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ASTRONOMY GRAD STUDENT: A Subject That Unites Science And Mathematics

About this video 

Aaron is a graduate student in astronomy. He describes what a typical day looks like for him. Although he was always interested in math and science it wasn't until he took an astronomy class that he discovered his passion. Aaron also talks about what traits make for good scientists.

Degree: Astronomy and Astrophysics - Mathematics
Job Title: Graduate Student

Job Summary: Astronomers

Job Description

Physicists and astronomers study the fundamental nature of the universe, ranging from the vastness of space to the smallest of subatomic particles. They develop new technologies, methods, and theories based on the results of their research that deepen our understanding of how things work and contribute to innovative, real-world applications.

On-the-Job Training

None

Additional Info

Many physics and astronomy Ph.D. holders begin their careers in a temporary postdoctoral research position, which typically lasts 2 to 3 years. During their postdoctoral appointment, they work with experienced scientists as they continue to learn about their specialties or develop a broader understanding of related areas of research.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$60,000 - $170,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
10 to 20 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time, Irregular
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Home, Physically demanding, Hospital / Clinic, Indoor, Office, Travel
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Analytical skills, Problem solving skills, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='0'>So</span> <span m='340'>I am</span> <span m='690'>a</span> <span m='790'>graduate</span> <span m='1280'>in</span> <span m='1450'>the</span> <span m='1570'>Astronomy</span> <span m='1960'>department</span> <span m='2410'>at</span> <span m='2510'>UC</span> <span m='2810'>Berkeley.</span> <span m='4010'>So</span> <span m='4120'>usually,</span> <span m='4630'>I</span> <span m='4730'>wake</span> <span m='5060'>up</span> <span m='5450'>around</span> <span m='5810'>like</span> <span m='5980'>9:00</span> <span m='6260'>or</span> <span m='6340'>10:00ish.</span> <span m='7180'>Get</span> <span m='7280'>my</span> <span m='7400'>coffee,</span> <span m='8100'>which</span> <span m='8530'>all</span> <span m='9020'>scientists</span> <span m='9440'>need</span> <span m='10460'>to</span> <span m='10710'>survive</span> <span m='11340'>on</span> <span m='11460'>a</span> <span m='11520'>day</span> <span m='11740'>to</span> <span m='11780'>day</span> <span m='11950'>basis.</span> <span m='12950'>Go</span> <span m='13070'>to</span> <span m='13150'>work,</span> <span m='13530'>and</span> <span m='13840'>a</span> <span m='13950'>lot</span> <span m='14120'>of</span> <span m='14170'>my</span> <span m='14280'>work</span> <span m='15070'>takes</span> <span m='15750'>place</span> <span m='15990'>in</span> <span m='16079'>front</span> <span m='16250'>of</span> <span m='16309'>a</span> <span m='16370'>computer.</span> <span m='17230'>So</span> <span m='17390'>I</span> <span m='17540'>do</span> <span m='17730'>theoretical</span> <span m='18410'>astrophysics,</span> <span m='19020'>so</span> <span m='19140'>it's</span> <span m='19250'>a</span> <span m='19320'>lot</span> <span m='19540'>of</span> <span m='19630'>computer</span> <span m='20030'>programming,</span> <span m='20790'>a</span> <span m='20870'>lot</span> <span m='21150'>of</span> <span m='21500'>mathematics</span> <span m='22250'>and</span> <span m='22380'>science</span> <span m='22800'>that's</span> <span m='23060'>done</span> <span m='23360'>just</span> <span m='23530'>on</span> <span m='23730'>a</span> <span m='23790'>computer</span> <span m='24050'>or</span> <span m='24360'>pen</span> <span m='24530'>and</span> <span m='24660'>paper.