Follow us on Instagram
Try our latest crossword

The path to science: In the voices of ‘Prince’ staffers

<h5>Student passes by the entrance to Fine Hall, which houses the University Department of Mathematics.</h5>
<h6>Angel Kuo / The Daily Princetonian&nbsp;</h6>
Student passes by the entrance to Fine Hall, which houses the University Department of Mathematics.
Angel Kuo / The Daily Princetonian 

2022 marks the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein receiving his Nobel Prize, awarded for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect. Even when considered separately from Einstein’s other contributions, the discovery was a revolution in science (launching quantum mechanics) and in technology (laying the groundwork for solar cells, lasers and even the internet). We asked STEM majors at the ‘Prince’ what drew them to the study of science and for their predictions of the next revolutions in science and technology.

How did you become interested in science and technology?

ADVERTISEMENT

In my country, we used to have a really popular weekly science magazine for kids that was called “Bilim Çocuk,” of which I was an avid reader. It featured stories of scientists from various backgrounds and their journeys to make some of the most groundbreaking discoveries happen (and themed trading cards such as geological shapes, and stars!) Afterwards, among my high school classes, the one I enjoyed the most became physics.

- Inci Karaaslan (Head Cartoon Editor, Physics)

I actually came into Princeton under a social science concentration, but since then I wanted to be able to someday evaluate phenomena of the brain in a more quantitative/analytical way. I feel that under neuroscience you really get to bridge the gap between the social sciences (psychology, sociology) and the more STEM-centric fields (molecular biology, physics, and chemistry).

- Angel Kuo (Associate Photo Editor, Neuroscience)

I have always preferred the quantitative aspects of science to the more subjective nature of the humanities.

- Owen Travis (Head Puzzles Editor, Computer Science)

ADVERTISEMENT

My organic chemistry class in freshman year convinced me to concentrate in chemistry. There was so much order in the reactions that we studied in that class, and I loved being able to predict them and think about the mechanisms by which certain molecules that are a part of our everyday lives, including medicines, were made.

- Sandeep Mangat (Associate News Editor, Chemistry)

I find great interest in learning about the ways that different biochemical processes are connected and the science behind diseases. The way that billions, if not trillions, of processes occur simultaneously every second of every day to keep us alive and well. I believe that science is one of many fields that serves the community, a very important part of one’s career choice. 

- Senna Aldoubosh (Assistant Podcast Editor, Molecular Biology)

Subscribe
Get the best of ‘the Prince’ delivered straight to your inbox. Subscribe now »

Science, whether fundamental or applied, allows me to connect with my innate curiosity about how things work and my drive to contribute to solutions to global problems. I first got exposed to STEM through exploring the natural world outside my own home, and that quickly translated into a deep interest in the molecular and cellular world and ways we might be able to tackle human health issues through engineering.

- Meryl Liu (Assistant Instagram Editor, Chemical and Biological Engineering)

I fell in love with biology freshman year of high school because of the passion my teacher displayed and encouraged her students [to share]. Topics like DNA, protein folding, and anatomy struck my interest, and I decided to apply to Princeton as a student in Molecular Biology (MOL). I’ve since made the shift to Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) after taking EEB 211, and my love for biology has developed immensely since taking classes in that department. Katherine Sullivan and her lab staff, including Mary and Heather have imparted on me a thrill for the science that I am proud to say I'm a part of.

- Andrew Somerville (Head News Editor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology)

I’ve always loved solving mysteries and exercising my creative side, and computer science lets me do both of those things on the daily.

- Anika Maskara (Head Web Design Editor, Computer Science)

What are the biggest discoveries and next frontiers in science that excite you?

The most recent one that a lot of people know of is, of course, the successful launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. One of the other discoveries I was excited about was Fermilab’s possible evidence of a new particle through using muons and finding a significant deviation from the Standard Model with the muon G-2 experiment.

- Inci Karaaslan (Head Cartoon Editor, Physics)

Some of the scientific advances I’ve been hearing about a lot lately are related to the exploration of Mars, which I’ve always been extremely interested in. Exploration of the unknown is what makes space travel, and science in general, so fascinating to me.

- Spencer Bauman (Associate Satire Editor, Chemical and Biological Engineering)

I’m really excited by all the present and upcoming advances in quantum computing. There are so many problems out there that today’s fastest supercomputers would take years to solve but that quantum computers could solve nearly instantaneously. That level of computing power will revolutionize so many industries, and it’s exciting to be part of the field as that happens.

- Anika Maskara (Head Web Design Editor, Computer Science)

I’m excited about what advancements in chemistry hold for the future of drug development — figuring out ways to optimize biochemical reactions in the lab can allow scientists to design drugs that work more efficiently in the body. This even holds promise for the development of drugs tailored to individual patients.

- Sandeep Mangat (Associate News Editor, Chemistry)

I’m really excited by the advances in microbiome research and immunotherapy. I’m also excited to see the new developments of mRNA technology and how it will treat a variety of viruses affecting many lives today.

- Senna Aldoubosh (Assistant Podcast Editor, Molecular Biology)

As someone interested in bioengineering, I’m super excited to see the development of new techniques such as optogenetics that would both allow us to study biological systems at a deeper level and translate to potential therapies for neurodegenerative and optical diseases. I’m also interested in the prospect of “big data” and the “omics” — developing computational tools that would allow us to make inferences about genetics and the proteome at a level never seen before.

- Meryl Liu (Assistant Instagram Editor, Chemical and Biological Engineering)

It’s hard to say what I’m excited for because the excitement of discovery comes from the unexpectedness of it. As a whole, I think I’m just excited to see what new things we find everyday and how we can use these discoveries in a practical way in our everyday lives.

- Angel Kuo (Associate Photo Editor, Neuroscience)

Compiled by Community Opinion Editor Rohit Narayanan (Electrical and Computer Engineering).

Comments