"So the advice I give young women is find yourself a bunch of mentors; first of all, people at your level—peers who are postdocs or faculty or whatever you are."
When we contacted Dr. Meg Urry about making a design of her, we asked her to give a brief description about what she does. She amazed us when she responded with this:
• established the “unification” of active galactic nuclei, i.e., the understanding that they look very different from
different directions, so that objects previously thought to be inherently different are now understood to be similar
galaxies observed at different angles. (“Active galactic nuclei,” or AGN, are galaxies in which the central
supermassive black hole is growing rapidly, thus converting the gravitational potential energy of the accreting
matter to radiation that we see, often much brighter than all the stars in the much larger galaxy.)
• showed that blazars, a particularly variable and unusual kind of AGN, have relativistic jets pointing toward us
• designed the multi wavelength Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS), then used the survey data
to calculate when and where super massive black holes grew over the past 10 billion years or so
• worked to increase the participation of women and minorities in STEM fields
• implemented innovative teaching practices in introductory physics classes at Yale
The best part is this barely scratches the surface of what Dr. Meg Urry has accomplished in her life. Allow us to add a few more achievements to her list:
• Dr. Urry joined Yale's faculty in 2001, at that time as the only woman in the department, and became Chair in
• has published over 270 peer-reviewed research papers
• past President of the American Astronomical Society
• chaired the Science Committee on “Galaxies Across Cosmic Time” for the 2010
decadal survey in astronomy and astrophysics for the National Academy of Science's
National Research Council (NRC)
• co-organized the first meeting of Women in Astronomy
• Dr. Urry has been a member of NASA's Science Advisory Council. She has also advised NASA on Hubble,
Chandra, Spitzer, Hitomi (formerly Astro-H), RXTE, ASCA, and other space observatories.
We would like to thank Dr. Urry for the time she took out of her busy schedule to help with the creation of her design. We would also like to say thank you for the words of encouragement in regards to this project.
If you would like to more about Dr. Meg Urry please visit her website at: http://urrylab.yale.edu.
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