Senior Astronomy major Joseph Michail, used his VURF Travel grant to present his research at two prefoessional conferences.
On his expereince:
American Astronomical Society, 231st Meeting, Washington, D.C.
January 8 - 12, 2018
This was my first experience at a major professional conference, so I wasn't sure what to expect when it came to presenting my research and networking with other astronomers in the field. However, I prepared to make the most of my time at the conference in terms of meeting new people and learning about different areas of astronomy research. I attended nearly all of the major lectures, as well as many of the 10-minute research talks. When presenting my poster, I talked with astronomers working all over the world in the polarimetry field, and even met one of the biggest names known in infrared astronomy. In addition, I attended a graduate school fair to get information about programs I'm interested in applying for next year. Overall, my first experience at a major conference was overwhelmingly positive and I cannot wait to attend another AAS meeting.
Poster Presentation Abstract (First Author): http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2018AAS...23115221M
Poster Presentation Abstract (Co-Author): http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2018AAS...23124724C
American Physical Society, Mid-Atlantic Section Meeting 2017, Newark, N.J.
November 4, 2017
In contrast to the AAS meeting taking place in January 2018, which has astronomers coming from all around the world, the regional APS meeting only had scientists coming from about six states. As I had never given a poster presentation to anyone outside of Villanova, I was obviously worried that I would misstep and misrepresent my research. However, I found this to be a much less cut-throat environment than expected. Since it was a small conference, this allowed me to engage more with scientists who asked about my work. As this poster was a trial run for the AAS conference a few months later, I received good feedback to help me better explain my work in the future. I look forward to going back next year for the next poster session.
APS Abstract Submission (First Author): MAS17-2017-000175