Travis Thieme

B.S. Astronomy, B.A. Physics and minor in Math (Class of 2017)

Clubs organizations: 
Vice President of the University Astrophysics Club Fall 2016, Spring 2017

Where you are now and what you're doing: 
Currently, I am living in Hsinchu, Taiwan studying for my PhD in Astronomy at National Tsing Hua University. I am working under my advisor Dr. Shih-Ping Lai as a graduate research assistant. My research topic is about studying accretion flows around young Class 0 protostars. 

Areas of specialty:
Star formation

Places you have worked, interned or traveled to for your career:
Jobs ———————————————
Research Assistant, National Tsing Hua University (September 2017 - Present)
Night Attendant, NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (March 2016 - May 2017)
Teaching Assistant, University of Hawaii at Hilo (January - May 2016)

Volunteer ———————————————
Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station: Stargazing Volunteer Fall 2016 - Spring 2017

Internships/ Research Experience ———————————————
NASA Hawaii Space Grant Fellowship, University of Hawaii at Hilo (Fall 2016, Spring 2017)
Subaru Experience Program with Sokendai University, University of Hawaii at Hilo/ Subaru Telescope (Fall 2016, Spring 2017)
Akamai Workforce Initiative Summer Internship, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Submillimeter Array (Summer 2016)
Undergraduate Research Club, Edmonds Community College (Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015)

Presentations ———————————————
Astronomical Society of the Republic of China (ASROC) 2018 Annual Meeting (Poster Presentation): Kinmen, Taiwan (Spring 2018)
NASA Hawaii Space Grant Symposium (Oral Presentation): Honolulu, HI (Fall 2016, Spring 2017)
Akamai Workforce Initiative Symposium (Oral Presentation): Hilo, HI (Summer 2016)
Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (Poster Presentation): Portland Oregon (Spring 2015)

I was born in the cold and rainy city of Seattle, Washington. When I graduated high school, I, like most kids, had no idea what I wanted to study at the university. So I attended Edmonds Community College, starting off with computer science. I ended up taking an introduction to astronomy as one of my science elective courses. I immediately knew that I wanted to study astronomy from that point. It was actually my physics teacher at my community college who recommended I apply to the University of Hawaii at Hilo because her brother studied astronomy there. After three years of community college, I moved to the Big Island and spent two years finishing my bachelors degrees in astronomy and physics. 

What attracted you to UH Hilo Physics & Astronomy?
Hilo, Hawaii sits at the base of one of the greatest place in the world to do astronomy, Mauna Kea. The opportunities here are unrivaled anywhere else. Basically, every student in the department will have the opportunity to do research during their undergraduate studies, which is important for getting into graduate school. The department is small and the teachers are amazing! 

Advice for prospective/current students of UH Hilo Physics & Astronomy
If you’re coming in as a freshman, take math and physics courses right away. It’s even better if you’ve taken Calculus and Physics in high school. This is crucial to being a successful undergraduate in astronomy. Use your freshman year to study hard, make friends and explore the island! Try to get involved with some kind of research project by your Sophomore year. Many of the teachers will be willing to give you some research project if you show them that you're motivated to learn. But start early and get lots of research opportunities under your belt. Also, volunteer, volunteer, volunteer! Sign up as a stargazing volunteer every weekend of your freshman year at the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station. This is the best way to meet people who work at the telescopes and astronomers coming to Mauna Kea to do research. Plus, you get free dinner! This is how I got my job as a night attendant at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea. For transfer students, it’s a little more difficult as there are a lot of required physics and astronomy courses for your degree(s). Just volunteer and look for research opportunities as soon as possible. I only spent two years there, but had three separate research opportunities. If I can do it, you can too! Lastly, for everyone, if you come with the intent to only get an astronomy degree, I highly recommend getting the physics degree also! It's only three additional classes to get the physics degree. A math minor is also fairly simple to get with two or three extra math classes.  


Travie Thieme Alumni photo


Email address:

(Updated: September, 2018)