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The 2018-2019 GRAD-MAP Winter Workshop took place January 4 - 13, 2019 at the University of Maryland, College Park. We had 9 students from Maryland, Alabama, Florida, and the Virgin Islands join us for our 10-day program. Each student worked on a research project with a mentor/advisor in the Physics or Astronomy department. Their final presentation slides are available for viewing below (select a student and "Go to link"). Please welcome and congratulate our latest cohort! 

Professional Development

Perhaps the most important component of the Workshop is the professional development the students take part in.

  • Practical, honest discussions about getting internships, getting into graduate school, and career options with a PhD in astronomy or physics.

  • Development of skills beyond research, like writing application essays or giving good presentations.

  • Discussing the real, and different, challenges underrepresented minorities may face.

We navigate these discussions through facilitated seminars or panels and through informal conversations throughout the Workshop. 

WORKSHOP Hightlights

Scientific Computing with Python

We lead tutorials and breakout sessions on the open-source, high-utility language Python, using the Anaconda distribution and  the Jupyter notebook system. Our tutorials are interactive, geared toward the new-to-coding learner, and adapted from the Goddard Python Bootcamp. Our tutorials are meant to introduce students to Python, show them examples of its application, and empower them to continue to practice it on their own, either independently or as part of a research project. 

Research Projects


All Winter Workshop participants carry out a mini-research project under the mentorship of physics and astronomy researchers. Past projects have ranged across many sub-disciplines, including cosmology, stellar astrophysics, planetary science, materials science, atomic physics, plasma physics, and  high energy astrophysics. All mentors and students are given guidance on building solid mentor-mentee relationships based on the University of Wisconsin's Research Mentoring resources. At the end of the Workshop, students give a final presentation summarizing what they did and learned.

Tours of Local Scientific Facilities

The Washington, DC area is home to many laboratories and scientific facilities, which offer many opportunities for undergraduate and graduate research for UMD students, summer internships, and even careers. We visit the following facilities:

  • National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)

  • NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)

  • Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)

  • National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank

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