Tersi Arias-Young Tersi Arias-Young

2nd Year Graduate Student
UCLA - Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences

I work with Cassini images of Titan and look for changes in cloud features with the goal of understanding and possibly one day predict Titan's global climate change. I am also a teaching associate for Air and Water pollution classes in my department.
  When I graduate, I would like to teach and work as a research scientist

Carl Sagan and my parents inspired me to choose my path of study and research

My first day of research work was one of my favorite moments in my career
Agape Awad Agape Awad

3rd Year, Biochemistry Major
University of California, Los Angeles

The nature of my Biochemistry studies at UCLA is encompassed in many unique studies in various aspects of the sciences, such as Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Physics (and Mathematics), and of course, Biochemistry.
  After I graduate, I wish to attend Medical School (specializing in Pediatrics) or Graduate School in Biochemistry.

My parents inspired me to pursue studies in the field of Chemistry, since it is something that I truly love and enjoy.

My favorite moment so far in my studies is being involved in Biochemistry Research at UCLA, as well as my summer internship at a Chemistry Industry Laboratory.
Sabrina Billinghurst Sabrina Billinghurst

MS Human Factors
Cal State Long Beach - Department of Psychology

I study Human Factors, which examines the capabilities and constraints of the human and applies that information to the design of human-machine systems. We answer research questions by testing participants, analyzing data, and making conclusions or recommendations based on the results. I have also been a teaching assistant for behavioral statistics and Human Factors courses.
  What do you want to do when you graduate? Perform Human Factors research.

My professors inspired me by pushing me when they knew I could do better.

My favorite moment was when I presented a paper at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society's Annual Conference.
Nora Brackbill Nora Brackbill

3rd Year Undergraduate, Physics
UCLA - Physics and Astronomy

I work in the Photonics Lab at UCLA, which does research in a variety of applications. My particular field is biophotonics, which combines elements of bioengineering, specifically microfluidics, and photonics to create medical devices.
  I would like to pursue a Ph.D. in Physics.

I like learning about how the technology around me works.

My favorite moment was getting to work on an independent gas sensing project in my lab.
Sarah Bronner Sarah Bronner

5th Year Graduate Student, Organic Chemistry
UCLA - Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

My work is in the field of organic chemistry. My research involves the development of synthetic strategies and methods that enable the synthesis of biologically relevant organic molecules.
  Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Caltech, I plan to either pursue a career in academia or in the pharmaceutical industry.

I was inspired to pursue a career in chemistry by an enthusiastic high school chemistry teacher.

My favorite moment in my career thus far was joining the lab of a new professor and helping to start a research program from scratch.
Yang Cao Yang Cao

4th year Graduate Student majored in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
UCLA - Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Yang's current research is an attempt to determine the potential intensity of Northeastern U.S. snowstorms (Nor'easters) based on Ensemble Hindcasting made with weather prediction models; Yang is also serving as a teaching assistant of Introduction to Meteorology class for UCLA undergraduate students.
  I plan to pursue an academic career in the Atmospheric Science field.

My advisor Prof. Robert G. Fovell inspired me to choose my current path of research.

My favorite moment so far in my career was presenting my research at the 14th Conference on Mesoscale Processes and seeing my advisor, seated in the audience, giving me a thumbs-up.
Carina Cheng Carina Cheng

3rd Year Undergraduate, Astrophysics Major
UCLA - Physics and Astronomy

I work with quantitative data sets, studying various parameters that describe Earth's atmosphere. I hope to understand whether this additional knowledge can be used to improve the Adaptive Optics telescope system at Keck Observatory.
  I hope to pursue a PhD in astrophysics and an eventual career in academia.

I am enthusiastic about astronomy and am inspired by my advisor Dr. Andrea Ghez.

It was really exciting working with real galactic center images when I first began research!
Daniela Cruz Daniela Cruz

Electrical and Biomedical Engineering Senior
CSU, Long Beach - Electrical Engineering Department

I am a senior EE mayor with an emphasis in Controls. But I am also interested in the Material Science part of Engineering.
  I plan on pursuing PhD in the area of Electrical Engineering and learn more about the characteristics of metamaterials.

I was inspired to pursue a Science degree after reading "Hyperspace" by Michio Kaku.

