Las Campanas Remote Observatory and Remote Telescopes

This summer has been the summer of remote telescopes!  This summer we have begun some tests using the fantastic Las Campanas Remote Observatory (LCRO), developed by Mike Long, Dave Jurasevich, and his friends at Carnegie Observatories at the best observing site at Earth, Las Campanas, Chile. It is hard to imagine the clarity and depth of […]

Palomar Observatory Observing

One of the highlights of the summer was our magical visit to Palomar Observatory – the world’s largest telescope from 1951 until 1988, and George Ellery Hale’s last masterpiece in steel and glass. The 200″ telescope is a monument to the inspiration and power of science, and is something of a cathedral of astronomy. We […]

Pomona College Astronomy work

During Day 3 our undergraduates were at Pomona College, where we offered them a workshop in high energy astrophysics data analysis by Loredana Vertere. Loredana led the students in an analysis of data from the Swift X-ray satellite, and we also enjoyed a planetarium show by Loredana, and our student Charlie Watson. Mike Long from […]

Visit to Big Bear Solar Observatory

We visited the Big Bear Solar Observatory as part of our Caltech ZTF Summer Undergraduate institute. During the trip we were joined by Jay Pasachoff, from Williams College. Jay is one of the world’s foremost solar astronomers, and a veteran of over 50 total solar eclipses all over the earth (perhaps close to setting a […]

Talk by Aditya Sood (Pom ’97) at Caltech Summer institute

My former student, Aditya Sood (Pom ’97), gave a wonderful talk to our undergraduate researchers at Caltech on the second day of our Caltech Summer Undergraduate Astronomy Institute. Aditya took my Astronomy 1 course at Pomona many years ago, and it was part of his development as a broadly educated liberal arts student – which […]

Caltech ZTF Summer Undergraduate Astronomy Institute

For the second year in a row, we have offered the ZTF Summer Undergraduate Astronomy Institute. The program is funded by our NSF grant for ZTF, and brings together 16 students from Caltech SURF projects and from Pomona SURP projects. You can see more information at our web site at This year we were […]

Visit to Stanford University + CTL talk and STEM futures discussion

My trip to sun-drenched Palo Alto gave a wonderful chance to meet with some of the leaders in STEM education at Stanford University. I had a great set of meetings that included discussions about science education with Carl Wieman, Physics Nobel laureate from 1997, Drew Endy, a leading “synthetic biologist” and Robyn Wright Dunbar, Director […]

Carleton College Graduation

On June 11, I had the honor and privilege of attending the graduation of my first-born daughter Shanti from Carleton College. I ordinarily do not try to post family events on this site, but the phenomenon of attending a graduation as a parent – instead of as a professor – was an amazing event. It […]

Yale Workshop on Globalizing Liberal Arts – June 8-9

During the June Yale meeting we designed the time so that it was split into two stages. The first stage was the Symposium, on June 6-7, which was two days of thought-provoking speeches and panels with some good questions afterwards. The second stage, from June 8-9, was what we called the Workshop – and in […]

Yale University Symposium – Globalizing the Liberal Arts

On June 6-7, we had our Yale-NUS Symposium on Globalizing the Liberal Arts at Yale University. The event included talks from a number of leaders in higher education today – and was a major project for me over the past two years. I was able to help Yale-NUS College get funding from the Teagle and […]