Amanda Peters Randles, Participant 2012 – In a few days, I’m heading toIn a few days, I’m heading to Germany for the 2012 Lindau Meeting. I feel incredibly lucky to be attending this meeting and am so excited for next week. I am hoping to graduate in the next year and am currently struggling with the decision of what direction to pursue next. I know that I want to stay involved with research but it’s difficult to decide from which angle: academia, national laboratory, or industry. I am looking forward to hearing from the Laureates about their career paths and in particular, talks like Douglas Osheroff‘s on ‘How Advances in Science Are Made’. As I am trying to find the best way to start my career, I can’t imagine a better opportunity than to be inspired by the Nobel Laureates presenting here.
As I’m preparing for the trip, I would have to say one of the points I’m looking forward to most is meeting the other young researchers. At a conference earlier this month, one of the other attendees posed the question, “What makes you get out of bed in the morning?”. While it seems like a common question, it made me pause and think. My initial thought was my family, but second was really my work. I think that’s what often makes researchers so unique. I chose to pursue a PhD because I am genuinely passionate about research and can’t wait to start attacking problems that I have encountered. This often means that I’ll be debating methods and working through solutions while in the shower or over breakfast. In preparing for the Lindau meeting, I am excited about meeting other people from all over the world who would likely also answer ‘Physics’ as a reason to get out of bed in the morning.
Amanda is currently pursuing her PhD in Applied Physics at Harvard University. Her research is to create large-scale simulations based on underlying physical principles that allow the assessment of quantities that otherwise could not be measured. Currently, she is using a kinetic model of fluid dynamics to measure endothelial shear stress, a factor associated with the progression of heart disease, in the coronary arteries. You can learn more about her research at http://people.seas.harvard.edu/~apeters.