Rhys Taylor's home page
Science, Art and Data Visualisation


Neither of the institutes where I've worked are dedicated teaching facilities, so my teaching experience tends to be with small groups and personal tuition. This has covered everything from giving individual students a one-day crash course in radio astronomy, to supervising ten students in a small control room with limited observing time, and individually tutoring students on courses lasting from three months to two years. Logistical planning is a key part of this, but it's even more important to make rapid changes when necessary, customising the lectures and tuition to the varying needs of individual students.

Master's project supervisor, October 2022 - present. This project is aiming to catalogue and analyse the first complete WAVES data set of part of the Virgo cluster, comparing the HI properties of galaxies in this region with the adjacent AGES fields, searching for differences in environmental effects within the cluster.

Introductory tutorial for one visiting student at the ASU, June 2021. This was a two-week informal internship in which each staff member would supervise the student for a day or so on a different topic/project, giving them a very broad overview of astronomy. I spent the morning session teaching them the very basics of radio astronomy and galaxy evolution, and the afternoon teaching them the fundamentals of visualising and cataloguing an HI data cube.

SOČ (Středoškolská odborná činnost) project supervisor for one high school student, May 2018 – May 2019. The project was aimed at cataloguing and analysing an AGES data cube, adapted on-the-fly to incorporate personal tuition on basic physics and statistics. The student also learned how to prepare observing scripts for follow-up observations of their discoveries.

Lecturing for the “Selected Chapters in Astrophysics” module at Charles University, October 2017, "The Dark Side of Galaxy Evolution". In 2023 I repeated this informally for students at the ASU, expanding and modifying the original lectures to an eight-part course. Transcripts of the original 2017 lecture series are available on my blog.

Project supervisor for three students at the Ondřejov Summer School, 12th – 18th September 2016. Students were taught how to catalogue and analyse an AGES HI data cube, and how to deal with a veritable plethora of software installation issues.

Hands-on project supervisor at the Single Dish Summer School in Green Bank, July 2011 (3 students), and in Arecibo, July 2013 (6 students). The summer schools were for PhD students; the hands-on projects taught them how to prepare a short science project and conduct observations with Arecibo (remotely or on-site as applicable). The limited time available made this essentially an exercise in

Hands-on project supervisor (with Robert Minchin) for eight undergraduate and two high school students, November 2012. This was a short, informal crash course, teaching the students how to observe with the telescope and analyse the data. With a large group observing all at once, this was an exercise in crowd control in order to ensure everyone had a chance to complete every part of the process.

Project supervisor (with Robert Minchin) for two undergraduate students for “Research for Credit” modules - very similar to the REU program - at the University of Puerto Rico (Humaco campus), 2012 – 2014.

Project supervisor (with Robert Minchin) for three undergraduate students as part of the “Research Experience for Undergraduates” program (ten-week internships at Arecibo, summers of 2010, 2011, and 2013). Students were taught how to catalogue and analyse existing HI data cubes from the AGES project, lectured and tutored on the basics of galaxy evolution, and taught how to plan, collect, and analyse their own L-band wide HI data of selected galaxies. All students were given actual observing experience as part of the course. They presented their findings in posters at the subsequent AAS meetings. Many have gone on to complete astronomy PhDs.

Teaching assistant for the undergraduate Fortran 90 course in Cardiff University, 2008 and 2009. Duties included helping students debug their code, trying to get them to figure things out for themselves as much as possible while filling in any fundamental gaps in their understanding.