Astronomy | Research | What it takes to succeed and Prof. Raja's advice for high school students

About this Fireside Chat:

Are you curious about astronomy, the galaxy? Are you interested in pursing a higher-level education in astronomy and astrophysics? In this STEMCasts® episode, Dr. Raja GuhaThakurta, shares his graduate school experience and current research goals. He also shares his advice on how to be successful in STEM and life. Learn about a fascinating field! Get valuable advice!

158111845385069504 (7)


• A latent carrier of the “astronomy bug”
• Taking the plunge at Princeton, succeeding in spite of challenges
• The people part of the journey, the most important part
• Get acquainted with Andromeda: our nearest neighbor
• What it takes to succeed in STEM and Raja’s advice for high school students

Target Audience:

  • High school students interested in astronomy
  • Undergraduate students interested in pursing a graduate degree in astronomy

Details of the full fireside chat (

  • Total eclipse experience (5 min)
  • Dr. GuhaThakurta’s background (5 min)
  • Dr. GuhaThakurta’s experience in graduate school (3 min)
  • Astronomical research and the community (3 min)
  • Galaxies, dark matter, ultra dark matter, the Milky Way (8 min)
  • Andromeda Galaxy collision (4 min)
  • Science Internship Program (SIP) (6 min)
  • Raja’s advice on how to be successful in STEM and life (5 min)

Meet the Guest:

Dr. Raja GuhaThakurta is an Astronomer & Professor at UC Santa Cruz who’s research is focused on the formation and evolution of galaxies. He is also the founder of the very successful Science Internship Program (SIP) at UC Santa Cruz.

Thanks to our host for this episode: Emily Cunningham, Graduate Student at UC Santa Cruz.

Preview (5 mins):