Astrophysics, Fashion, and DJ Carly Sagan: An Interview with Emily Rice

People get worried about being on this direct path, especially for something that’s perceived as competitive, like science or academia, but really there’s a lot of people that took a more winding path or forged their own way.

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Interview by Alex Hanson

Emily Rice is an astrophysicist, assistant professor at City University of New York, research associate at the American Museum of Natural History, co-founder at the astronomy-meets-fashion blog STARtorialist, host of Astronomy on Tap in New York City, parody video creator, and overall kickass lady. She is a master of combining the expressive and the scientific, and her projects contribute to a sense of community within astronomy, as well as showing the general public that science can be fun and creative. I got to interview Emily over Google Hangout about her work, STARtorialist, and her DJ alter ego. Continue reading “Astrophysics, Fashion, and DJ Carly Sagan: An Interview with Emily Rice”

STEM and the Arts: Why Choose?

The foundations of science rest on good artistry, just as good artistry depends on good science.

by Lynn Wang

Illustration by Charlotte Southall

A great deal of the way we talk about education and careers has to do with this implicit understanding that STEM and the arts—liberal and otherwise—are at odds with each other. You can hear it in the way your history teachers rail against your high school’s devotion to the arts, scornfully dubbed a “waste of resources.” Maybe you’re an art student who is amazing at what you do, but can’t fathom yourself sitting in another math class because x is just too hard to find. Or maybe you constantly have to listen to grumpy uncles who blame our generation’s unemployment on lazy millennials who all pick up English majors because they’re too stupid to hack (haha, get it?) an engineering or computer science degree.

Maybe it’s your classmates who reinforce the divide. It’s easy to spot in the way your engineering friends sneer at English majors, and vice versa. Or you’ve noticed how all your liberal arts-oriented peers on your semester abroad started to treat you differently when they found out you were a biochemistry major. The message are all the same: MATLAB doesn’t get along with Matisse, and that’s just the way it is. Continue reading “STEM and the Arts: Why Choose?”

To Be Science or Not To Be Science

What exactly is science?

by Melody Xu 

Cartoons by Alex Hanson

What exactly is science? What, if anything, makes it different from the humanities? There is no definitive answer to these questions. For the sake of discussion, however, let’s draw the line between science, which I’ll define as having the goal of discovering the true nature of the world, and other academic fields. I’ll recognize three different distinctions between science and other academic fields: the role of empiricism, the role of mathematics, and, finally, the role of peer review. Continue reading “To Be Science or Not To Be Science”

The Python in Film School

The way a programmer thinks is not so different from the way someone in the film industry thinks.

by Tessa Keough

Illustration by Alex Hanson

Few people would expect a film student to add a course in Computer Science to their schedule. However, since my university’s individualized program allows me to focus in film and explore other subjects, I was able to do so. From a pure “I need a job when I graduate” perspective, I took the class in order to add software development to my list of skills, knowing that this would make me more marketable, contemporaneous, and would distinguish me from others in the film industry. There are few professions that do not require interacting with a computer in some way. With technology advancing daily, it is becoming more and more important to the electronics we use, and how to manipulate them to our advantage. Computer science is essential for this. Continue reading “The Python in Film School”