Colloquium (11/12): Binary Stars, White Dwarfs, and Sabbatical during COVID

Professor Todd Hillwig, Valparaiso University

Sabbatical periods are designed to be a time of renewal professionally and can take many forms. For me, the plan was to spend the majority of time on my research into binary central stars of planetary nebulae. And to travel. Primarily to travel to conferences and to work with collaborators. At least that was the plan until COVID hit. In this talk I will explain how I used my sabbatical time to renew, even amidst the throes of a global pandemic. I will discuss learning new languages (well, computer languages anyway), catching up on paused or delayed research, spending time with family, and yes, even doing a little traveling. Most of the talk will focus on some of the research projects that I was able to get a significant amount of work done on. Including greatly expanding the known sample of binary central stars of planetary nebulae and working toward a better understanding of the impact of binary star systems on the development of white dwarfs.