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Ri D

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Harvard University

Expertise

superconductivity, batteries, physics, math, fractals, semiconductors and solar cells, sustainable energy technology, applied computer programming projects related to physics or math, STEM education improvements (either through a social lens or through pedagogy lens)

Bio

My first three years of graduate research focused on designing new materials which can be used to build batteries. These materials need to have the right electronic properties so that the batteries will charge quickly, deliver enough power, have a long shelf life, and many many other considerations! The science in designing new battery materials is a fascinating intersection of chemistry, thermodynamics, and quantum mechanics. The primary tool I use to study material properties is called Density Functional Theory, which can be done by a computer! Now my work is focused on ways to improve physics education. I study how methods like peer instruction, project based learning, and active learning improve student's learning outcomes. I work on developing new methods which have statistically significant impacts on student outcomes. I am also interested in studying how social identities including gender and race impact physics education and the experience of students within underrepresented communities. In my free time, I love going on adventures outside. I like to hike, kayak, snowboard, and go camping. Since the weather is bad all too often, I also like to stay inside and cook, dance, listen to tons of music, rock climb, and read. I also spend a lot of time playing with my two cats.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Writing a program to model a fractal

Fractals are "self similar" images, meaning as you zoom in on one part of the image, you see that the image keeps being repeated. You can zoom in infinitely and find that this image repetition continues (for an example, look up youtube videos of the mandelbrot set). Fractals are not only beautiful to look at, but the math behind them is also interesting and useful! You can write a program in python to generate several different fractals. By the end, you will have gained invaluable coding skills, new math knowledge, and some really neat pictures to show off.

Build a new device utilizing superconducting levitation

Superconductivity is a fascinating and complicated physical property that certain materials possess. Superconducting materials inside of a magnetic field will even levitate! In this project you can obtain a superconducting material and explore this levitation property, and build a device of your choosing which would somehow rely on this levitation property.

Coding skills

python, mathematica, R

Teaching experience

I have worked as a tutor in math and physics for 6 years, with students as young as 9 and ranging all the way through adulthood. I taught 5 weeks of interactive science workshops to middle schoolers. I have mentored students through applying to graduate school. I have worked as a teaching fellow for a materials science class at Harvard University, and I won an award for my "outstanding" work as a teaching fellow. I am currently a teaching fellow for an introductory physics class which utilizes team based and project based learning, peer instruction, and active learning.

Credentials

Work experience

UC Davis (2017 - 2017)
NSF REU Undergraduate Researcher
University of Oregon (2017 - 2019)
Undergraduate Researcher

Education

University of Oregon
BS Bachelor of Science (2019)
Math and Physics double major
Harvard University
MA Master of Arts
Physics
Harvard University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Computational condensed matter physics

Completed Projects

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