I really enjoyed working in a research summer program at the University of Delaware where I learned about photonic crystal sensors and their use as ultrasound detectors.
Inca Dieterich Inca Dieterich

Senior, Biology Major
Occidental College

I am a student currently exploring many different fields of biology. I have an internship at JPL in the Planetary Protection Group, studying the survival of microorganisms on Mars. Additionally, I do ecological research on genetics of plant populations in Costa Rica by working in a lab at UCLA.
  I hope to work for my PhD in Neuroscience.

My neurobiology professor, Dr. Kerry Thompson, has sparked my interest and lead me down the path for my career in Neurosciences.

During the first week of my internship at JPL, my mentor Dr. Fei Chen took me into the Spacecraft Assembly Facility Clean room to collect samples: never have I felt so inspired with the opportunities I have yet to explore.
Stefanie Dimayuga Stefanie Dimayuga

3rd Year Undergraduate, Geology
University of California, Riverside - Geosciences Dept.

During the summer of 2011, I worked in a geochemical kinetics lab where we calculated the rates and mechanisms of ore mineral dissolution and oxidation reactions in different geologic settings using batch mode Teflon reaction vessels. I also work as a science ambassador for my college where we work as recruiters and advisors for students interested in the sciences.
  I plan on pursuing a career in research focusing on global climate change.

I was inspired by my Geology/Astronomy professor, Dr. Mark Boryta from Mt. San Antonio College.

My favorite moment was when I presented my research at my first symposium at the University of California Riverside.
Midhat Farooq Midhat Farooq

Senior, Physics and Math Major
UCLA - Physics

I am a hard working student of physics and math, currently working on the search for local parity violation in strong interactions. I perform data analysis tasks associated with the project, for which the data is taken at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.
  After graduation, I will be attending graduate school to start my PhD in Physics.

I am inspired by all great physicists: those who formulated theories in the past and those who are making discoveries today.

My favorite moment so far in my career is being introduced to the formulations of Quantum Mechanics.
Kelly Ferguson Kelly Ferguson

Geology Graduate Student
Cal State University, Fullerton - Geological Sciences

I am currently using thermochronology to determine the uplift rate of rocks in southern Alaska near the convergent margin of the North American plate and Yakutat microplate. I am also teaching geology labs for undergraduate students. I find both my research and teaching to be very rewarding.
  What do you want to do when you graduate? After graduating I would like to get a job as a geologist at a national park or as a teacher on the collegiate level, with the objective of becoming a professional geologist.

Who inspired you to choose your current path of study/research? My high school science teacher first inspired me to pursue the sciences.

Tell us about a favorite moment so far in your career: Helicoptering around the Prince William Sound of Alaska to collect rock samples for my research.
Emily Quinn Finney Emily Quinn Finney

Class of 2014, Physics
Scripps College - Keck Science Department

Though I have not yet had the opportunity to participate in research, I have found myself particularly fascinated by the particle and atomic interactions that shaped the formation and current structure of the Universe. I look forward to continuing to pursue astrophysics and to discover specific research interests within this field.
  I have not yet decided on a career path, but I deeply enjoy teaching and suspect that will somehow play a role in my future.

Professor Scot A.C. Gould was my primary influence in choosing to pursue physics.

During my first year, I attended a lecture during which one of the speakers showed a picture of galaxy clusters. The vastness of the Universe absolutely awed me, and that was the moment I decided I wanted to be a physics major.
Annie Hedlund Annie Hedlund

Sophomore, Astrophysics Major
Pomona College - Physics

Student at Pomona College, introductory physics teaching assistant and grader, research assistant for Professor Phil Choi studying angular momentum evolution in star-forming portions of the star cluster Berkeley 87
  I plan to attend graduate school, pursue a career in galactic and extra-galactic research, and one day become a professor at a small liberal arts college.

I was inspired to pursue this area of study due to a constant exposure to a clear, night sky growing up in Minnesota and a long-standing fascination with science.

My favorite moment so far in my career is when I solo-operated Pomona College's 1-m telescope located at Table Mountain Observatory.
Irina Kukuyeva Irina Kukuyeva

PhD Candidate, Statistics
UCLA - Department of Statistics

I specialize in statistical computing with R, with ap-plications to environmental and atmospheric sciences, medical imaging, finance and online advertising. It is rewarding to know that as a Statistician, I get to work on projects where no two research questions are the same; have the unique opportunity to simultaneously partner with experts in different disciplines; learn about the subject area; and apply my statistical knowledge to mentor students and answer challenging questions about the world around me.
  My ideal job is one that is both challenging and rewarding, where I am a Post-Doc, professor or consultant successfully applying my expertise and collaborating with colleagues and students on a number of projects.

