By: Jeremy Y
I legit don’t know what to talk about, but I guess I’ll just go through my day, which honestly flew by pretty fast. I went to sleep the previous night thinking there was no pset due, so I was ready to just chill for today. The first lecture of the day was an introduction to the actual orbit determination and went over angular momentum and direction to perihelion. I think the main motto from that lecture is that whenever numbers are ugly, astronomers just set them equal to 1 and mess with the units — which is actually pretty genius. Either way, the cross products had me tripping a little during the lecture but in the end it made sense (sorta).
During the break, we played some skribbl. We started with the normal words and tried to do astrophysics words later, but that didn’t really work out. The game was a lot of fun, but I think the best part was Andrew L guessing “bans” on a 4-letter word when the hint was _ A _ _, the answer was NASA, and Sunny had drawn its logo (essentially perfectly). Anyway, here’s a cracked drawing on Elon Musk.
Goated drawing of Elon Musk by Andrew L
Next part of lecture was a LaTeX workshop of sorts, hosted by the great Dr. H. I was somewhat familiar with LaTeX before coming into the program, but there’s still a ton of stuff that I needed to brush up on. After going over a quick tutorial, we got into our observing groups and practiced working on a template doc and making a bibliography. Below you can see one of our versions of one page in the doc. Just as a disclaimer, the instructions for the activity said to “type silly things into it,” and the picture is of a famous guy from a well-known meme (if you don’t know, just ask me what’s DN)!
Snapshot from the LaTeX workshop (disclaimer: the instructions said to “type silly things into it”）
Between the second lecture block and the workplay block, I kinda just existed. I lowkey forgot what I did during that time. Anyway, it turned out that there was a typo and that there was actually some orbit determination code due, but it didn’t turn out to be that bad; I honestly feel that the hardest part was just reading the data in, but it was kinda fun. It also feels kinda cool to be compiling our code and prepping it for the actual OD.
After finishing the OD pset during the first part of workplay (which consisted of a little bit of trolling, my apologies to Sarah, Hillary, and Andrew L), I ended up hopping on Minecraft with a few peeps to grind a little bit. It feels like we made progress, even though we spent like 30 minutes taking the photo shown below (it looks very cool though, pog).
Minecraft goats Vinny, Ian, Neil, Andrew L, Alex Y, and me (full diamond btw, thanks Vinny)
Shoutout to Vinny for legit mining a full set of diamond in like 5 minutes. Neil’s boat clutch also got unintentionally memed by Mason. Also, we need more people to join the server — it’s very friendly and collaborative.
Now, for some closing thoughts on the program as a whole, I feel like a lot of previous blogs have already said it but SSP is pretty awesome. Even though it’s kinda unfortunate that we are online and not in-person, the professors, TAs, Ms. M, and just everyone as a whole has done an amazing job of making the program a great experience, and I can’t believe how much I’ve learned in just these past few weeks. Finally, I don’t think it needs to be said again, but everyone here is actually so cool.
Hi, I’m Jeremy, a rising senior from Coppell, Texas. I have one older brother who is gonna be a senior in college and sadly no pets. My favorite subjects are math and CS, but SSP has started to warm me up to some astro stuff. I enjoy competing in tennis tournaments and math contests, and I’m a semi-avid anime watcher and chess player. Also, add me on league, but after the program is over.