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OU Signs Agreement with Astrophysical Research Consortium for Access to World-Class, Remotely-Operable Telescopes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

9-30-13

CONTACT: Jana Smith, Director, Strategic Communications for R&D, (405) 325-1322, jana.smith@ou.edu

NORMANUniversity of Oklahoma students majoring in astrophysics or enrolled in astronomy classes will have access to world-class, remotely-operable telescopes through a three-year agreement signed recently between the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy at OU and the Astrophysical Research Consortium in Sunspot, New Mexico.

“This is a significant step forward for the department that will help raise the research profile of our astrophysics program and provide unique educational training for our undergraduate and graduate astrophysics majors, and students enrolled in OU astronomy classes,” according to Chair Greg Parker.  

The agreement has multiple benefits for OU faculty and students who will have remote access to telescopes that allow star measurements at different wavelengths in a single night. Training on these telescopes is essential for students to learn how to operate and analyze data obtained from them, which requires a significant amount of programming—a highly sought-after skill by companies like Google and Microsoft.

“We want to provide our students the educational opportunities and training needed to move them to the next level in their education or career. This agreement will elevate the OU program by adding capabilities needed so our graduates can continue to compete in the marketplace,” says John Wisniewski, OU assistant professor in physics and astronomy.

For more information, contact John Wisniewski at wisniewski@ou.edu or go to the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy website at http://www.nhn.ou.edu. Photos of the ARC facility can be found at http://arc.apo.nmsu.edu.

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