Level Up!

The Muirhead Group had multiple upgrades this week!  First off, graduate student Paul Dalba passed his Oral Qualification Exam on Friday, May 6th, making him the group’s first official Ph.D. Candidate.  Paul gave a 45 minute talk to the department, entitled  (Exo)Planetary Science: How Saturn Informs a New Era of Long-Period Giant Exoplanet Research, ” followed by questions and the obligatory 2 hours of grilling by his committee.

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Meanwhile, on May 10, graduate student Mark Veyette’s paper, entitled “The Physical Mechanism Behind M Dwarf Metallicity Indicators and The Role of C and O Abundances” was accepted to The Astrophysical Journal!  It’s not his first first-authored paper, but it is his first in the Muirhead Group.  We will do a separate write up of his paper on this blog in the near future.

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And finally, graduate student Eunkyu Han passed her written comprehensive exam, the first exam toward candidacy (the second being the Oral Exam, which Paul just passed).  The "comps” is a 2-day exam, taking 3 hours each day.   This, all while she was finalizing a first-author paper with her group from undergrad, entitled “The putative old, nearby cluster Lodén 1 does not exist”, which was just accepted to The Astronomical Journal!  I myself had one of these written exams in grad school, and although the exam itself is enormously stressful, the act of studying is a good way to develop a backbone in physics and astronomy. 


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Congratulations graduate students!

-Phil Muirhead