Thursday, 29 December 2016

JJ's 2016 in review.

So that was a busy year. I’m not sure what critical reflection on all of this I can give beyond this was probably at the limit of what I can achieve/do within a year. I spent way too much time working and not enough with family and friends. But at least with the #NZstars2016 conference out of the way and only the proceedings to sort out my time should become a little less constrained and I can try to get some balance back into my life.

Anyway if you're wondering why I've been so stressed this year, here is a probably incomplete list of everything I've done:


Service (astronomy):
  • Organized an IAU Symposium, #NZstars2016 which was complete success on every level! 177 astronomers in NZ to discuss the science find most interesting. Also equity was at the top of our minds when organizing it so will be writing a guide for how to make an inclusive and equitable meeting soon.
  • In collaboration with Nick Rattenbury advised on the science to Gilda Kirkpartick for Astarons Volume 2 which also featured on Real Housewives of Auckland.
  • Took part in discussions to set up Astro Aotearoa of research astronomers in NZ group.
  • For with the Astronomical Society of Australia to boost links to NZ.
  • Joined the ASA Inclusive Diverse Equitable Astronomy (IDEA) committee.
  • Applied for Pleiades award for Auckland Physics Department in collaboration with the department’s equity working group..
  • Multiple public outreach talks in Te Awamatu, Hamilton and AAS again.
  • Curated @astrotweeps for a week.
  • Started writing this blog for science, sci-fi and more stuff!

Service (University, Academia and wider):

Teaching (as one of people with highest teaching load that is still research active!):.
  • Taught 5 courses: 2x 1st year astro, 2nd year astro, 2nd year electromagnetism and 3rd year astro+particles! This all pushed me to the limit and I don’t think my teaching was as good as it could have been. Especially when 4 of these courses were in the same semester. But somehow scraped through for students thinking that my teaching was okay. This was also in addition to being openly gender diverse too.
  • At same time taking a course in Academic Practice, scoring A- grade. Also replanned and rewrote a design for 2nd year courses. Hopefully setting the format for future success of students in physics and to build on the 1st year redesign.
  • Still supervising my 3 PhD students, two of which published papers this year. Two are on course to submit next year and all their science is so super exciting!
  • Continued running the successful seminar series for physics department PhD students. Where previously there was no formal time all the PhD students would be together. This has led to the students having a great feeling of being a cohort of students.
  • Won the departmental teaching award for all of the above, especially the 2nd year course redesign.

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