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Astronomy
Picture of the Day
TODAY
18th January 2008
Supernova Factory
NGC 2770
19th July 2005
A Nearby Supernova in M51
SN 2005bf
27th October 2005
The Last Titan
TEACHING AND MENTORING

Teaching and mentoring have played an important role in my academic experience. I am passionate about teaching, and regard my role as teacher and educator as an integral part of our profession that also strongly interacts with my role as researcher.} Indeed, I have encountered some of the best research questions in the classroom setting. My teaching repertoire at NYU includes three classes: one grad level (Stars and Stellar Explosions) and two undergraduate level ("CORE: From Quarks to Cosmos" for non-majors and non-scientist undergrads and "Observational Astronomy" for undergrads that includes an additional lab component with real telescopes!) - all of which I have immensely enjoyed teaching!

During Spring 2013, I initiated and co-organized the NYU Physics and Astrophysics Stats seminar, for which all informal seminar were recorded and are freely available on Youtube here.

Even earlier, throughout my graduate and postdoctoral career, I pursued a variety of educational and mentoring activities that I have found extremely rewarding and that allowed me to formulate and refine my own teaching and mentoring style. I was a Teaching Fellow for a number of introductory astronomy courses for non-majors: at Harvard University for Science A-35 "Matter and the Universe''(Spring 2002 & 2003) and Science A-47 "Cosmic Connections'' (Fall 2005), and at UC Berkeley for Astronomy 10 "General Astronomy" (Fall 2000). I received numerous teaching awards and was invited twice to lecture at the Teaching Conference (2004, 2005) held at the Harvard Bok Center for Teaching and Learning.

I also served as a Mentor for Women in Science at Harvard-Radcliffe, (WISHR) during 2003-2005 and was on the board of the Harvard Grad Women in Science and Engineering 2005 - 2007. At Berkeley, I was a mentor with the Society for Women in the Physical Sciences (2007 - 2008). Beyond my mentoring and outreach activities (see CV), I have led professional development events for graduate students on e.g., How to give a Good Talk (My & Mo's presentation) (as part of the GradStudent-Postdoc-Seminars at UC Berkeley), co-organized Women in Astronomy chats at UC Berkeley and co-founded "Astro Women Cookies" at Harvard.

PUBLIC OUTREACH

Science does not live in a vacuum. As much as scientific research is important in itself, it is crucial to communicate its results well to the broader public. The subject of astronomy with its innate public appeal is well-suited as a vehicle to inspire interest in science and the scientific thinking process, and thus I am very passionate about astronomy-related public outreach.

Over the years I have participated in and lead a number of outreach activies - here are a few hightlights.

  • Spence School : As the Vice Provost's Fellow for Diversity, I'm leading the pilot program of the partnership between the NYU Vice Provost office and Spence school, an all-girls K-12 school, during Fall of 2016. Here are pictures (Courtesy of The Spence School) of one of my visits to Spence school, namely their Middle-school assembly, with 200 students in the audience, with a great write-up.

  • Video : YouTube video for "Scientific American"'s "Ask an Expert" (5/2013)

  • Science guest on Talk show on Zvieri TV "The Terror of Nothing" and at Standup comedy show "Heart of Darkness" (2013)

  • Talk at the school teacher workshop as part of the NYU Saturday Science Seminar Series (12/2012)

  • Public talks, e.g, NYU, Columbia, Mount Diablo Astronomical Society, CA

  • Video : I held a public talk in the context of IYA (International Year of Astronomy) 2009 through the UC Berkeley public talk series, with 150-200 people in attendance (see above pictures). It was great! People really enjoyed the interactive nature of my talk and had excellent questions. A video of my talk, as well as all others during the monthly public talk series is available here.


    Maryam Modjaz: Cosmic Fireworks - The Explosive Deaths of Massive Stars from Steve Croft on Vimeo.


    Maryam in the News - Press on my work on SN 2008D:

  • Press release

  • California Magazine - Nov/Dec 2008 Feature Article (with a portrait of me on the roof of the Astronomy Building)

  • NPR Interview

  • Physics Today - August 2008 Article

  • Miller Institute Focus

  • Daily Cal (Berkeley based Newspaper)

  • CS Monitor

  • Astronomy Now Online

  • McClatchy Newspapers, E Science News, ScienceDaily

  • online story

  • Interview on Radio show "You'd Prefer an Astronaut"

    Paper:
    Modjaz, M. et al., 2009, "From Shock Breakout to Peak and Beyond: Extensive Panchromatic Observations of the Type Ib Supernova 2008D associated with Swift X-ray Transient 080109", ApJ, 702, 226 ([as pdf ]


  • "Ask an Astronomer" for "Sky & Telescope Magazine" on Black Holes

  • Lead a discussion on Supernovae and Supernova Remnants with local high school children in Cambridge, MA.

  • Interview with high-school children from the Black Hole Summer Institute on SN and black holes