The Student Astronomical Society (SAS) is an organization for undergraduates interested in astronomy (both majors and non-majors). They have a dedicated office in the Department where they host study groups and plan activities. They run the Angell Hall open houses, provide tutoring for introductory-level classes, sponsor lectures, and host observing trips. It’s an important way for undergraduates to support each other and gain relevant experience.
Former SAS President on the Value of Membership
BS/Astronomy & Astrophysics (Academic Track), Spring 2012
Career Goals: Astronomy professor
His Story: Interested in massive stars, supernovae, and their impact on the universe, Andrew Graus worked with Professor Hughes on modeling active galactic nuclei and Professor Oey on a survey of field massive stars. He's now attending University of California, Irvine, for graduate school. He shares his thoughts on the value of SAS:
Skill building:“The open houses SAS runs are important for building skills you’ll use in astronomy. You work with the computerized telescope in Angell Hall, which helps prepare you for bigger telescopes like Magellan. And the presentations and tutoring are great practice for explaining topics to students and the general public.”
Collaboration and support: "SAS has an office in the department where members hang out and do homework. It’s important to have a group of people you can study with because it’s tough to do it alone. You get support and learn collaboration, which is a big part of science."
Camaraderie: “SAS does a lot of social events. We've even invited the Department Chair to a night out — and he came. To me, that says a lot about the level of comfort in the department.”