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Intern Class of 2012
CIS caught up with Sadie Wolters, one of our most recent summer interns. She described to us her internship experience and let us know what her future plans are.
Briefly describe what your research project involved.
This past summer, I worked with Dr. Andy Robinson and Davide Lena on figuring out the gas kinematics around a super massive black hole in the center of a galaxy. I used IDL and IRAF to create contours of radio and optical emissions, and overlay them onto other images of the galaxy to look for patterns. We also looked at atomic emission lines to see how they were shifted to get a better idea of how far away the galaxy was. I personally calculated the red-shift of the galaxy (which is now on NED- super cool!), the number of ionizing photons emitted by the galaxy, and its systemic and rotational velocities.
What was your favorite experience during the internship?
I loved getting to learn so much about how stuff works in the universe. It was really great, because I got to meet a lot of new people, including professors and college students who were really helpful and taught me a TON of stuff. I also loved hanging out with the other interns- the 10:00 coffee runs to Java's and the Friday afternoon cook outs were a blast! I think my absolute favorite memory was the field trip to the Mees Observatory and Sticky Lips. It was a lot of fun, and delicious!
How has the internship influenced or changed you?
I think that the internship helped me to be more outgoing, because I had to ask for help A LOT. I ended up emailing someone in Brazil for help on one of my programs, which was totally cool, even though I'd never met him before... which was a little intimidating for me. The presentation at the end of the year (picture at left) also really taught me a lot about giving presentations in general, and public speaking. I learned time management skills and research skills too, because a lot of what I did was completely new to me, but I was expected to figure out how to do it, do it right, and do it on time, with as little help as possible. I really grew as a learner that way.
What are your future plans?
RIT all the way!!! I want to have a dual major in Imaging Science and Physics, and maybe get my Masters or PhD in Astrophysics someday.
Would you recommend this experience to others?
Definitely! I had so much fun this summer, meeting the other interns and making friends. I learned so much, and had a blast doing it.... while getting paid! What more could you want?!?!
Anything else you would like to mention.
I loved doing this and I think that it's an awesome opportunity. We were all involved in actual research, and there was something for all of us. Everyone was super nice, and I made a ton of friends, some of whom were interns and others were college students or professors.
Sadie will be graduating from Hilton High School in 2013. You can read the blog she kept while she was an intern here.