  • Various events and festivals around the state
  • 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 will also produce a written report, which should be 4 pages minimum, outlining your summer research, and present this to Jim Braatz by the end of August. Prepare the report in PDF format. You must hand in your written report on time if you want any hope of getting financial support to attend the January AAS meeting (more info on that later).


Don't hesitate to ask Jim Braatz (jbraatz at nrao dot edu) or any NRAO staff member if you have questions.

-- JimBraatz - 2017-05-22

Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
2017CalendarUVA.pdfpdf 2017CalendarUVA.pdf manage 33 K 2017-05-31 - 18:39 JimBraatz 2017 UVA activities calendar
HealthWellnessAroundCV.pdfpdf HealthWellnessAroundCV.pdf manage 40 K 2017-05-31 - 18:40 JimBraatz Health and Wellness resources
SummerStudentOrientation2017.pdfpdf SummerStudentOrientation2017.pdf manage 9 MB 2017-05-26 - 16:01 JimBraatz Orientation Slides
Topic revision: r5 - 2017-06-23, JimBraatz
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