Astronomy

Were we there?

二月的暖气片上的灰尘,三月阳光下冰面上的水雾,四月的玉兰上的露水,五月蛋糕上最后一支燃烧着的生日蜡烛,六月的潮湿空气里呐喊,七月空荡荡房间内孤独的梦魇。仿佛一年的365天成为了上个世纪的事情。一切文字在信纸上跳跃消散,最后一丝的划痕挣扎了一两下之后被折叠在时间里。藕断,丝也断。没有什么再被连接起来。时间,时间斩去了一切的回溯的希望,把你限制在墒增的厚厚的茧里,如果你不变态羽化,那么只有消亡。偶尔,在梦里,你的声音和他的脸,我们不约而同的哼起曾经共同熟悉的旋律。泪水,似乎早已将我们淹没。

手里捧着那二十多年来丢失的断丝,逐渐意识到,它们才是永恒的,而我们,以及我们之间,转瞬即逝。我们还在那里,那个时间和空间。只是,我们已经不再。

 

The floating dust burned into the wall above the heater in February, the dancing water mist over the thin ice in March, the dew on the magnolia in April, the last burning birthday candle on the cake in May, the growl in the moist air in June, the lonely nightmare in an empty room in July. It seems that 365 days of a year have become a thing from the last century. All the alphabets scattered and dissipated on the surface the paper, and the last trace of scratches was folded in time after struggling for a couple of times in vain. The lotus root is broken, so are the clinging fibers. Nothing is connected anymore. Time, time chopped off all hope of going back, confining you to the thickest cocoon. If you do not grow out of a transformation, then die inside. Occasionally, in a dream, your voice, and his face, we invariably hummed the melody that we used to know.

Holding the broken clinging fibers that have been lost for more than 20 years, I gradually realized that they are eternal. While we, and the connections between us, are just a blink of an eye. We are still there, that time and space. Yet, we are no longer there.

Astronomy

2010-2020

一转眼又一个十年。

这十年间,我转辗于北京,南京和巴黎,再到智利的圣地亚哥。从一个本科毕业生变成了一个博士后。终于在学术的世界里有了自己的小小的立足点,从一个天文爱好者成长为一个稚嫩的天体物理研究者。

这十年间,也算是走过了好几个“行万里路”,将自己的足迹遍布在三大洲的十几个国家的土地上。看了上千部电影,听了上百张专辑,看了上百本书。似乎有什么不同,然而似乎又一丝波澜都未留下。

这十年间,经历了全球化的兴起高潮以及现在的衰落。曾经对未来充满希望的我,在这末尾的节点,却忧心忡忡。在时代的洪流里,我们总觉得我们参与在其中,然而却也只是被卷着随波逐流。

这十年间,不断的更新着P(E|H),对自己的P(H|E)进行着一遍一遍的毁灭式的洗刷。有时候悔恨自己当年年少无知,有时候又会感叹什么东西永远的逝去了。变化是唯一的不变。但也有一些始终未变的,贯穿始终。

这十年间,此世,一些人来了又走,随同带走了岁月里镶嵌在风中的痕迹。却又在每个人心里深深的烙下一些。

一转眼又一个十年。还是充满着期待。

Astronomy

On hunting an academic job

Today, Julien Milli talked about his academic career path in ESO. He offers many useful suggestions which are especially helpful for people working in observatories.

The first thing that we astronomers should keep in mind is that we are privileged to be astronomers. We are able to do what we like as a career, and make a living with that.

 

Here I made a list of some of them which I think are inspiring.

  • Time management
    • preserve the science time;
    • keep a healthy lifestyle (!);
    • manage the priority, there’s always more to do;
  • Need to find a role model.
  • Independently build new collaborations, extended research areas.
    • Some institutes downgrade if there is a large overlap with your Ph.D. advisor in publications.
  • Build a tie with the future institute and team
    • Look for support from a team/institute and present your work there
    • Build a project in agreement with the institute’s priorities/research area
  • Keep a good publication record
    • Quality and quantity
  • Keep strong involvement with the European community & instruments
  • Maintain a good connection with ESO, with the people there
    • In the case of ALMA, via instrumentation? Data reduction technique?
  • The advantage of having 50% duty works
    • Knowing the instrument helps with making the best of the data — best quality of data reduction and debugging the data
    • Using the chance to find more collaborations with a good knowledge of the observatory

Astronomy

A personal academic summary of 2018

It would always be a good idea to summarize the year towards its end. This year is the 1st year of my postdoc life, after graduating as a Ph.D. September last year. It has been a challenging year for me, transforming from a graduate student to an independent young researcher, especially as an ESO fellow (meaning that you are 100% independent).

 

It is not easy to build your own idea almost from scratch, but it is the skill that must be mastered if one wants to pursue an academic career path and finally become an independent researcher. That’s what I must learn. I had some new thoughts during the year but turned out to be “old ideas” or “unrealistic ideas” after discussing with senior astronomers. It was quite discouraging but they are the lessons to be learned. Besides, “networking” has also become a key skill to become a good researcher, and I need to work on my own to be known by other researchers and to build new collaborations. Thanks to ESO’s generous funding, I can afford to travel around the world to show my work in conferences and to build new connections. That’s one of the coolest parts of being an ESO fellow (another coolest part is to work with ALMA). But this is also a personal challenge for me as an introverted person, I sometimes find it very difficult to walk to people whom I’ve met for the first time (non-friends) and talk with them during the coffee break in a conference. In most of the cases, I found I was not sure what to say. That is the thing that I need to work out.

Anyway, I’ve learned a lot this year and the experiences have been very helpful. I really hope the summary of the year below can be doubled when I do the summary for 2019.

  • Publications
    • submitted 1 first-author paper, under revision to be resubmitted
    • published 7 co-author papers
  • Proposals:
    • ALMA: 2B, 1C
    • NOEMA: 3A
    • JVLA: 1C
    • APEX/SEPIA-9: 1A
    • several co-I proposals, including a NOEMA large program
  • Conferences/talks: 
    • 4 seminars talks @UV(Chile), Oxford(UK), Durham(UK), DWAN-DTU(Denmark)
    • 1 conference contributing talk @Cambridge 
    • 1 invited talk in a symposium 
  • Professional service:
    • ApJ referee
    • Technical Secretary of the ALMA Cycle-6 Proposal Review meeting

Summary: Need to publish more first-author papers, to work more efficiently, and read more and discuss more to create new ideas on my own that have scientific impacts.