Teaching

Sharing knowledge is an integral part of being a scientist, whether it's through teaching, writing or blogging.

Over the course of many exam study sessions, I wrote a set of notes covering many topics in modern astrophysics. An Astrophysics Aperçu is a quantitative, succinct overview of astronomy at the level of graduate study.

In the Spring of 2014 I served as Teaching Assistant for the Harvard College course Astronomy 16: Stellar and Planetary Astronomy. This is an introductory astronomy course designed primarily for freshmen and sophomores interested in majoring in Astrophysics. The 2014 edition of the course was taught by Professor John Johnson using the innovative teaching methods that he has become known for. Foregoing traditional teaching styles based on lecturing and problem sets, the class aims to make the classroom experience more inspiring by directly engaging students to solve problems in groups on blackboards, and then publishing write-ups in the form of blog posts. In this way students are encouraged to think through concepts for themselves instead of 'absorbing' material delivered by a lecturer. This form of active learning ensures students are not distracted, only mechanically taking notes, or worse, falling asleep. Teaching assistants are on hand to help with challenging problems, and can guide students with a socratic method approach rather than handing out answers. 

As teaching assistant, I was also in charge of a lab section. One of the labs we did as part of Astronomy 16 was to observe the eclipsing binary star system NSVS01031772. The video below is the 15-minute introduction I gave the students about this spectroscopic eclipsing binary.

Astronomy 16 - Eclipsing Binary introduction from Marion Dierickx on Vimeo.

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