What we do

Weekly Meetings

Once a week the grad students meet as a whole behind closed doors and out of faculty earshot (more or less). What happens at these mysterious meetings? Well, we might discuss whatever crazy thing that happened that week, get the scoop on upcoming events (parties, bike rides, chillin’ at a brewery) from the EGB officer, or discuss issues for the faculty. Attendance is not mandatory but is encouraged. The meetings are nominally run by the AGSO President and only occur during the school year.

If there is a colloquium that day, we also have a student round table with the speaker. We use this time to ask them about their career and also for advice. Perhaps they’ve worked on an instrument team, or with a large research consortium, or have done well with job placement. You will get the most out of this time if you come prepared with a question or two in mind.

15 Minute Lectures

Grads come in with wide variety of skills and pick up more along the way. AGSO started the 15 Minute Lecture series in an effort to share useful tips, programs, and languages. Each year grad students assemble a list of topics they want someone to lecture about, such as AWK and SED, Python programming, Latex tips, the UNIX OS, etc.. Throughout the year grads volunteer to give a lecture during an AGSO meeting. The lecture can take the form of a presentation, going over a handouts, or working through examples. The files from these lectures are stored here. If there hasn’t been a lecture in a while and you want one, bug the President about it.

Tea Time

What is grad life without free food?! The Tea Time officer organizes volunteers to provide weekly refreshments for students and faculty. Tea Time is held on the second floor landing and is an informal setting for people to relax and chat.

Cume Parties

Tradition states that when a grad student passes their sixth and final cume, they throw a party for everyone else. Hazy justification for this lies in the idea that, at some point, someone else had to fail a cume to allow this person to pass a cume. Whether this is the case or not, it is a good excuse for a party. Tradition also holds that the person throwing the party provides either all the food or all the alcohol. Cume party style varies and is entirely up to the person throwing the party. Previous parties have ranged from Standard Debauchery to an Afternoon BBQ to a Formal Affair and even to camping at Kilbourne Hole.

Department Skits

At one point someone’s adviser (who shall remain nameless) suggested reviving the time-honored tradition of acting out a department skit, which would kindly but humorously make fun of all of our quirks. The grad students rose to this challenge and took it even further by creating a series of videos. Thus AGSO films was born. Surprisingly, none of those involved in writing or directing these films were kicked out of the department. If you’d like to join in the tradition, just ask.