</span> <span m='25460'>Some of</span> <span m='25920'>my</span> <span m='26070'>colleagues</span> <span m='27310'>work</span> <span m='27550'>at</span> <span m='27670'>telescopes,</span> <span m='28270'>so</span> <span m='28500'>they</span> <span m='28710'>might</span> <span m='29000'>spend</span> <span m='29190'>their</span> <span m='29280'>days</span> <span m='29650'>also</span> <span m='29940'>at their</span> <span m='30160'>computer.</span> <span m='30970'>But</span> <span m='31090'>then</span> <span m='31280'>at</span> <span m='31470'>night,</span> <span m='31770'>they</span> <span m='31860'>might</span> <span m='32119'>drive</span> <span m='32420'>up</span> <span m='32549'>to</span> <span m='32680'>a</span> <span m='32710'>local</span> <span m='33000'>telescope</span> <span m='33320'>like</span> <span m='33640'>Tech</span> <span m='33830'>Observatory,</span> <span m='34150'>Lick,</span> <span m='35670'>and</span> <span m='35790'>use</span> <span m='36030'>telescopes</span> <span m='36325'>to</span> <span m='36620'>look</span> <span m='36790'>at</span> <span m='36890'>things</span> <span m='37110'>in the</span> <span m='37220'>universe.</span> </p><p><span m='37555'>It</span> <span m='37890'>has</span> <span m='38010'>actually</span> <span m='38520'>been</span> <span m='38740'>an interesting</span> <span m='39180'>one.</span> <span m='39520'>So</span> <span m='39640'>I</span> <span m='39760'>was</span> <span m='39910'>always</span> <span m='40160'>interested</span> <span m='40650'>in</span> <span m='40820'>science</span> <span m='41330'>and</span> <span m='41410'>mathematics</span> <span m='41740'>as a kid,</span> <span m='43080'>but</span> <span m='43460'>I</span> <span m='43620'>never</span> <span m='43870'>quite</span> <span m='44430'>knew</span> <span m='45390'>what</span> <span m='45680'>field</span> <span m='46020'>I</span> <span m='46210'>could</span> <span m='46280'>do</span> <span m='46570'>that</span> <span m='46720'>would</span> <span m='46800'>kind of</span> <span m='47080'>utilize</span> <span m='47790'>all</span> <span m='48080'>my</span> <span m='48240'>interests.</span> <span m='49190'>And</span> <span m='49360'>then</span> <span m='49500'>I</span> <span m='49560'>took</span> <span m='49750'>an</span> <span m='49850'>astronomy</span> <span m='50350'>class</span> <span m='50670'>in</span> <span m='50790'>college</span> <span m='51720'>that</span> <span m='52070'>really</span> <span m='52290'>showed</span> <span m='52650'>me</span> <span m='52770'>that</span> <span m='53420'>astronomy</span> <span m='54140'>is</span> <span m='54290'>something</span> <span m='54670'>that</span> <span m='54870'>can</span> <span m='55190'>really</span> <span m='55440'>unite</span> <span m='55830'>science.</span> <span m='56190'>It</span> <span m='56550'>can unite</span> <span m='56930'>mathematics,</span> <span m='57970'>and</span> <span m='58120'>it's</span> <span m='58250'>also</span> <span m='58530'>a</span> <span m='58600'>creative</span> <span m='59220'>endeavor.</span> <span m='59650'>It's</span> <span m='59730'>something</span> <span m='60020'>that</span> <span m='60350'>you</span> <span m='60480'>can</span> <span m='60700'>really</span> <span m='61010'>just</span> <span m='62030'>sit</span> <span m='62250'>back,</span> <span m='62680'>think</span> <span m='62850'>about,</span> <span m='63170'>dream</span> <span m='63490'>about,</span> <span m='64700'>and</span> <span m='64879'>that</span> <span m='65060'>actually</span> <span m='65379'>can</span> <span m='65540'>give</span> <span m='65660'>you</span> <span m='65750'>great</span> <span m='66040'>ideas</span> <span m='66390'>about</span> <span m='66590'>how</span> <span m='66780'>to</span> <span m='66890'>understand</span> <span m='67700'>all</span> <span m='68270'>the</span> <span m='68390'>amazing</span> <span m='68740'>things</span> <span m='68980'>that</span> <span m='69120'>are</span> <span m='69270'>around us.