Rumor Names - 2012

A few months ago I put up a word cloud that analyzed the most common name for people getting postdoc jobs in astronomy in 2011 (according to the Rumor Mill). The result: if you wanted to get a job in astronomy last year, you had better be named David...

The 2012 job season has all be ended for the Academe. I'm happy to say it has been kind to many of my friends. Despite the foreboding messages from some talking heads, I know of none with PhDs who are requiring food stamps.

So I went to the rumor mill once more and grabbed the names of the employed elite. This year I actually tried to clean the wordle of the frequent garbage that would get included, but a few errant words slipped through.
Frequency of names from the Postdoc Jobs Rumor Mill, as of  2012 May 21
The winner this year was "Yan", which is actually due to both Tze Yan Lam and Francis-Yan Cyr-Racine being offered multiple positions each. Even more interestingly both Yan's work on cosmology theory, and were offered some of the same positions. I don't believe they have collaborated, but it seems fitting that they should.

Here's a breakdown of the contenders this year...

  Yan       11
  Laura     9
  David     8
  Michael   8
  Fumagalli 7
  Michele   7
  Colin     7
  Hamaus    7
  Wenjuan   7
  Voort     7
  Freeke    7
  Fang      7

That was all the results up to 7 hits. There was a big pile up at around 4-6 hits, which is why the word cloud looks so homogenous in word size. Odds are still very good that if you're named David you can find work in Astronomy! The winning first name this year, however, was Laura.

Fun stuff!

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