Nick is a junior astrophysics major and computer science minor. This summer, he’ll complete an REU (research experience for undergrads) at Cornell University. His job this summer will involve analyzing data collected by the Cassini spacecraft on the atmosphere of Saturn and its moons and on Saturn’s rings.
I am excited about this opportunity because it allows me to get exposure to research in astrophysics and planetary science and it will involve a good mix of my physics and computer science knowledge. The opportunity is especially interesting because Saturn’s moons are home to some special environments which have the potential to host life. Learning details about compounds present in those environments gives us a better idea of whether life could actually evolve and survive there.
My advice for CC students considering grad school and research opportunities is to try things out. Apply for lots of stuff that matches the skills that you have, because it can be a bit of random mess as to what you get accepted to or not (I applied for 15 REU’s and got rejected from 14, but I only had to get into one!). Think about the kind of day to day work that makes you happy, and the kind of concepts and areas of study that inspire you and try to find a place where those cross over.
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