I just wanted to express my thanks to the broader AAVSO community after receiving the AAVSO Merit Award this year. I was unable to attend the meeting in Las Cruces but asked Gordon/Stella to read some words of thanks at the meeting and wanted to share them with you here.
Given the list of previous recipients, I'm honoured and humbled to receive this award. Thank you!
I'll always be grateful for that conversation with Arne Henden at the 2008 National Australian Convention of Amateur Astronomers. Thanks for taking a chance on me Arne.
Thanks to Rebecca and Aaron, in particular, for Citizen Sky. It was wonderful.
Sara Beck is a domain expert, mentor and friend. VStar wouldn’t exist without her.
Michael Umbricht was a great early advocate. Kristine Larson patiently reviewed the user manual as I wrote sections. More recently, Cliff Kotnik and Dave Hinzel have been providing great support.
I just want to thank everyone who has contributed to, reported bugs in, or advocated for VStar over the past decade. See VStar’s About box for more!
A special thanks to my wife Karen who encourages me to follow my passion and tolerates my obsessive nature.
Grant Foster’s dog-eared light curve analysis book is one of my favourites. It and he enhanced my understanding of period analysis and more. Also, Grant's blog is awesome.
I’ve learned much by seeing JoDee and Brad instruct, refine and extend my first cut of the VStar course.
Anyone who has written a non-trivial piece of software knows that it’s never done and that the closer you are to it, the more you focus on its flaws. Suffice to say that I am not done yet.
AAVSO, VStar and a modest amount of variable star observing have been a huge part of my life for a decade.
I’m sorry I can’t be in Las Cruces with this subset of a great community that spans the globe. I hope one day to attend an annual meeting.
Thank you all again.
ps - the new release is getting closer!
As I have looked "under the covers" at the body of software you have created I am really amazed. It is a fantastic tool and an elegant software design. Thanks for ALL your hard work.
You certainly deserve recognition.
There is nobody who deserves this award more than David Benn!! I've had the pleasure for about two years of working with David to test the software, including new plugins, and update the VStar documentation. I agree with Cliff that it is a fantastic tool and an elegant piece of software. Not only is the software elegant, but it is clearly written with a fundamental understanding of astronomy and the types of analyses required.
David has always been kind, understanding, and very professional. If this software was developed for the private sector it would cost several hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is truly a gift to the AAVSO.
David, as you say, a non-trivial piece of software is never done. You can count me in on any future VStar efforts.
Thanks Dave. I really appreciate the observations you've made here and your kind words as well as all the work you've put into testing and documentation so far. It's good to know I can count on your future assistance.
Your award is well deserved. You put in a enormous amount of effort in developing, maintaining and expanding a wonderful and impartant tool for all variable star observers.
Congratulations David, well deserved. VStar is a wonderful tool that just keeps getting better. You and your team are doing the variable stars community a great service. Shame you couldn't be there in person to receive the award.
Any chance you can make it to the NACAA and VSSS6 meetings in Perth next Easter? It would be great to catch up with you again. Cheers,
yes I meant Parkes for the NACAA and VSSS6 meanings not Perth. I'm in Perth at the moment actually for the Fed Cup tennis, unfortunately Australia was beaten by France. Cheers,
It has been a lot of fun and very rewarding supporting your work on VStar over the past decade (has it really been that long?). You are so respectful, kind, and understanding that working with you is always a pleasure. Even when I ask dumb questions, you always patiently take the time to explain things in more detail until I get it. VStar is an amazing tool and I hope you continue to enjoy working on it for a long time to come.
This award is very much deserved!!!
Many thanks, Sara
Yep, it has been that long.
The feeling is very much mutual. You have been generous with your time, professional, a great communicator and a nice person. Your questions are always good! I have asked a lot of questions of you too in my time developing VStar and I've learned so much through your patient mentoring.
Thank you! It's been a pleasure working with you too. I hope we can continue to do so!
I was very pleased to receive the Merit Award in person from Stella yesterday at the RTSRE conference in Melbourne (Australia) after which I gave a short talk about VStar. Stella followed this with a short talk about AAVSO resources for student research.
It was also great to have the opportunity to spend time talking with Stella about AAVSO and other topics as well.
Thanks Stella and all, again.