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LIGO Academic Advisory Committee (LAAC)

The LAAC was created back in the Initial LIGO era towards the end of S5 as the LSC was beginning to rapidly grow. It initially consisted of appointed members: a few senior members and one postdoc and one grad student representative. As the collaboration grew even further, and the role of this new committee became better defined, it expanded to include two student and two postdoc representatives, with all positions being elected.

We are the elected representatives to serve as the voice for the students and postdocs when it comes to policies and decisions made by the LSC Directorate and Council. Our job is to be advocates on behalf of students and postdocs. To do so, we need to know about your experiences as junior members of the LSC. Please share with us your concerns, desires, and what you like best and worst!

The responsibilities of the LIGO Academic Advisory Committee are to:
  • 
Serve
 as 
an 
advocate 
with 
the 
LIGO 
Council and Executive Committee 
for 
the 
educational 
aspects 
across
 all 
of 
LIGO
 for 
undergraduates, 
graduate 
students, 
and 
postdocs.
  • 
Provide 
a 
mechanism 
to
 gather
 and 
evaluate 
information 
concerning
 LIGO's educational 
program 
and 
recommend 
improvements
 to 
the
 LIGO 
Council.
  • Work with 
LIGO
 collaborating 
institutions to help 
ensure 
that 
the 
postdocs, 
graduate 
students, 
and 
undergraduates 
associated
 with 
LIGO 
get 
a 
broad
 education
, 
quality 
mentoring and appropriate recgonition for their work.
You can reach all of the members of the LAAC by email at laac@ligo.org.

LAAC activities at March 2019 LVC meeting: Poster Prize, Tutorials, Social event (a hike!), and networking lunch


LAAC presence at LVC meetings

Many of the efforts of the LIGO Academic Advisory Committee in its early years of existence revolved around making the LVC meetings more student friendly. The LAAC initiatives that have now become integral and expected parts of today's LVC meetings are the following:
  • Poster Prize -- an award is given to each of the best instrumentation and data analysis/astrophyics student posters, respectively
  • Tutorials -- a dedicated session for postdocs and students to teach each other, in an interactive way, about research topics or resources they find useful
  • Social event -- exclusively for postdocs and students
  • Networking lunch -- this hasn't yet become a mainstay of every meeting, but we'd like it to! An opportunity to explicitly have lunch with people you don't know, senior and junior.

Resources

We've compiled, and in some cases created, various resources that you should find helpful at different stages in your leraning and progression through career.
For learning about being a member of the LSC:
For seeing what your peers are researching:
For learning more about gravitational waves:
For job hunting:

Projects and resources in various states of development

We are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help us revive old projects or create new ones to best suit the needs of today's students and postdocs. Here's a partial list of initiatives, some of which we're actively working on, some of which are in hibernation after a go in the past. Please write to us if you'd like to help!

Archives of past LAAC projects

Resources for the LAAC members

LAAC Web Utilities

Topic revision: r40 - 2019-04-09, katherine.dooley@ligo.org
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