The TDK, or the Scientific Student Associations’ Conferences, is a special feature of Hungarian higher education, where students (or even younger participants) have the opportunity to get involved in professional work and research tasks. As well as learning the basics of research, a good performance at a university or national event can be an important first career step.
The Astronomy TDK conference, organized by the Department of Astronomy of Eötvös University, was hosted by our observatory for the second year in a row. This year, sixteen university students and one high school student registered to give a presentation. Of the presentations, six were shorter topic demonstrations, while eleven were longer talks from students who also submitted a written thesis on their work. As usual, the scientific line-up was once again very diverse, with presentations on meteors and planets, stars and clusters, supernovae, nearby and distant galaxies. But we also saw examples of numerical simulations and software packages.
14 of the 17 contestants
The submitted theses will then be ranked by reviewers and the deserving ones will be proposed for the next OTDK, the national-level conference, in 2025. The high quality of the students' work is reflected by the fact that several of them have indicated that they plan to publish their work in peer-reviewed publications. It is also important to underline that two thirds of the competitors are Bachelor students, so they started early in their studies and were given the opportunity to learn about research and to present their results verbally and in writing. We are also pleased to see that ten competitors have been accepted into the observatory's research assistant program this year or in previous years.
The expert panel of reviewers in the front row, together with the host of the event, Áron Süli (Eötvös University, right front).
(Photo credits: László Molnár)