[mesa-users] MESA for Education

Richard Townsend townsend at astro.wisc.edu
Sun Jan 8 12:51:08 EST 2012

Hi Kevin --

I haven't used MESA as a 'student tool' --- i.e., something that I get students to run themselves --- but I've certainly used it to generate movie sequences of the evolving stellar structure, which I then show in class and discuss with my students.

I'm sure you're already familiar with EZ-Web (I know Lars is), which is a simple web interface to Bill's earlier EZ code:


I've found this very useful at both undergrad and grad levels, for assigning homeworks that involve hands-on investigation of various aspects of stellar structure and evolution. I was hoping eventually to develop a similar interface to MESA, but the problem right now is that the code runs too slowly (much slower than EZ, because the physics is much more sophisticated).



On Jan 8, 2012, at 10:05 AM, Kevin Moore wrote:

> Hi all, 
> I'm just letting the mailing list know that Lars and I are planning on using MESA in our grad stellar structure class this quarter. If anyone has used MESA (or any other code) in this capacity, we'd appreciate any relevant advice or resources you may have.
> In keeping with the open source spirit of MESA, I'd like to have some way to make available what we come up with so others may benefit. I'm not sure the best way to do this, ideas?
> -Kevin
> On Dec 12, 2011, at 5:03 PM, Steve Kawaler wrote:
>> I think that a MESA for Education effort is a terrific idea - at all
>> levels of post-secondary education.  For undergraduate introductory
>> non-science courses all the way through graduate courses.  Please let
>> me know how I can help.
>> Steve Kawaler
>>> Message: 3
>>> Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2011 10:52:17 -0800
>>> From: Bill Paxton <paxton at kitp.ucsb.edu>
>>> Subject: Re: [mesa-users] mesa release 3790 + a cool movie
>>> To: mzingale at mail.astro.sunysb.edu
>>> Cc: "mesa-users at lists.sourceforge.net users"
>>>       <mesa-users at lists.sourceforge.net>, mesa-news at lists.sourceforge.net
>>> Message-ID: <02608170-7113-4AE3-93AB-E1153FE29CA1 at kitp.ucsb.edu>
>>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>>> Hi Mike,
>>> On Dec 12, 2011, at 9:47 AM, Mike Zingale wrote:
>>>> Bill/Josiah, indeed that is a nice movie, and one I am sure many of us will want to show in our Intro to Astronomy classes when we come upon stellar evolution.
>>> Great!   A movie like that is really a huge help to see the how the various things change together as the evolution goes forward.
>>>> On that note, is there any sort of organized effort toward MESA for Education, instead of research.
>>> Excellent suggestion.   There isn't any such organized effort yet, but there certainly should be.
>>>> Perhaps providing an archive of nice movies of stellar evolution for use in classes would be a good start.
>>> That would be a wonderful start -- I know Rich Townsend has been working on something like that
>>> (oh!  I just got his email saying he has been working on it!!!)
>>> It would be wonderful if you and Rich and anyone else who is interested in MESA for Education would
>>> work together on this.   I'd love to see it happen, but I won't be the one to push the effort.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Bill
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