Stephen M. Slivan

Contact Information


Research Highlights

My study of the rotation lightcurves of the largest Koronis family asteroids has revealed that their spin vectors are unexpectedly aligned in obliquity. Follow-up study is underway. (More information: Koronis family asteroids rotation lightcurves observing program)

“other stuff”

* In 1994 I had the first Athena individual workstation in a dormitory

Email message back to me dated 1994 Jun 20, disentangling confusion caused by my request to MIT Network Services to hook up my Athena workstation:

   Ah, ok, that makes sense.  Believe it or not, the network services
   folks *were* exactly the right people to deal; it's just likely that
   the person who answered the phone was a bit confused, and got thrown by
   the fact that it was in a dorm.

   Anyway, I have forwarded your mail on to a place where it WILL get dealt

   You see, you are the first, the very first, person to buy a workstation
   and put it in a dorm room.  (there was apparently one person who got one
   a while ago and put it in a frat, but he did all the grunge himself, and
   so network services isn't quite prepared to deal...)

* In 1984 I wrote what must have been among the earliest planetarium applications

As a project for a graduate class in computer graphics, I wrote an interactive version of the star charts from the book "The Stars" by H. A. Rey as a tool one might use to help learn the constellations. At that time, personal computers for consumers were still in their early days - the IBM PC/XT was just over a year old and the 80286-based PC/AT was still a few months away - thus the needed resolution of color graphics and screen cursor pointing capability required specialized hardware and software not yet routinely available for consumer computing. In the class we had access to the computing facility of the Architecture Machine research group at MIT and wrote our code in PL/I. My recollection is that a tablet was used for cursor control, and the graphic display screen was a separate device from the text terminal and keyboard.
[screen capture from application display]