One can always rely on studies of matter at the atomic scale to discover unique and unusual things. Given the way materials act under certain conditions, many times it seems one of these characteristics brings about the other, without explanation. It is this volatility and excitement that has solidified my continuous passion within this field and in my life’s endeavors. It is the curiosity of the unexpected, the search for a greater understanding of our world at the atomic scale, and in a dynamic environment, that brings me to pursue graduate studies in the USA.
My parents say that I was always an inquisitive girl. Throughout my childhood I played with all sorts of scientific toys and tried to figure out how things work. My superlative performance in school earned me a number of awards at the national level in India. By the end of my early education, I had developed a keen interest in science and decided to work towards it and chose it as my career. I was fascinated by one of my undergraduate subjects Physics. I took several fundamental physics courses and my overall grades in my undergraduate studies were excellent. This preparation led me to pass the ‘National Graduate-ship of Physics’ exam during my undergraduate study in India.
To further extend my knowledge of physics, I enrolled in the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (MSU), for a Master’s degree specialized in solid state physics. At MSU, I lived independently and took several specialized physics courses. I found theoretical solid state physics and experimental condensed matter physics to be the most exciting as it continuously peaked my interest. The theory inspired me to study this subject more deeply and made me familiar with its modern concepts.
During the final year of my Master’s studies, I developed a keen interest in different types of crystal growth techniques including melt method, vapor method, and the solution method. I began working on the project titled “Crystal growth of alloy crystal ‘Bi-Sb’ using zone melting method”. During this project, I successfully grew Bi-Sb crystal.
Unfortunately, changes to the code governing universities in India brought about a substantial decrease in research and development funds. As experimental science is incredibly resource intensive, I decided to continue my education in the USA at a laboratory with more capacities. Having always wanted to work in experimental condensed matter physics, I entered into the Master’s program at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). From the start, I joined the Postma Nano Group to study experimental nanotechnology. This has led to novel work on an NSF-funded research project under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Henk Postma. We are exploring various properties of nanostructured materials and studying DNA translocation through graphene nanogaps in order to demonstrate single-molecule rapid sequencing. Currently, I am completing my thesis research and will promptly present the...