10 things about the 2017 eclipse you must know

Hello, Readers!

Firstly, check out IU’s plans for the eclipse right here: go.iu.edu/solareclipse Everyone in Indiana will see a partial eclipse.

Map of the Eclipse, Courtesy: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-maps

(1) Do not look at the Sun during the partial eclipse, UNLESS you have the right solar eclipse viewing glasses. Check here if you have the right glasses: https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-safety/iso-certification Look at the map above to find out if you are in the totality or not.

(2) You can look at the sky during totality. If you are under the path of totality, you still CANNOT look at the Sun at all times, except for the duration of totality. The totality is when the Moon completely blocks the Sun. In 2017, the totality may last from 1 second to up to 2 minutes 40 seconds.

(3) About Glasses. Trivial but important: do not look up and then wear glasses. Always wear glasses with your head down, and then look upwards toward the sky and find the Sun.

(4) Eclipse without glasses. If you don’t have glasses, here is a way to make your own pinhole camera:
Leaves act as excellent pinhole cameras.

Sun during a solar eclipse through the leaves of a tree. By User:Ellywa (Self-photographed) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Sun during a solar eclipse through the leaves of a tree. By User:Ellywa (Self-photographed) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

(5) This eclipse is the first Transcontinental Total Solar Eclipse in the USA in 99 years. Interstate highway system didn’t exist the last time.

(6) Largest Organized Mass Transportation. The eclipse will be the largest organized mass transportation in the US history. Expect the traffic on all major highways to be crazy. Plan to have sufficient gas. Carry extra food. Finding restrooms will be hard.

(7) Eclipse in 2024. Another total solar eclipse will come to the United States in 2024.

(8) Total solar eclipses are rare for a given physical location. Los Angeles will see the next total solar eclipse in the year 3290. On April 1st.

Total Solar eclipse 1999 in France.  Credit: Luc Viatour / https://Lucnix.be via Wikimedia Commons.

Total Solar eclipse 1999 in France. Credit: Luc Viatour / https://Lucnix.be via Wikimedia Commons.

(9) The eclipse is evidence that the Earth, the Moon, and the Sun are round. The event is an appreciation of the astronomical size scales, the Sun is so far away (~8.5 light minutes) that it appears to be the same size as the Moon. The Moon is so little that about 50 of those can fit inside Earth, and the Earth is so tiny that more than a million Earth can fit inside the Sun.

(10) Eclipses have occurred since the formation of the solar system, but total solar eclipses will stop happening after a long time, once the Moon recedes sufficiently father away from us. Yes, the Moon’s orbit is getting larger, at a rate of about 38 millimeters per year. At this rate, the Moon’s distance from the Sun will always be astronomically high.

Courtesy: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/bloomington-in?iso=20170821

Courtesy: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/bloomington-in?iso=20170821

Image Caption: Eclipse in Bloomington, Courtesy: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/bloomington-in?iso=20170821

Hot Topic Conversation: Immigration, Identity, and Inclusion

The dignity of all human beings is respected and their fundamental rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are constitutionally protected in the United States. From my experience as an immigrant in the past 12 years, I have always believed this, but last night I was once again reassured.

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the 2nd Hot Topics Conversation Series “Immigration, Identity, and Inclusion” for IU faculty, staff, students, and Bloomington community members. The event had five panelists, who spoke for about 5-7 minutes. This was followed by questions from the moderators and questions from the audience. At the end, audience, who were still present after the official event end time of 9:00 PM, were divided into smaller groups for further discussion.
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Preparing Future Faculty Conference – 2016

When: February 12th, 8:30am – 5:00pm
Registration: FREE! “Open to all IU graduate students. But to participate in the complimentary lunch, you must register by Monday, February 8th, 2016.”

PFFC is an amazing opportunity for networking, learning about job market, interacting with faculty, and last but not least for great food.

This is one of the professional development opportunities, about which you can put a one-liner on your CV. But it’s also a nice opportunity to set new goals for yourself for the 2016 year, things you learn from this one day conference will help you navigate your grad school with little more ease. Last year I wrote at some length about why this particular conference is important.

Take this opportunity, and see you on 12th!

California Forums for Diversity in Graduate Education


In the image above, you could see the recruitment fair, where about 1000 energetic undergraduate and master’s students are exploring opportunities for graduate studies at more than 300 colleges and universities across the nation. This is the “California Forums for Diversity in Graduate Education”. I had the opportunity to visit the forum at University of California at Santa Barbara on November 7 on behalf of the University Graduate School of Indiana University.

Personally, I learned a lot about California from talking to the participants, Continue reading

Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in STEM (Washington, DC. 2015)

Last month, I got an amazing opportunity to interact with some of the brightest researchers across the United States. I was part of the IU-team (Dr. Yolanda Treviño (the Assistant Vice President for Strategy, Planning, and Assessment), Dr. Garfield Warren (physics), Dr. Sara Skrabalak (chemistry) and myself) that attended the 5th annual Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) held in Washington, DC on February 19-21.

About 1000 undergraduate and graduate students presented their research at the ERN conference. Continue reading

Preparing Future Faculty Conference

Graduate studies at IU bring opportunities not only for academic training, but also for professional development and developing leadership skills. Obtaining good grades and doing great research indeed are cornerstones for one’s successful career. But adding leadership qualities to one’s toolkit would even exceed the success attained by grades and research. Why? Because leadership qualities let you make a difference in lives of many, not just yours. Continue reading

Innovation at IU: Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI)

As a student at IU, I have been given access to one of the finest IT environments in the whole nation. UITS (University Information Technology Services) services and support have been awesome from day one, since I first got my umail account. One of the primary functions of UITS is to provide IT support to all IU students, faculty, and staff. For more information, please visit its website. But in this blog post, my focus is to introduce a unique jewel IU is extremely proud to own, and that is the Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI).

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IT Training

Learning computer applications, different programs, programming languages, and slick computer skills is important to most if not all students irrespective of academic disciplines. If you are wondering about honing your programming skills or if you are a beginner who wants to learn a spreadsheet application (e.g. Microsoft excel), IT Training is an amazing resource for you.

banner_it2goPhoto Credit


IT Training has offices both on IU and on IUPUI campuses. The department offers numerous instructor-led computing workshops catering to a range of needs. The spring semester schedule is now available.

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Preparing for GRE

Whether you are retaking the test or appearing for the first time, here are some quick tips on preparing for GRE.

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(Photo: The Indiana Hoosiers warm up for a practice.)

There is actually one correct answer to the question, “how should I prepare for GRE?” and that answer is: Practice! Practice! Practice! You probably have never seen a football player reading books about how to play football. You always see that football players are working out and practicing their game and forming strategies.

Begin your preparation with a practice test. Taking a practice test will help you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Maximize your strengths and work on your weaknesses. Continue reading

Retaking GRE

Many students every year face the dilemma whether they should retake the GRE or not. There is no standardized answer to this question. But one must consider different factors to decide if retaking is in their interest or not.

First of all, one must understand the admission process. Independent of what school or what program you are applying, your application is evaluated considering many of your qualifications. GRE is only one of them. Not necessarily, the most important by any means. A typical admission committee consists of Continue reading