Akamai-Hawaii ISEE Chapter

The Akamai-Hawaii ISEE Chapter has a long history focused on a variety of fields in the state of Hawaii:

  • Science related to astronomy, remote sensing, and related technical fields, particularly in partnership with the University of Hawaii (UH) Institute for Astronomy (IfA) and the astronomical observatories on Maui and Hawai‘i Island
  • Engineering and technology through the UH College of Engineering, other related departments, and local high-tech industry partners

Past participation and teaching activities of this chapter include: Akamai PREP Course (Preparation for Research Experiences and Projects) that prepares undergraduate students for summer projects in high-tech industry and observatory settings, UH astronomy lab courses, and a range of bridge programs and other activities aimed at retaining college students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Opportunities to participate in ISEE’s Professional Development Program

The Professional Development Program (PDP) aims to advance leaders in effective and inclusive STEM education through a suite of workshops organized into two intensives, a practical teaching experience, and reflection on what was learned.

Graduate students, postdocs, and professionals from Hawaii-based organizations are invited to apply for the PDP through this chapter.  Graduate students and postdocs from the University of Hawai‘i can apply for PDP fee waivers and travel support from ISEE (via PDP application), which is available through the Akamai-Hawaii chapter’s participation in the Advancing Inclusive Leaders in Astronomy project funded by the National Science Foundation (AST#17431117) or the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA95501510427) for teams directly involved in teaching for the Akamai Internship PREP course. Applicants are encouraged to secure some of their own institutional or grant funding, which will increase likelihood of acceptance and financial support from ISEE.

More information on applying to the PDP. The first step is to register by Wednesday, November 14, 2018.

PDP 2019 participants will likely teach in the Akamai Preparatory Course for undergraduates from Hawaii in June 2019, the UH IfA Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) preparatory course for astronomy undergraduates from across the nation, or a University of Hawaii astronomy laboratory course at one of the campuses.


Recent Akamai-Hawaii ISEE PDP participants and teaching activities:

Akamai Preparatory Course for undergraduates from Hawaii at the University of Hawaii at Hilo

  • Maissa Salama (lead, UH Institute for Astronomy) with Zack Briesemeister (UCSC, Astronomy & Astrophysics), and Ryan Dungee (UH Institute for Astronomy) designed and taught an activity in which students used the concept of decomposing a continuous signal to measure and design a correction for a distorted wavefront within given constraints
  • Devin Chu (lead, UCLA, Astronomy and Astrophysics) with Stacey Sueoka (apprentice instructor, NSO/DKIST) and Ryan Dorrill (University of Hawaii, Physics) designed and taught an activity about using laws of refraction and the law of reflection to investigate how light interacts with different media, and constructing explanations.

UH Maui College astronomy lab course

  • Jenny Shih (lead, UH Maui College) led a team with Dora Fohring (UH Institute for Astronomy) and Erin Maier (University of Arizona, Astronomy) in which students used phases of solar system objects to explain observed phenomena, and constructed explanations using evidence.

Akamai Preparatory Course for undergraduates from Hawaii at the University of Hawaii at Hilo

  • Grace Lin (lead, StoryFit) with Geetanjali Rakshit (UCSC, Computer Science), and Lauren Anderson (Center for Computational Astrophysics) designed and taught an activity in which students built decision trees to predict a desired attribute of a dataset while maximizing the prediction accuracy, and optimized algorithms.
  • Stacey Sueoka (lead, NSO/DKIST) with Devin Chu (UCLA, Astronomy and Astrophysics) and Elizabeth Koeman-Shields (UH, HIGP, now at Angelo State University in Physics and Geosciences) designed and taught an activity about using the laws of reflection and refraction to explain how light interacts with media of different shape, thickness, and index of refraction, and constructing explanations using evidence.


Graduate students and postdocs affiliated with the University of Hawaii who have questions about applying for the Professional Development Program should contact the Akamai-Hawaii ISEE Chapter Leads:

Michael Nassir, UH Manoa and Institute for Astronomy: nassir@hawaii.edu

Christoph Baranec, UH Institute for Astronomy, Hilo: baranec@hawaii.edu

Others in the region interested in applying to the PDP (including junior faculty), or seeking general information about ISEE, should contact the Akamai-Hawaii Chapter ISEE program manager, Austin Barnes: isee.austinbarnes@gmail.com