Tonight, the Perpetual Notion Machine gets a glimpse of what it’s like to be an astronomer. Our guest is Robert Mathieu, professor of astronomy at UW-Madison. He studies the structure, kinematics and dynamics of star clusters and star-forming regions, and maps alternative stellar evolution pathways. Robert talks with new PNM volunteer, and first-time producer, Anita Nsubuga, who was wondering how much math figured in an astronomer’s research. It’s important, but Robert considers it mostly as a tool, even though, at times, original mathematical algorithms and simulations can lead to discoveries. But Robert thinks of astronomy, and being an astronomer, a matter of curiosity and wonder of the cosmos. Trying to learn what is going on out there in the cosmos, and discovering something brand new.