About Me

Welcome to my website! My name is Sydney Dolan. Currently, I am a graduate student with Professor Balakrishnan in DINAMo in the AeroAstro Department at MIT . My research interests lie at the intersection of astrodynamics, machine learning, and optimization. I am passionate about leveraging the exciting work going on in artificial intelligence to spacecraft and mission design, particularly space traffic management. This is my personal website, where I post the status of my side projects, research, and hobbies. On this website you can find my educational and work experience, as well as my contact information, which serves to supplement my resume. For all professional and personal inquiries, see the information on my contact page.

 

Now That’s What I Call Grad School Advice – Finding a Good Advisor

In the next post of this series on advise to first year graduate students, I wanted to discuss finding a good advisor. Now many students entering grad school have already selected an advisor, but I think it is still worthwhile to discuss what a good advisor looks like, what an okay advisor looks like, and… Continue reading Now That’s What I Call Grad School Advice – Finding a Good Advisor

Hardrock Year 2

In my one self-approved break this summer, I opted to volunteer for the Hardrock 100 again this year. The Hardrock 100 is a 100 mile footrace in the San Juan Mountains. Its lottery process for entry is notoriously difficult, potentially even more difficult than the race itself, which features 66,000 feet of elevation change over… Continue reading Hardrock Year 2

4 Ways That Running A 50 Miler Was A Lot Like Writing My Masters Thesis

When I tell other graduate students I like to run ultramarathons, they ask why I would ever do something so long and pointless. Irony aside, instead of writing a traditional race report, I had a fun time thinking about how running the Dirty German 50 Miler this past weekend was similar to my experience writing… Continue reading 4 Ways That Running A 50 Miler Was A Lot Like Writing My Masters Thesis

How To Change Advisors In Graduate School (with pictures) (jk I was too lazy to make pictures)

When I was first looking at switching labs and consulted my age old friend Google, I did not see a lot of relevant results. So, for any other anxious graduate student that is considering switching labs and wants steps and an email template of what to send, hopefully this article helps. As is said over… Continue reading How To Change Advisors In Graduate School (with pictures) (jk I was too lazy to make pictures)

Answering Questions That Kids Ask Me About Aerospace Engineering that I was Definitely Never Taught But Now Know

Why is space black? Well first lets talk about what we do know, why is the sky blue. The sky is blue because light from the sun hits molecules in Earth’s atmosphere and scatters off in all directions. Blue light is scattered more than other colors because it travels in shorter, smaller waves. At night,… Continue reading Answering Questions That Kids Ask Me About Aerospace Engineering that I was Definitely Never Taught But Now Know

Analyzing My Carbon Footprint

Pre-pandemic, I loved airports. Gazing at all the planes, seeing the people load and unload luggage, it is so inspiring to think about the engineering and reliability that goes into planes. Presently, the amount of time I’ve been spending in airports has me horrified with the sheer amount of dubious mask wearing. I’ve had to… Continue reading Analyzing My Carbon Footprint

On Volunteering as a HAM Radio Operator for Hardrock 100

This past month I had the opportunity to be a Communications volunteer for the Hardrock 100 race. When I searched for more information about what this sort of role entails, especially on the Ultra Scene, my search came up short. Hopefully this will provide some helpful information about what to expect when you volunteer to… Continue reading On Volunteering as a HAM Radio Operator for Hardrock 100