Archive for Open Day

Last Open Day

Posted in Education, Maynooth with tags , , on June 25, 2022 by telescoper
Ready to go

So here I am, then, back at home. I’m not at Dublin Pride because I had to attend an Open Day at Maynooth University. It was a lot quieter than the last one I did, in April, but a reasonable number attended. The weather forecast was rather dire but it turned out to be not bad at all, if a bit breezy. Hopefully that means there was good weather for Pride too.

I’m told there were 1000 registrations as opposed to the 5000 a couple of months ago. This one is usually a bit quieter because students have basically finished making their choices by now. A show of hands in the audience in my talk suggested the vast majority were actually 5th year students, so not planning to go to University this September.

Anyway, that completes the cycle of open days for this academic year. Since I’m stepping down as Head of Department when my term ends at the end of August, this will be the last of these I shall be responsible for. I hope.

Big thanks to Dale who helped out a lot today, setting up and dismantling the stand, and to him and the others who have helped over the year.

Post Easter Post

Posted in Biographical, Maynooth with tags , , on April 25, 2022 by telescoper

So here I am, then, back in the office after the Easter break for the remaining two weeks of Semester Two. I was supposed to be on leave last week but there’s so much to do that I ended up working most days apart from the Easter weekend itself, but at least I do so from the comfort of my own home and, occasionally, garden.

I had hoped to be able to spend the latter part of this week at the annual Euclid Consortium meeting which is being held this year in Oslo. Unfortunately because this year it falls within teaching term I’ve just got too much to do so I can’t go. I hope my colleagues and friends in Euclid have an enjoyable and successful time in Oslo. I hope to make it next year, wherever it is held.

Next Monday is the May Day Holiday so we have only 9 days of teaching left before the study break and examinations. Although next weekend is a Bank Holiday weekend, the powers that be in Maynooth have decreed that Saturday will be an Open Day:

It remains to be seen how many prospective students and their families will choose to interrupt their long weekend to visit campus on Saturday April 30th but I’ll be there. I know no bounds, you see…

The most exciting thing that happened last week was that a bloke from the Gas Board came to install a new gas meter. My colleagues were skeptical that he would actually turn up at the appointed time but he did. He completed the job in about half an hour, including time for a short lecture on why I should have a carbon monoxide meter put in my kitchen. The gas meter is actually on the front of the house and the gas man was kept under close surveillance as he worked by the local robin who has clearly decided that both front and back gardens are its own private property.

Last week the same robin made further visits to the inside of my house, even tapping on the window with its beak to be let in. I am increasingly concerned that it will decide that the inside of the house also belongs to it and I’ll end up being forcibly evicted.

It is an annual tradition at Eastertide to worry about whether Newcastle United will be relegated from the Premiership but after a string of good results they look reasonably safe. The players will be relieved to have avoided a public flogging by the clubs new owners, the Saudi Royal Family.

Maynooth University Open Days!

Posted in Education, Maynooth with tags , , on November 26, 2020 by telescoper

It’s almost time once again for our autumn open days at Maynooth University. This autumn the two days are virtual events but also differ in that the first day is devoted to clubs, societies and other wider aspects of student life while the second is dedicated to information about the academic side, i.e. courses of study.

I’ve recorded some video material that will be used on the second day and I’m also going to be online on Saturday from 10am to 2pm to answer questions from prospective students. In order to experience these and other delights you have to register, which you can do here.

Here is a video tour of the Maynooth University campus, filmed in better weather!

You will see that it includes an artist’s impression of the new building on the North Campus which isn’t actually finished yet, but which is coming along nicely.

And here is a gratuitous picture of our star attraction:

Maynooth University Open Day is here!

Posted in Education, Maynooth with tags , , on June 27, 2020 by telescoper

So here I am at home answering questions online from visitors at our virtual Open Day. It’s actually pouring with rain which might have dampened the enthusiasm of visitors to a traditional Open Day but it’s been quite busy so far. Here is a video tour of the Maynooth University campus, filmed in better weather than today!

You will see that it includes an artist’s impression of the new building on the North Campus which isn’t actually finished yet.

And here is a gratuitous picture of our star attraction:

Another Open Day Preview – General Science at Maynooth

Posted in Education, Maynooth, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on June 26, 2020 by telescoper

I thought I’d put up another post following on from yesterday’s post about Open Day at Maynooth coming up on Saturday 27th June which, owing to Covid-19 restrictions still being in place,  is once again a virtual event. It will take place between 10am and 2pm and be online for that period to answer queries about Theoretical and Mathematical Physics at Maynooth University. You can sign up for the event here.

Yesterday’s post was about our denominated degree programme in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics, but I also recorded a separate video for students interested in studying Mathematical Physics  (or Theoretical Physics – we use the terms interchangeably) through our General Science programme, MH201, so here’s a little presentation about how to study Mathematical physics at Maynooth that way:

Currently, most students doing Science subjects here in Maynooth enter on the General Science programme (codename)  a four-year Omnibus science course that involves doing four subjects in the first year, but becoming increasingly specialised thereafter. That’s not unlike the Natural Sciences course I did at Cambridge, except that students at Maynooth can do both Mathematical Theoretical Physics and Experimental Physics in the first year as separate choices. Other possibilities include Chemistry, Computer Science, Biology, etc.

In Year 1 students do four subjects (one of which has to be Mathematics). That is narrowed down to three in Year 2 and two in Year 3. In their final year, students can stick with two subjects for a Joint Honours (Double Major) degree, or specialise in one, for Single Honours.

