What years did you participate in UROP?


What UROP Program(s) were you a part of?

UROP in Residence (MRC: Michigan Research Community)

What made you choose UROP?

I was eager to begin research as soon as I arrived at Michigan. I felt that research would be the best way to cultivate a nuanced understanding of physics while developing both analysis and hardware-related skills, including programming, data collection, and fabrication in the machine shop. Many of these skills can only be learned through hands-on experience, and I relished the opportunity to engage in physics outside of the classroom. UROP provided a streamlined process that connected me with numerous potential mentors in my field of interest. Additionally, I chose to participate in MRC (now MRADS) in order to be surrounded by like-minded and focused peers during my first year at Michigan. I was able to learn about a variety of research experiences from students in various disciplines. Even though our areas of interest varied, our passion for research remained constant!

What do you think you have learned from your UROP experience?

My UROP experience allowed me to immerse myself in research. I was able to gain an intimate understanding of how physics research is conducted while also developing my presentation skills. Learning how to articulate my ideas was one of the most valuable aspects of my research experience at Michigan. I quickly advanced from giving presentations in our small research group meetings to presenting my work in a talk at a 2017 American Physical Society conference. By my third year, I was given responsibility for testing new detector electronics for the ATLAS Experiment at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. Above all, my participation in research (initiated through UROP) gave me the confidence to pursue research at the graduate level and beyond. Without the opportunity to participate in physics outside of the classroom, I would have never developed this confidence.

What is the extent to which you have kept in contact with your Research Mentor?

My undergraduate research mentor and I are practically family. I know I can always contact him for advice, research-related or otherwise. Future trips to Ann Arbor will not be complete without paying him a visit.

How did your UROP experience shape or inform the next steps you took in your academic and professional journey?

Research was the defining aspect of my undergraduate experience. As a result of my early and continued engagement in research, I developed the skills necessary to contribute meaningfully and extensively to future projects. My time in the lab allowed me to solidify my interest in experimental particle physics and develop strong relationships with faculty mentors. In addition to discussing physics, my research mentor was able to guide me through the graduate admissions process. His support—and the support of other faculty in the department—was of paramount importance in my decision to apply to graduate school.

Where are you in your professional journey?

I am currently a first-year PhD student in physics at Harvard University. I am also an on-site advisor for the University of Michigan CERN Summer REU, where students participate in an immersive high energy physics research experience while living in Switzerland. In 2019, I became an underground visit guide for the ATLAS Experiment. Given that the Large Hadron Collider is what drew me to high energy experiment, I cherish the opportunity to spread my enthusiasm for physics through tours of the ATLAS detector.

What advice would you give to a current UROP student?

Do not give up, even when you feel like an imposter (and learn how to address imposter syndrome—I'm still working on it). Never be afraid to ask a question or ask for help. Ensure that your ideas are heard and appreciated, especially among large groups of people. Find an advisor that makes you feel welcome. Most importantly, learn about what *you* think is interesting.

What are some recent publications or accomplishments that you are proud of?

I was recently awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. I am always willing to share advice about research, applying to graduate school, and applying to the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program.