Meet the Rock Stars, Part 7: Dr. Jen Piatek

jen

 [Dr. Piatek dressed as the Apollo Program at the Halloween reception of the 2015 National Geological Society of America meeting]

Name: Jennifer Piatek (yes, I usually use ‘Jen’, but the full name works too. Middle initial only for publications, thank you.)

Title: Associate Professor

Year Started at CCSU: Fall 2007

Courses Taught: AST 208 Planetary Astronomy, AST 378 Comparative Planetology, AST 470 Exoplanets, GSCI 121 Dynamic Earth (nee Physical Geology), AST 112 Search for Life on Other Planets (nee Life in the Universe, or something like that), 400 level courses in  Planetary Image Analysis and Volcanology

Current research projects: A few smaller projects using new technologies (GigaPans, thermal imaging) to enhance in-class activities and bring the field to those who can’t get there, but right now the big one is our 4-year NASA funded study of Martian craters (“we” is the group on the proposal – CCSU, Univ. of Western Ontario, Northern Arizona University, and SwRI). The project is to develop detailed interpretations of how craters are formed and modified on Mars using analysis of both high-resolution visible images and thermal infrared data.  We projected that we’d be creating ArcGIS maps for something like 20-30 craters to interpret – lots of work to do there!

Favorite Book: I have too many to pick just one, or even just ten.  The last one I finished was A Dance with Dragons, but I wouldn’t call that a favorite.

Favorite Movie: I’m old school on this one – 2001 A Space Odyssey or Blade Runner, depending on the day.

Favorite Scientific Term:  (the wavelength dependent form of Planck’s blackbody equation, see image attached). I refuse to pick a non-math term. Nearly everything I’ve studied depends on this in some way.

equation1

Something my students don’t know about me:  I came one course shy of a music minor in college – took most of the classes they offered except the “intro” one needed for the minor, played with the band/orchestra/small groups . Haven’t picked up an instrument since then, though, except for an aborted attempt to learn bass guitar.

And I keep a pet Shoggoth in my office for company.

shag

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