I am majoring in physics and in math at the University of Oregon.

This is my favorite building on campus, Willamette.

It also happens to be the physics building. It is where my lab and most of my classes are.

Why physics and why math?

I want to understand how things work.

Physics is the most fundamental way to evaluate the world we live in. The solutions that come from it have done everything from stopping cancer to creating the computer. 

Math is the other side to that. It's impossible to do physics without math, and while I'm interested in the applications of math through physics, I'm also interested in learning math for math's sake. Did I say math too much in that last sentence? Math.

However, the main reason I chose my majors is because I saw this comic and picked the top two.

RESEARCH

My sophomore year, I worked in the Corwin Lab as a undergraduate researcher. My project involved the jamming of granular systems. To learn more, click here.

EXPERIENCE

association of space explorers

Since September 2017, I have been ASE's Education and Program Coordinator. I help with ASE annual events, as well projects, both new and old. We are currently working on a weekly web series that I will co-host with different astronauts as we tackle topics like "Did we go to the Moon?" and "Is the Earth flat?" 

More information to come soon.

white house office of science and technology policy

Fall of 2016, I served as President Obama's last National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) intern at the White House OSTP. The NSTC coordinates science and technology policy between agencies, offices, and departments in the executive branch.

NASA

I don't think I'll ever be able to love someone the way I love NASA. I've wanted to become an astronaut for as long as I can remember. 

Since I was a little girl, I've really looked up to Kalpana Chawla, the first Indian woman in space. She was an incredibly intelligent force who paved the way for other Indian women to follow. Dr. Chawla was one of the seven crew members killed in the Columbia disaster, but her legacy still continues to inspire hundreds across the globe.

In the summer of 2015, I got the opportunity to work at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center as a technology development intern. To learn more about my project and my experience, click here.

Over summer of 2017, I interned at NASA's Johnson Space Center as an engineering technician in the Astronaut Office Rapid Prototyping Laboratory. I am back at JSC for winter term until April 2018.

PRESENTATIONS, HONORS, AND PRESS

Mission to Mars - October 2017

UO junior named finalist for a coveted Truman Scholarship - March 2017

7 Indian-American students nominated for Truman Scholarship - March 2017

UO student presents rocket science research in D.C. - April 2016

SCIENCE LITERACY

What is science literacy?

Scientific literacy is the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity.
[literacynet.org]

What science literacy is not is being able to spew a million different facts about astronomy, geology, and marine biology. No one is asking you to be able to teach quantum mechanics.

It's really just being able to use testable methods and evidence to build and support your decisions, especially when it comes to questions you haven't seen before.

A key component of science literacy is being able to discern credible sources from reliable ones. I think a lot of people love science and want to learn more, but there's just so much misinformation out there that it's easy to get lost. A science literate nation is one which would look at the world skeptically.

My friend, Amanda Garvis, and I got the opportunity to team up with Astronaut Robert "Hoot" Gibson to make two short films surrounding NASA and science literacy, which you can find below.

My junior year, I served as Science Literacy Program Scholar, co-teaching a general astronomy class. I now spend my free time mentoring youth interested in STEM and visiting schools to talk about NASA and science literacy.