Minor: Brain and Behavior
Stephanie Tomasulo came to RPI knowing what she wanted to do.
“I always really liked doing hands on projects and got into physics mainly for the research aspect of it,” she said. “It’s very interesting to be able to predict how something will happen and then test to see if that is actually what happens.”
As a sophomore in the department of physics, applied physics, and astronomy, Tomasulo applied to NSF REU (National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates) programs at various colleges. She was accepted to the NSF REU program offered by RPI, which she said was a lot of hard work.
“But it’s worth it because it’s fun hard work,” she said.
Her latest summer research resulted in a paper she’ll present at an upcoming Materials Research Society meeting. Her research involved testing materials for green lasers developed in Rensselaer’s Future Chips Constellation.
This semester she is performing semiconductor spectroscopy work on solar cell materials and she is working on fuel cells.
Tomasulo also says that research allows her to understand classroom materials in a deeper, more meaningful way. “I learn a lot of concepts in class and do what I need to do in order to do well in these classes, but the material really sinks in once you apply it to something. For example, I learned a lot in my optics class, but after actually working with optical setups I began to really understand the material and was able to apply it to different situations.”