Christos Giannakopoulos

Departure Date:
Return Date:
Local Institution:
Hillsdale Collge
Local Advisor:
Timothy Dolch
Foreign Institution:
Ossevatorio Astronomico di Cagliari
Foreign Advisor:
Delphine Peroddin
Student Status:
  • Q. What country were you staying in?
    • Italy
  • Q. Where were you doing research?
    • Sardinia, Cagliari
  • Q. How long were you there?
    • Nine and a half weeks
  • Q. What sort of research were you doing?
    • Helped in the recommissioning of the Sardinia Radio Telescope, in order to make it available to the public and helped with its polarimetric calibration
  • Q. Did being abroad influence the kind of research you’re doing?
    • No
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing about being abroad?
    • Experiencing the different culture, learning the language and making new connections
  • Q. What’s your favorite new phrase from the language?
    • “sfungare” the action of pushing the button to lock the telescope in its parking position
  • Q. What’s the hardest thing about being abroad?
    • Not speaking the language and communicating with the locals
  • Q. What did you do in your free time?
    • exploring, learning Italian, trying the Sardinian food
  • Q. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done or seen while abroad?
    • “The devil’s Saddle” a large hill that looks like what the name indicates: a saddle produced by the fall of the devil from the sky by the angels, according to the local myth. “Nuraghe” ancient structures of the inhabitants of the island in the BC’s
  • Q. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done or seen while abroad?
    • Try to ask directions and information from a local using my month old Italian vocabulary
  • Q. What advice would you offer others thinking of going abroad?
    • Just GO! The experience is very valuable. Getting of your comfort zone and being immersed in a different environment can help you grow your understanding of the world!
  • Q. What skills have you learned abroad?
    • learning to read C and C++. Learned the in and outs of the SRT procedures of observing. Data analysis and processing to produce TOA’s. The understanding of the function of a complex instrument. Became comfortable with the Linux and PC software commands for signal processing (i.e psrchive, psradd, psredit, psrdada, dspsr and more)
  • Q. Is there anything you’d do differently or anything you wish you’d have known?
    • I wish that the research experience was a bit shorter. Mostly because everything kinda freezes during the months of the summer. The notion of undergraduate research is not very developed in Italy so the research was a bit slow at times.