I like this programme very much because it does not force the students to choose a specialism before they have had a taste of the subject, and that it is flexible enough to accommodate Joint Honours qualifications in, e.g., Theoretical Physics and Mathematics. It also allows us to enrol students onto Physics degrees who have not done Physics or Applied Mathematics as part of the Leaving Certificate.

I think Mathematical Physics has a particular value in the first year of this course, even for students who do now wish to continue with beyond that level. The material we present in the first year focusses on Mechanics, which is perfect for students to learn how to apply concepts from the Mathematics courses in calculus and linear algebra (especially vectors). It obviously complements Experimental Physics and I would recommend all students who want to do Experimental Physics to do Mathematical Physics too, but  basic mechanics comes up in a wide range of contexts in science, including Biology and Chemistry, so it is relevant for students taking a wide range of pathways through this very flexible programme.

 

 

Maynooth Open Day Preview

Posted in Education, Maynooth with tags , , , on June 25, 2020 by telescoper

No sooner has the examination period finished when we have to start thinking about admissions again. There is an Open Day at Maynooth coming up on Saturday 27th June. Covid-19 restrictions still being in place this is once again a virtual event that will take place between 10am and 2pm. I will be online for that period to answer queries about Theoretical and Mathematical Physics at Maynooth University. You can sign up for the event here.

In the meantime, to whet your appetite, here is a little video introduction I recorded for the Open Dday for our Double Major BSc programme in Theoretical Physics & Mathematics (codename: MH206)

 

 

Open Day Friday

Posted in Biographical, Maynooth with tags , , , on November 29, 2019 by telescoper

It’s a busy day today in Maynooth with two very important jobs to do. Until lunchtime I’ll be preoccupied with an Open Day here at Maynooth University, the first of this year’s cycle. Here’s the poster advertising them (with dates included):

You’ll see that I have a new role as Poster Boy for Maynooth University, though they have understandably put me at the extreme edge of the poster (bottom right). I’ve got plenty of people helping on the stall in the Iontas Building today but I do have to give a talk to prospective students. There’s another Open Day tomorrow, for which I’ll be on the stall and doing the talk for most of the day.

Here’s a little promotional video:

Today’s  Open Day winds down by 2pm after which my second major task of the day begins. But that’s a secret, at least for the time being.

 

 

 

Summer Open Day in Maynooth

Posted in Education, Maynooth with tags , on June 22, 2018 by telescoper

It seems I have volunteered to represent the Department of Theoretical Physics at Maynooth University’s Open Day tomorrow, so I’ll be giving a talk as well as answering questions, handing out leaflets etc on the Theoretical Physics stall (with the aid of some current students). It’s a bit of a flashback to Sussex days, actually, when I used to have to do this sort of thing quite regularly on Saturdays throughout the year. At least the weather looks like it’s going to be nice, even if the post-solstitial nights are now drawing in.

If you’re planning to come tomorrow, the event starts at 10.30 am and the first talk is at 11.15, but I’m not on until 13.35. Lots of information is available here. Please come and say hello if you’ve read this here blog post!

Anyway, Maynooth University has made a nice little video about the Open Day so I thought I’d share it here, mainly to give readers a look at the lovely campus, which is bathed in sunshine as I write this!

The Day’s Events

Posted in Biographical with tags , , , on April 21, 2010 by telescoper

Just a quick post today, because I’m worn out. Today was Cardiff University’s Open Day – not the small-scale one’s we have from time to time in the School of Physics & Astronomy, but a full-blown university-wide affair. The School is in the Queen’s Buildings, which are a little way to the East from the splendid civic buildings in the Cathays Park district of the city centre that constitute the core of the University. Naturally the organizers tend to concentrate on showing off it’s finer buildings, so many activities are centred on the posher parts, and often we don’t get that many visitors in our building especially if it’s raining and visitors don’t fancy the 15 minute walk. Today, however it was gloriously sunny and even the Physics department was packed with visitors, prospective students and their parents.

I’d agreed some time ago to give a public talk as part of the School’s activities, which meant that this morning I had a tutorial, an undergraduate lecture and a public lecture all one after the other. I was very surprised when I got to the venue for my open day talk to find it was absolutely full, with standing room only. By lunchtime I was already knackered, although the public talk was a lot of fun and the audience were very attentive and friendly. Some of them even laughed at my jokes. I got lots of questions at the end, which I always enjoy, although I was flagging by then after talking more-or-less continually for three hours.

This afternoon it was someone else’s turn to do the talking. It was the occasion of the PhD examination of Rob Simpson (orbitingfrog) for which I was Chair. Cardiff is unusual in having a Chair for PhD oral exams, as well as internal and external examiners. The Chair acts as a kind of umpire, making sure the rules are followed, but doesn’t play a very active role other than that. In fact I had the chance to chip in here and there – chiefly on matters of statistics – but also managed to get the Guardian crossword done.

I won’t talk about the substance of the examination, but it suffices to say that the examiners recommended that he be awarded the PhD subject to some corrections being made to his thesis. No doubt he’s out on the town celebrating as I type. Well done, Rob!

I got away just in time to go an collect my Tuxedo from the dry cleaners on the way home. It being good weather I thought I’d wear it for Friday’s annual Chaos Ball. I don’t know how widespread this usage is, but in Britain I’ve always thought the word Tuxedo refers to the white (or cream)  alternative to a traditional dinner jacket. That’s what I meant, anyway. I bought mine years ago in an Oxfam shop in Nottingham and hardly ever wear it, but it’s nice to push the boat out every now and again. Although it was bought second-hand about 8 years ago it still looks quite posh. Apart from the bullet hole in the back you would never have guessed it had been worn before…