Morgan Waddy

Departure Date:
06/07/19
Return Date:
08/14/19
Local Institution:
University of Virginia
Local Advisor:
Michael Skrutskie
Foreign Institution:
National Center for Radio Astrophysics
Foreign Advisor:
Bhaswati Bhattacharyya
Student Status:
Undergraduate
  • Q. What country were you staying in?
    • India
  • Q. Where were you doing research?
    • National Center for Radio Astrophysics
  • Q. How long were you there?
    • 9.5 weeks
  • Q. What sort of research were you doing?
    • My project was centered around timing the pulsar J1516-43. I went through all the observations from 2016-2019, took notes on the characteristics of the pulse profile, and generated TOAs for some of the observations, but I wasn’t able to get to the step where I ran tempo.
  • Q. Did being abroad influence the kind of research you’re doing?
    • I think it did slightly because I was working with a pulsar discovered in the GMRT Southern Sky Survey.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing about being abroad?
    • I think the coolest thing about being abroad was the research, I had a lot of fun being trusted to do my own thing within the guidelines of my project. It was my first time being able to focus on my research without having any other work to do.
  • Q. What’s your favorite new phrase from the language?
    • I didn’t learn any unfortunately. I didn’t really need to learn any of the language because most people spoke English.
  • Q. What’s the hardest thing about being abroad?
    • The hardest thing about being abroad was missing friends and family, since summer is usually the time that you get to spend with the people that don’t go to school with you.
  • Q. What did you do in your free time?
    • In my free time I hung out with the other students at my institution. We would often go out to dinner together, go shopping, or go sight-seeing. The other IRES students and I were able to visit some other cities on the weekends, and we even got to see the Taj Mahal.
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done or seen while abroad?
    • I think the coolest thing that I did was I think the Taj Mahal was the coolest thing that I saw while in India, it was breathtaking in person, but the coolest thing that I did was probably just wandering around the back roads of Old Delhi with some UVA students we met while abroad. Old Delhi was teaming with life and there were so many things to do and see, we even got to go to a street restaurant that was featured on a show on Netflix.
  • Q. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done or seen while abroad?
    • I don’t think I did anything weird, but I was very open about meeting new people and trying new foods (which I’m usually not). I don’t think I love Indian breakfast foods, but there was one I had that I thought I would hate that actually blew me away. I completely forgot what it was called but it was like a soup and some bread and it was delicious.f
  • Q. What advice would you offer others thinking of going abroad?
    • I would say to start planning out the stuff you’ll do before you get there, be open to new experiences and new people, and make sure you have a plan for how to get around the city you are staying in.
  • Q. What skills have you learned abroad?
    • I learned more about the command line, and I learned more about doing research in general. I also got to bet more practice with some aspects of presto and with creating some rudimentary scripts.
  • Q. Is there anything you’d do differently or anything you wish you’d have known?
    • I think I would read more of the Handbook for Radio Astronomy before I came, and I would make more of an effort to organize my notes while I was there. I would also start the visa process earlier so that I could arrive earlier and meet my adviser and start work before the conference started because we ended up not being able to do any work during the two weeks of the conference due to our late arrival.