John W. Weiss
Who am I? (in 200 words or fewer)
I am a Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Carleton College, my alma mater. I'm having a blast teaching again and the students are fantastic. I was recently a post-doc working at CICLOPS doing ring science for the Cassini mission with Carolyn Porco. It was great fun and it was great to be part of something that big. I received my Ph.D. in May of 2005 from CU Boulder in Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences where my advisor was Glen Stewart. My thesis was mainly about the edges of rings where there are no moons to constrain the particles. Fun stuff, but pretty computationally intensive. I went to college at Carleton College (class of 1999). At Carleton, I was a Physics/Astro and Math double major, which kept me busy-but-quite-happy.
I am originally from Rochester, MN. My father is a journalist (reporter/photographer) who specializes in outdoors and environmental stories. My mother is an Ed. Asst. at an elementary school, where she applies the harsh lessons about kids that my siblings and I taught her. If she could handle us, she can handle anything. My siblings, Angela and Charlie (CJ) are 3 and 6 years younger than I am, respectively. Both are science oriented as well, so I suspect that there was some contamination in our water supply. Angela is the biologist; she graduated from St. Olaf, the college across the Cannon River. She's now a high school science teacher, recently moved back to Rochester from in Northeastern Minnesota and runs the science center at a high school in Rochester. CJ majored in chemistry at Carleton. He finished graduate school a little while ago and is now a post-doc at Pacific Northwest National Lab where he lives with his wife, Megan, and their son, Anthony. CJ hasn't blown himself up yet, but it isn't for want of trying.
I've also done a lot of teaching, not just in my current position. I did a stint as a summer instructor at CU, teaching ASTR 1110. I was also my department's Lead Graduate Teacher. I spend time training TAs and helping them become better teachers. (I was also somehow the department web-master. Which was a real learning experience. It was also enormously fun, but I love a challenge, so my idea of "fun" may not agree with yours.) A while ago, I wrote an article that was published in the Griffiths Observatory Observer, which was incredibly cool. And finally, I'm a Mad Scientist.
Hobbies-wise (in my oh-so-copious free time) I mainly have my nose in books. It's kind of frightening to realize that I have seven bookshelves all to myself. I'm not quite sure where I found room, but the gravity of the books might have caused some spacetime warping, I suppose. I also have a very cuddly cat named Chiana and until my last move, I had seven guinea pigs (all named after minor bodies in the solar system). Head to the pictures pages to see them. They're very cute. And I co-founded the Science-Fiction and Fantasy Underground at CU. Otherwise, I mostly cross-stitch (you can also see these under pictures at left) and cook/bake.
If you want to learn more about me, either you are bored and should do something constructive or should e-mail me.
That was more than 200 words. Limits be darned.