Xena Posted July 21, 2006 Report Share Posted July 21, 2006 For all those who struggle with either having to think they have to choose between being a scientist and being a ballet dancer please read this. For those of us who think you can't do both, please read this. It was in Nature 15 June 2006 "A week after finishing her dissertation on the formation of the moon, Robin Canup danced the lead in Coppelia with the Boulder Ballet. “At the time, it felt like I had a wonderfully full and busy life,” she says, “but I can’t believe now I did it all.” Canup, 35, stopped dancing professionally five years ago. “By that age you’re an old dancer but a young scientist,” she says. Still, there’s an unexpected harmony to her career: Now she studies how moons glide around planets in space. " Canup spends her days tweaking computer code and watching colored particles spin on cue. For her moon simulations, she creates an Earth and a protoplanet, and gives each a specific mass, velocity, temperature and other characteristics. Then she programs a collision and sits back to watch the show. The math is so complex, it takes a 2GHz processor a week to compute each scenario. Recently, by running a simulation backward, Canup found that most of the moon probably came not from the Earth but from a specific area on the protoplanet that hit it. Her next step is to add “particle splitting”: Partway through a simulation, she’ll program it to ignore humdrum information (say, the particles at Earth’s core) and focus on the interesting stuff (particles that might clump together as the moon). " So there you go!! I would love to ask her how on earth she managed both! But isn't it wonderful to read stories like this? I think maybe even parents of children who are gifted at both science and ballet may want to read this? Jeanette Quote Link to comment
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