</span> </p><p><span m='70460'>So</span> <span m='70890'>astronomy</span> <span m='71460'>is</span> <span m='71610'>a</span> <span m='71640'>great</span> <span m='71990'>field</span> <span m='72470'>if</span> <span m='72560'>you</span> <span m='72710'>like</span> <span m='72930'>to</span> <span m='73010'>solve</span> <span m='73265'>puzzles.</span> <span m='74520'>So</span> <span m='74970'>I</span> <span m='75170'>always</span> <span m='75340'>like</span> <span m='75490'>to</span> <span m='75540'>think</span> <span m='75720'>of</span> <span m='75790'>scientists</span> <span m='77580'>as</span> <span m='78400'>professional</span> <span m='78850'>puzzle</span> <span m='79210'>solvers.</span> <span m='79860'>So</span> <span m='80200'>if</span> <span m='80260'>you</span> <span m='80400'>like</span> <span m='80620'>solving</span> <span m='80990'>puzzles,</span> <span m='81410'>if you</span> <span m='81590'>like</span> <span m='81820'>figuring</span> <span m='82160'>things</span> <span m='82490'>out,</span> <span m='82900'>you</span> <span m='83030'>like</span> <span m='83260'>putting</span> <span m='83500'>pieces</span> <span m='83900'>together</span> <span m='84470'>in</span> <span m='84560'>order</span> <span m='84690'>to</span> <span m='84780'>understand</span> <span m='85410'>something,</span> <span m='86280'>then</span> <span m='86700'>any</span> <span m='87000'>form</span> <span m='87320'>of</span> <span m='87550'>science, not</span> <span m='87700'>even</span> <span m='88090'>just</span> <span m='88290'>astronomy,</span> <span m='89220'>but</span> <span m='89670'>I'm</span> <span m='89850'>biased</span> <span m='90310'>and I</span> <span m='90460'>would</span> <span m='90660'>say</span> <span m='90770'>you should</span> <span m='90830'>definitely do</span> <span m='91190'>astronomy,</span> <span m='92200'>but</span> <span m='92400'>any</span> <span m='92670'>science</span> <span m='93040'>in</span> <span m='93160'>general</span> <span m='94310'>would</span> <span m='94590'>be</span> <span m='94865'>a</span> <span m='95140'>great</span> <span m='95450'>career</span> <span m='95780'>path for</span> <span m='96140'>anyone</span> <span m='96380'>who</span> <span m='96490'>likes to</span> <span m='96840'>solve</span> <span m='97040'>puzzles</span> <span m='97430'>and</span> <span m='97550'>think and</span> <span m='97960'>figure</span> <span m='98210'>things</span> <span m='98480'>out.</span> <span m='99510'>So</span> <span m='99630'>it's</span> <span m='99750'>a</span> <span m='99840'>lot</span> <span m='100080'>of</span> <span m='100140'>mathematics,</span> <span m='100810'>a lot of</span> <span m='101170'>science.</span> <span m='101600'>Also,</span> <span m='102280'>if</span> <span m='102360'>you</span> <span m='102470'>like</span> <span m='102650'>math,</span> <span m='103240'>if</span> <span m='103440'>you</span> <span m='103580'>like</span> <span m='103710'>computer</span> <span m='104030'>programming,</span> <span m='105930'>astronomy</span> <span m='106320'>can</span> <span m='106380'>be</span> <span m='106460'>a</span> <span m='106500'>great</span> <span m='106780'>field.</span> </p>","file":{"id":305254,"video_id":"2785933300001","name":"1380-Aaron-p-Astronomer","duration":107764,"thumbnail_url":null}});