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TSAA Ambassador - Mr Chris Dilger

​TSAA Ambassador - Mr Chris Dilger

As a past student of The School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, I cannot think of a more rewarding, challenging and engaging high school subject than Senior Astronomy or Senior Astrophysics. Having the TSAA’s courses at the top of my CV has opened doors in Computing and Physics, sparking conversations directly with institutions around Australia. I believe the TSAA’s courses to be more than tools to get into the course of your choice, as the skills I have gained whilst studying allowed me to participate in the TSAA’s international study of a black hole binary object in the northern sky. As a past student, I cannot commend the courses and opportunities offered by the TSAA highly enough.

I found the Senior Astronomy and Senior Astrophysics courses online and self paced approach to learning extremely engaging and efficient. As other students have also found, the level of familiarity with Mathematical tools and procedures transfers to other high school maths subjects. Similarly, in physics, every concept is built on the solid foundations established in each of the Astro courses. I found the online delivery of courses to be ideal, as all coursework and content was constantly available and could be completed when and where I was able, around all of my other commitments. Though the inherent convenience of the format helped, the application of physics concepts to real world scenarios using real world data made the online course engaging and highly rewarding.

During my limited time as a senior high school student, I have most definitely taken advantage of the many opportunities afforded by studying with the TSAA. I found work experience with professional Astronomers in Melbourne at the Swinburne University of Technology extremely valuable, along with several Student Astro conferences during which I built my professional networks with active astronomers. Currently, I am working with Carl Pennypacker from the University of California Berkeley and Graeme White, adjunct Professor at the University of Southern Queensland on an international project studying the short period variability of the optical counterpart of the binary system. These experiences have exponentially increased my understanding of the many processes in science, with a degree of specialisation in the field of astrophysics.

I would encourage any student with an interest in Mathematics or Science and the ability to complete the challenging and extremely satisfying coursework to take on Senior Astronomy and then Senior Astrophysics. For a student that is dedicated and willing to grab opportunities with both hands, I can’t imagine a better senior subject.