Music in the Stars – Communication – Anne Katherine

The amount of contact I had this week to the outside world in relation to my project was unusually high. When counted up, I sent over 40 emails to different contacts asking for help, advice, and wisdom in just three days; I have a feeling that this is some kind of record. 

Last week I found out that a few of the collegiate science journals that I would like to submit my work to require work to be done under the mentorship of a college advisor. This is clearly a problem as, at the time, I didn’t have a professor willing to review my work, and thus, the first email was sent. The recipient? My current astrophysics mentor, Gabriele. I asked her for advice on the matter but when she didn’t get back to me by the next day I decided to take the initiative and begin sending out emails to physics and astronomy professors from all over the country. In each one I described a little bit about my project and asked if they would be willing to hear more. The next day or two I was a bundle of nerves as I refreshed my email a few times more than necessary. Even though I see full well the value and merit of asking for help, it can still be a little scary. I feared that my emails would sit in their mailboxes along with hundreds of others like them; condemned to neglection.

Looking back I see that I had no need to worry. Before long emails started pouring in from professors at MIT, Harvard, Columbia, and other colleges and universities. Most of them said something like this,

“Dear Anne-Katherine,
Thank you for your note, I’m impressed with your initiative and this project – it’s a wonderful idea.  Unfortunately, I’m unable to give the time this would need, on account of my MIT responsibilities.  I wish you best success in finding another mentor.”

Happily, one was different.  Dr. Christopher D. Carone a professor of physics form the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA emailed back asking me to explain my project in more detail. After I explained my project and outlined what I would need from him, Chris agreed to help me. I am thrilled that my project is compelling enough to catch the attention of professionals in the field and I am looking forward to working with Chris in the future.

However, all of this hullabaloo does not account for all 40 emails. On Tuesday I corresponded with my new music theory mentor, James. So far I have been explaining to him in detail the origin of some of the syntax of the sheet music I have produced and conversing with him about artistic composition vs. sticking more directly to the data. Together we have decided that at this point, while I do not want to alter the notes that came directly from the Ly-a forest frequencies, I would like to explore the artistic possibilities of what I have produced.

Finally, I did some work on my research paper. I have drafted an abstracted and decided to explore in my discussion the scientific difference between music and noise. Here’s an interesting article on this subject. I’m can’t wait to get back to work following all of the different paths Music in the Stars is leading me down.

Until next time, I had better go refresh my email box.


Image citation: “ADVANCED LEAD GENERATION MARKETING BLOG.” How to Get Email Leads with Facebook and Twitter Contests. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2014.

1 thought on “Music in the Stars – Communication – Anne Katherine

  1. joezhu2014

    Great job! This post inspired me because it takes courage to send emails to people whom we have never seen or contacted before, especially those renowned professors. This post really allow me to sympathize with your experience and progress!


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