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02-05-2013, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Mathradio View Post
Fixed for you.

I knew Kaspi and Rutledge (Andrew C as well?) performed observational research, and Brandenburger was a theorist, but would a theorist still have to code, implement algorithms or do statistics? (I know both are skills useful in observational astronomy)

Somehow I got on Brandenburger's radar after a conference talk given about the accelerated expansion of the universe... after asking the first question at that conference talk. Granted, almost everyone else that attended knew next to nothing about astronomy or cosmology, but the fact remains that Brandenburger still attended the conference.
I make a lot of ridiculous typos when I type from a cell phone.

They are each great advisers I'm sure. But I doubt there's any one person out there who could work well with all three of them as they're so different... but who knows. I'm sure you'll figure it out soon enough.

Some theorists code and do statistics, it's a continuum really between theorist and observer.

To be honest I'm a bit intimidated by RB as I found his GR class to be really hard; it was my least successful class in undergrad, in terms of the amount of knowledge I got out versus the effort put in. This time I tried and did poorly... granted it was my last semester and I was burned out but still.

A friend of mine wrote an astro-ph posting with him several years ago about cosmic strings. It took him two undergraduate summers to put together, which is pretty good. Cosmic strings are a high-risk high-reward subject. There's very little direct evidence for their existence, and they're ostensibly very intellectually demanding to work on, so not many people work on them; however, they are completely plausible and well-motivated, so it's rational to investigate them and indeed the community as a whole should have a few or many people looking into the issue. Obviously RB can work on many other subjects as well. Inflation studies, for example, might explode in a couple years if the Planck telescope can sort out the systematics. It would explode even further if NASA actually built the LISA array; instead however they are wasting money on JWST.

I work on data analysis. I take great data that's available, where you can believe me that there is great data available everywhere in overabundance just waiting for someone to do something with it, and I compare it to models and I mine it for inconsistencies. A good example of that kind of work would be a work by AC from several years ago, where he investigated several years of radial velocity data to produce what I think was the first probability density function for exoplanets as a function of period. A lot of statistics and a lot of coding. It takes a different skill set... you have to be aware of what a lot of other people are doing, and you have to be able to make links in your mind between seemingly disparate ideas.

I'm sure you'll rapidly converge to doing the type of science that makes best use of talents.

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