Hi All,

Here is a short summary of the potential "academia to industry" event we discussed in the last meeting. The language and title are subject to change and I encourage anyone interested to please provide feedback if you see something that can be improved.

Life Outside Academia: Applying Academic Skills to Industry Problems

The Cool Stars 20 SOC (LOC?) would like to invite interested participants to an event hosted by COMPANY for astronomers who want to prepare for jobs in the industry by learning which skills are important to technology companies. Astronomers are typically familiar with a large range of skills that can be applicable to the private sector such as: remote sensing, instrumentation, machine learning, analyzing large datasets, spectral analysis and finding creative computational solutions to unusual problems. This event will include a presentation by team members of COMPANY where attendees will learn about general problems COMPANY scientists solve, what skillsets are required and what day to day work life is like for those in the tech industry. In particular, attendees will learn what type of skills to employ in their astronomy research that can also give them experience for a career in industry if they decide to transition out of academia. The event will include a question and answer session as well as a short meet and greet to allow individuals to interact with COMPANY employees one on one.

Brief breakdown of event (depends on how long we schedule event for):

15 minute meet and greet (depending on how many people COMPANY wishes to bring).

30 - 45 minute presentation by COMPANY summarizing various projects they are working on and what technical skills their engineers/scientists use. If possible, COMPANY can mention some common mistakes academics make on their resume when applying to COMPANY.

2-3 presentations (5-10 minutes each) from astronomers about their astronomy research that involves something relevant to COMPANY (e.g., machine learning, big data, reducing data from complex instrumentation). We can figure out who might be relevant to give one of these talks from CS abstract submission or we can reach out to individual astronomers that we know to have experience with something relevant to COMPANY.

10-15 minute question and answer session where astronomers can ask COMPANY whatever they want.

Potential (large) companies with some corporate presence in Cambridge/Boston. It may be beneficial to choose a company with a large international presence so non-American astronomers could find potential industry jobs in their country of origin. Of course, the choice of company also depends on who, if any, decide to sponsor CS20.


Info on whale watching excursion:

Best option is to go through Boston Harbor Cruise.
Based on their public tour pricing, tickets are $35-50 per person (I sent an email for more info on group pricing but have not heard back).
Latest boat out on a Wednesday in August is 2:30pm.
If you don't see any whales, they will give a free ticket to go again (not very useful for non-locals).

Info on brewery tour excursion:

I found two options.

1) City Brew Tours
They offer transportation, tours, and tastings at multiple breweries throughout Boston. Details:
$85 per person for a 3 brewery tour (-$15 for only 2 breweries)
Includes transportation to/from BU.
Total trip is 4 hours for 3 breweries.
Can accommodate any group size.

2) Night Shift Brewing
Night Shift offers private tour/tasting events only for groups of 60 people or more. Details:
$50 per person for a 3 hour event for 60 people
"Rate acts as a beverage minimum for your event, and covers draft beer as well as full use of the private space, staffing, setup, and cleanup"
We would have to provide transportation to/from Night Shift.

The BU Sailing Pavilion does indeed rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards in addition to sailboats (420s). I'm copying the email I received from the BU point of contact. It seems like this would be more of an "on your own" exploration, but I will inquire about guidance in both a tour aspect and a "how to kayak" aspect.

Thank you for your interest in the BU Sailing Pavilion. We would be happy to get your group out on the water.

We have 12 kayaks, that can fit up to 2 people each, 6 stand up paddle boards, and 6 420's that can be sailed with 2-3 people per boat.

Our maximum capacity is 48 people at once. However, other groups have rented the space and held an "open house" type event where people could come and go from the boat house as they pleased. We would also be happy to lease out the boat house to your group. Our group fee is $20 per head, or $700 to lease the boat house for the entire day.

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Ok, here is some info I found for three potential excursions:

Duckboat Tour (with option to add aquarium or museum of science visit)-- Group rate of ~$1240 for a group of 35 people (~$35 per person). Meeting locations are: Museum of Science, Prudential Center or Aquarium. If we wanted to add a visit to the aquarium or museum of science it would be an additional ~$25 per person. http://www.bostonducktours.com/

Freedom trail tours-- 90 minute walking tour which meets at Boston Commons. Can be arranged for large groups ~35 and is ~$10 per person

Ye Olde Tavern Tours -- $50-60 per person but may be limited to small groups (15-20 people per group). Price includes three beers at individual bars along the tour. Tour lasts 2-2.5 hours. http://www.yeoldetaverntours.com/ye-olde-tavern-tours-freedom-trail.html

Drink a beer in the tavern where the Sons of Liberty planned the Boston Tea Party. See where the Boston Massacre happened and where the victims are buried. Visit taverns once frequented by Boston natives Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John F. Kennedy. See where four signatories of the Declaration of Independence went to grammar school. Enjoy a libation from the tavern where Paul Revere met to monitor British troops.

Hiking: Public transport to either Blue Hills (Rt 128/University Park station via Green line and Commuter rail) or the Middlesex Fells (Oak Groove via Green line/Orange line) takes about 50 min one way. Give that choice I think the MiddleSexFells might be a better option because the Orange line is a lot more frequent. Downside is that Oak Groove is on the less wild side of the MiddleSex Fells. MBTA group can be resized at any time, very little advance time needed (except to order group tickets). If we have plenty of people sign up, we could look into bus drop-ff instead, but that's not much faster (at least 30 min one way). Also, I like the idea of a "green" conference with lots of public transport!

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I checked the MBTS website. Group Purchases are possible through this link http://mbta.com/fares_and_passes/purchase_programs/ Need to be done at least 2-3 days before. Tickets purchased this way are not refundable and there is no group discount, but e.g. to take the bus to the Kayak location would be ~2 $ per person one-way which is totally fine.

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Out telecon notes are here

An idea for the brewery tour would be to take people to the "Fermentation District" which hosts two breweries (Night Shift and Bone Up) and one distillery (Short Path) all within walking distance of each other. Might be nice to offer the chance to try more than just one brewery.

Hi All,

I made a list of the excursions that were mentioned during the telecon yesterday (in no particular order). Feel free to take a closer look at something on the list (or add to it) and post about whether or not its feasible for the conference. Given the historical relevance of Boston, I think it would be a good idea to have at least one history related excursion option.

Thompson Island
Whale Watch
Fenway Park
Duck Boat Tour
Sam Adam's Brewery Tour (or other brewery)
Various Museums
Kayak on the Charles
Jillian's and Lucky Strike Lanes
Candlepin Bowling (Sacco's Bowl Haven)
Hiking (Appalachian Trail, etc)
Lexington and Concord, MA
Freedom Trail
Segway Tours
Faneuil Hall
North End Tours (walking and/or wine tours)
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