University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Physics Colloquium: From Black Holes To Robots

Friday, October 9, 2020
3:30pm – 4:30pm

Storrs Campus

Dr. James Guillochon, Berkshire Gray

From Black Holes, to Data Science, to Robots: Tips & tricks for going into industry

The majority of physics/astronomy PhD recipients now leave the field for industry either immediately after graduation or after one or more postdoctoral stints. This has been driven by several factors, including the overproduction of PhDs relative to a declining pool of available tenure-track positions, greater freedom to choose where to live, and often significantly higher salaries. However, STEM graduates are increasingly finding that data science, the de facto refuge for former academics, is itself becoming somewhat saturated, with data on recent job listings suggesting that the majority of DS positions are now filled by bachelor's degree recipients rather than PhDs. In this talk, I will describe how I navigated this increasingly complicated landscape to find my current job, and share some pieces of advice I feel are generically useful to those who might be looking for jobs outside of academia in the next few years.


Dr. James Guillochon received a PhD in astrophysics from the University of California Santa Cruz and then went on to hold prestigious postdoctoral fellowships, the Hubble and ITC fellowships, at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He developed a reputation as a world-renowned researcher in a range of topics, including black hole mergers, tidal disruption events, white dwarf accretion, and more. He is also well-known for his open-source contributions to the scientific community, including vox charta, open access astronomy catalogs, software, as well as maintaining a current list of US and Canadian astrophysics graduate program policies regarding the use of the physics GRE in graduate admissions decisions here.

In 2018 Dr. Guillochon transitioned to working in the industry as a Robotics Engineer in the Boston area. He is an outspoken advocate for positive transitions from academia to industry and will be joining us for a virtual colloquium on Friday to discuss his transition.


Prof. Cara Battersby

Physics Department (primary), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UConn Master Calendar

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