My first professor of Statistics inspired my to pursue it as a career path, by showing students that Statistics can be fun, intuitive, and facilitate interesting research projects.

My favorite moment was finding out that I can be a part of space exploration by analyzing satellite data from Earth and Jupiter for my dissertation.
Elizabeth Palmer Elizabeth Palmer

First-Year Graduate Student, Planetary Geophysics
UCLA - Earth and Space Sciences

I am working with two space missions, one of which is orbiting an asteroid and the other on its way to a comet. When a radar signal is sent through a rocky body, I can look for distortions in the returned signal to figure out how the inside is structured, and what it is made of.
  I plan to work in a research facility where I can study planetary science, and hope to be involved with space missions.

I have wanted to learn more about the Solar System since I was very young, and chose to dedicate myself to pursuing it as a career.

My favorite experience has been meeting other scientists and engineers who are just as excited about studying space as I am.
Lauren Pearce Lauren Pearce

Ph.D Candidate
UCLA - Physics Department

I am a theorist whose research focuses on the possibility of baryogenesis through solitosynthesis-induced phase transitions, particularly in the Minimal Supersymmetric Model. I am also a teaching assistant at UCLA.
  After graduation, I plan to pursue post-doctoral research.

I was inspired to study science by my high school chemistry teacher, Mrs. King.

I spent an enjoyable summer during undergrad working on the ATLAS detector at CERN.
Monique Poluan Monique Poluan

4th year Computer Engineering
UC, Riverside - Bourns College of Engineering

Student and aspiring engineer
  I plan on joining the rising computer science industry.

When I realized computer science problems are just giant puzzles or proofs waiting to be solved, I knew this was the field for me.

My favorite moment is speaking with young female students and getting them excited about math and science—letting them know they too can one day become a scientist or engineer.
Jennifer Prause Jennifer Prause

4th Year Undergraduate, Civil Engineering
California State University,Long Beach

As a current student, research assistant, and president of the CSULB Chapter of Chi Epsilon, I take pride diligently applying myself to my studies and responsibilities at school. My primary objective throughout my college career has been to perform at the highest level of excellence, which is evidenced by my strong academic record.
  I plan on pursuing a master's degree in civil engineering followed by a PhD with an emphasis on seismic research.

Over the years, I have followed the efforts of seismologists Dr. Lucy Jones and Dr. Kate Hutton, whom have inspired me to pursue seismic research.

By far my favorite moment in my college career happened this semester when I was offered and accepted a position as an Undergraduate Research Assistant.
Rebecca Roycroft Rebecca Roycroft

3rd Year Undergraduate, Physics Major
UCLA - Physics and Astronomy

I work in an experimental condensed matter laboratory right now, studying third sound in superfluid helium adsorbed on carbon nanotubes, with the goal of better understanding the superfluid phase transition.

I'm also involved in undergraduate physics clubs and have been a tutor for lower division physics classes.
  Hopefully I'll go on to get a PhD in physics, and have a career in experimental research!

I'm inspired by the number of discoveries and technological breakthroughs that have already occurred in my lifetime.

Doing research full time at UCLA last summer was incredible—I stayed at the lab until 1am quite often!
Jennifer Scully Jennifer Scully

PhD student in Geology
UCLA - Department of Earth & Space Sciences

Currently I am working on the Dawn mission. My focus is the mapping and geological interpretation of the surface of the asteroid Vesta. I do this by processing and interpreting Framing Camera images, digital terrain models and compositional data from the Dawn spacecraft. I am also involved in Dawn's Education and Public Outreach. I write and edit the Dawn Image of the Day explanatory paragraphs on the JPL Dawn website and I am involved in the development of the CosmoQuest's Asteroid Mappers: Vesta Edition.
  I want to continue participating in the geological exploration of planetary bodies as a part of future space mission science teams and by studying data from past missions.

I've always been interested in rocks and space so choosing to study planetary geology was perfect for me.

I especially enjoyed presenting a poster of my mapping work at the American Geophysical Union 2011 meeting because it was a great opportunity to discuss my results and ideas with other interested scientists.