Title: Associate Professor and Director of the Anderson Hancock Planetarium
Education: Ph.D. in Astronomy, Harvard University, 2004; Master of Arts in Astronomy, Harvard University, 1998; Bachelor of Arts in Physics, Rice University, 1996
Research Interests: I am currently interested in how open star clusters evolve and change over time. Because these changes occur slowly compared to typical human timescales, computer simulations are often required to explore the dynamics. I am also interested in how planetarium lessons affect conceptual learning of astronomy topics.
- Co-author on poster presentation at Spring 2013 OSAPS meeting based on capstone project with students:
- Jennifer Kachel, Ann Bragg, & Cavendish McKay, 3-D Simulations of Open Star Cluster Evolution Using the King Model.
- Shelby Lee, Cavendish McKay, & Ann Bragg, Analysis of relaxation time from numerical simulations of open star clusters.
- Presented a paper entitled The (MC)2 Science Collaborative and Ohio Standards-Based Planetarium Programs at the Anderson Hancock Planetarium at the 2012 meeting of the International Planetarium Society in Baton Rouge, LA. The paper was eventually published in the conference proceedings.
- Co-author on poster presentation at Spring 2012 OSAPS meeting based on capstone project with student:
Parker, A., Bard, D. & Bragg, A., The Effects of Improved Photometric Redshifts of Luminous Red Galaxies from SDSS in a Three-Point Galaxy Correlation Function
- Presented a paper entitled The (MC)2 Science Collaborative and Ohio Standards-Based Planetarium Programs at the AHP at the Fall 2011 meeting of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association in Champaign, IL. The paper was later published in the conference proceedings.
- Presented a talk entitled The (MC)2 Science Collaborative and Ohio Standards-Based Planetarium Programs at the Anderson Hancock Planetarium at the Ohio Planetarians Meeting in New Wilmington, PA on May 7, 2011.
- Co-author on poster presentation at Spring 2011 OSAPS meeting based on capstone project with student: Long, Z. & Bragg, A., Determining the Cause of Mass Segregation in h Persei
Courses (Fall 2014): Modern Physics and Introduction to Astronomy
Courses (Spring 2015): Astrophysics, General Physics Lab II, and TBD
Phone: (740) 376-4589
What can a student expect when taking one of your classes?
Students in my astronomy classes can expect to learn how we know what we know, as the process of discovery is often even more interesting than what is actually discovered.
What excites you about teaching at Marietta College?
I enjoy teaching a wide variety of students, from physics majors who are committed to the discipline, to non-science majors who choose to take astronomy to fulfill general education requirements. Unlike other, larger, schools where I have taught, the smaller class sizes at Marietta allow much more interaction between students and faculty and thus more opportunity to get to know the students as well-rounded individuals.
When you aren’t teaching, what other activities do you enjoy?
Bicycling up and down the hills of Washington County and reading a variety of fiction and non-fiction works.
Do you prefer flipping through the pages of a book or an e-book?
A real paper book
What is your favorite location on campus and why?
The Anderson Hancock Planetarium! Whether it is being used to teach Marietta College students how we understand our place in the Universe or for outreach to the greater Marietta community, we are lucky to have a first-class star theater on campus.
What is your favorite Marietta College event?