(Dr.) Astronomer here! I successfully defended my PhD in astronomy yesterday via virtual defense! AMA!
Astronomer here! Some of you may know me from around Reddit for my posts about astronomy that start with that catchphrase. In real life, however, my name is Dr. Yvette Cendes, and I am a postdoctoral fellow in astronomy at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where I focus on radio astronomy in general and gigantic space explosions (supernovae, star eating black holes, etc) in particular. I began that job a few months ago, when I completed my PhD requirements, but did not yet undergo the formal ceremonial defense to get the title of "doctor"... and then coronavirus happened... so I'm happy to announce it happened yesterday! Here is a pic of me right after the virtual defense. :D
I wanted to celebrate a bit on Reddit because honestly, this community has meant a lot to me over the years- there were some moments in my PhD that were difficult, and I literally found myself thinking "I can't be as bad at astronomy as some people claim if literally thousands of others disagree." And honestly, it's just so nice to come here and talk about cool stuff going on in space, and ponder things I wouldn't normally think about thanks to questions from Redditors. I even put you guys in the acknowledgments for my thesis, so you know I'm serious.
After all that, I thought an AMA would be a great way to celebrate. So, if you have a question about space, or getting a PhD, or anything else, ask away!
Here is my English degree certificate for the PhD I got this morning (which honestly I thought sounded super cool)
Here is a link to my Twitter account.
Edit: Thanks everyone for the kind wishes! :) The rate of questions has died down a bit, so I'm gonna go for my daily walk and keep answering questions when I return. So if you're too late, please do ask your question, I'll get to it eventually!
Edit 2: I am always so blown away by the kindness I have experienced from Redditors and today is no exception. Thank you so much everyone for your support!