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Berkeley Lab Scientists Host 12 Albany Students for Annual Job Shadow Day

April 18, 2014

Albany HS Job Shadow Day students and mentors

Albany High School students pose with their Job Shadow Day mentors.

For the sixth consecutive year, researchers across Berkeley Lab hosted 12 juniors from Albany High School in conjunction with the school’s annual Job Shadow Day. In advance of the event, students select areas of career interest and parent volunteers match them with mentors around the Bay Area.

Zarija Lukic, Computational Cosmology Center (right) and Andrew Sterner, Albany

Rollin Thomas (right), Computational Cosmology Center, and Swechchha Parajuli, Albany High School student

Ten of the students spent the morning of Thursday, April 10 at the lab, ending their visit with lunch with their mentors. Two other students gave up a day of their spring break to visit mentors on April 15 and 17. Jon Bashor, Computing Sciences communications manager, organized the mentor-student matchups.

Zarija Lukic, Computational Cosmology Center (right) and Andrew Sterner, Albany

Zarija Lukic, Computational Cosmology Center (right) and Andrew Sterner, Albany High School Student

Andrew Sterner, a student who wrote “Astronomy is interesting to me in relation to theoretical physics” in his application spent the morning with Zarija Lukic of the Computational Cosmology Center in the Computational Research Division (CRD). “He was blowing my mind every five minutes with his descriptions,” Sterner said.

Photo of Andy Nonaka and Helena Rios

Andy Nonaka  (right), Computational Research Division with Helena Rios, Albany High School

Swechchha Parajuli, who plans to study physics and computer science, met with Rollin Thomas in the Computational Cosmology Center on April 17. She had to push back her participation to join in a Southern California tour by the Albany High choir. “It was great talking about the computation he actually does here at the lab, as well as the science behind it,” Parajuli said. At the end of her visit, she had lunch with Thomas and other staff members, who gave her suggestions about applying for universities.

Photo of Dan Martin, LBNL and David Harrison, Albany HS

Dan Martin of the Computational Research Division and Albany High School student David Harrison (foreground)

In a follow-up note to Dan Martin of CRD’s Applied Numerical Algorithms Group, student David Harrison wrote, “Thank you very much for taking the time last Thursday to mentor me during Job Shadow Day. I feel that it has given me a better idea of what research work involves and of the real applications for computers in science. I particularly enjoyed seeing the application of calculus to real world problems.” Harrison, one of two students to ride his bicycle up the hill for the day, also spent time talking about his passion for biking with Martin, an avid bicyclist himself.

“I'm glad you enjoyed it and found it useful too, and hope that your ride back was, well, more fun than the ride in,” Martin wrote back to Harrison. Martin, who most recently has been developing tools to simulate the melting of Antarctic glaciers, said he was impressed by how quickly Harrison was able to grasp what the group is doing and guess implications before Martin had a chance to explain them.

Other student-mentor pairings were:

  • Jennifer Li, meeting with Pardeep Pall of CRD and Jennifer Holm of Earth Sciences
  • Sean Lin, meeting with Bernard Li, IT Division
  • Patrick Lou and Alang Zhang, meeting with Andrew Lambert of Engineering
  • Tenzin Norbu, meetin g with Deirdre Olynick, Molecular Foundry
  • Helena Rios, meeting with Andy Nonaka, CRD
  • Bryant So and Seiji Van Bronkhorst, meeting with Dave Donofrio, CRD
  • Jason Tang, meeting with Sean Nord and Haris Mahic, Advanced Light Source

Additionally, Lisa Illes met later in April with Dipankar Dwivedi of the Earth Sciences Division. And on May 21, Lambert hosted a third student, Atharva Karnik, who is interested in mechanical engineering.

To get in the spirit of the day, Sterner joined Harrison in riding their bicycles from home all the way up the hill to the lab.

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

High performance computing plays a critical role in scientific discovery. Researchers increasingly rely on advances in computer science, mathematics, computational science, data science, and large-scale computing and networking to increase our understanding of ourselves, our planet, and our universe. Berkeley Lab’s Computing Sciences Area researches, develops, and deploys new foundations, tools, and technologies to meet these needs and to advance research across a broad range of scientific disciplines.