Skip to main content

Richard "Doc" Kinne

IT Manager

Doc at his first AAS Poster

Doc (whose nickname comes from the title character in the BBC's television series "Doctor Who") was introduced to the AAVSO in graduate school at Swinburne University, but it took him until after graduation to finally join up. Doc managed to do this just a couple of weeks before Dr. Janet Mattei passed on and will always regret never having the chance to meet her. One of his first AAVSO functions was her memorial symposium held at Brandeis University.

Doc's first love was astronomy as a kid. However, during most of high school, his math grades were nowhere near good enough for such dreams. He ended up studying computer science in the mid-80s at SUNY Oswego. While there he took a minor in Astronomy and graduated with the highest GPA for the courses in the class—a straight A average blemished by a single B. He also took over, developed, and presented programming for the Oswego Piez Hall Planetarium for two years after his Planetarium Operations teacher passed on.

Computationally, Doc spent eight years as the Computer User Services Manager for SUNY Morrisville's Academic Computing Center, among other things, creating that college's very first web site. Leaving there for the city of Ithaca, he worked directly under the Ithaca Mayor as the city's first Computer and Network Systems Administrator. Between 2000-2008 was spent at the CBORD Group in database applications installation, systems and network consultation, and VPN implementation.

At home Doc is supported by his two cats, Castor and Pollux (who will also respond to their Flamsteed designations!). He owns a 150mm Newtonian scope with which he did visual observing...before he moved to Boston. He's begun doing CCD observing using the robotic telescopes of Bradford University and the Remote Astronomical Society/GRAS.

When not doing astronomy or technology in one form or another Doc praktikas parolanta Esperanto, and tries to get better at playing Chess. He's a nationally rated US Chess Federation competitive player (who is too embarrassed to actually mention what is rating is), a certified Us Chess Federation Arbiter, Clerk of the Boylston Chess Club, and a Delegate-at-Large to the New England Chess Association.

Since moving to Boston Doc has rediscovered his role-playing roots by getting back into D&D and Traveller. He is also active in the Unitarian-Universalist and Zen Buddhist communities. He is the Apprentice Bellringer for the Arlington Street Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse in Boston's Back Bay, one of only four hand-rung bells still in use in Boston.

Doc does server and workstation maintenance & administration, writes Perl and PHP programs, and helps the webmaster out with web page creation and updating. His current major projects revolve around publishing AAVSO data to the National Virtual Observatory, creating the required data infrastructure for the AAVSOnet of robotic telescopes, and documenting the AAVSO's IT infrastructure history. His current research includes extending the lightcurve of the extragalactic luminous blue variable AF And, and seeking a possible corralation between the change in the variable behavior of α UMi and any changes in its spectra.

Doc proudly maintains professional memberships as an Associate Member of the American Astronomical Society where he is on the LGBTQ Working Group Formation body. He is a member of the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals. Of course, he's a member of the AAVSO as well as the Association of Lunar & Planetary Observers.

He is still trying to figure out how he garnered karma good enough to give him the chance to do such work with such people as the AAVSO staff and membership.

AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 617-354-0484