All throughout my childhood and into high school I was always interested in math and how it related and applied to different scientific fields. My school, however, had very limited options or opportunities to advance my education. In my later years there, I began taking night classes in math at my local community college in order to help me branch out past what my school was able to offer, but even then I was unable to find much opportunity to move my scientific interests forward.
Though I grew up in Arizona, I decided to move away and come to RPI in order to have better access to research and chances to continue moving forward academically. When I got here I was thrilled by the atmosphere around campus, and tried to get the most out of it by filling my time with numerous clubs and by attending different lecture series. I was always looking for new opportunities to help me advance towards my goals. Even so, I didn't know about the Accelerated BS/PhD program until the summer after my freshmen year when I received my invitation. I quickly realized that the program would give me great access to the things that I came to RPI seeking in the first place.
From the beginning of my stay at RPI I knew I wanted to participate in physics, but over time I was able to narrow my interests and focus on a few defined fields of research. From these I was able to create my rotations. I spent one rotation the spring of my sophomore year working in biophysics on protein folding with Professor Garcia, and in the following summer began two rotations in social networking and magnetohydrodynamics with Professor Szymanski and Professor Roberge respectively. I quickly decided that the social networking work fit me best and began working on that subject with Professor Korniss.