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2020 MEMC Students


Zachary Alvidrez

Zach Smiling for cameraInstitute: Rio Hondo College
Mentor: Daniel Gamelin, Chemistry

Zach Alvidrez is a Marine Corps veteran and recent graduate of Rio Hondo College where he received Associate of Science degrees in Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics. He will be attending UC Berkeley beginning fall of 2020 as a chemistry major in junior standing. This summer, Zach is working in collaboration with students from both Dr. Li and Dr. Gamelin’s labs to examine the magnetic exchange interactions of Manganese-doped inverted core/shell Zinc selenide semiconductor nanocrystals through the application of density functional theory. There will be several inverted core/shell systems with differing shell layers, explored to obtain an understanding of the electronic properties of these materials. In his free time, Zach enjoys reading, hiking trails, and occasionally playing video games. His goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in Chemistry and pursue a career in research.

Sofía Edgar

Sofía in front of hiking sign, smilingInstitution: Bates College
Mentor: Arka Majumdar, Electrical Engineering

Sofía Edgar is a sophomore at Bates College majoring in physics and engineering. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Materials Science Engineering, eventually leading to a job in the development of sustainable materials. This summer she is in Arka Majumdar’s lab, exploring the applications of optics in machine learning. At Bates, Sofía is part of the Bates Astrophysics Galaxy Evolution Lab (BAGEL)and is currently studying the emissions of galaxies as a method to measure star formation rates. Sofía is an active member of the Bates College Orchestra and Latinos Unidos, Bates’ Latinx affinity group. Leading to this career path, Sofía traveled to King George Island, Antarctica in December 2018 as part of the Joint Antarctic School Expedition to observe and collect data on the negative effects of pollution on the Antarctic landscape. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry, playing the violin, and sculpting miniatures from polymer clay.

Shaelyn Iyer

Shaelyn smiling with their dog in front of a lakeInstitution: Northwestern University
Faculty Mentor: Xiaosong Li, Chemistry

Shaelyn is pursuing a chemical engineering degree at Northwestern University, where she has done research in computational chemistry and enjoys being a study group facilitator for engineering classes. This summer, she is working in Dr. Xiaosong Li’s lab using quantum chemical methods to study defects in nanodiamonds. Shaelyn is interested in the fundamental laws that govern material properties and plans to pursue a doctorate in either materials science or physics. In her free time, she enjoys running, playing piano, traveling, and spending time with friends, family, and her dog.

Logan McCarthy

Logan in front of a statueInstitution: Louisiana Technical University
Faculty Mentor: Christian Pederson, Physics

Logan is a United States Navy Veteran attending Louisiana Technical University as a senior undergraduate student. He is currently pursuing a triple degree in biomedical engineering, computer science, and cyber engineering. This summer, Logan is working in Dr. Kai-Mei Fu’s Optical Spintronics and Sensing lab under the mentorship of Christian Pederson. He is currently the president of Louisiana Tech’s Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) chapter as well as the president of Louisiana Tech’s Development of Interdisciplinary Research (DIRe) club. Logan is pursuing research in the fields of brain-computer interfacing and machine learning, but he hopes to one day start his own engineering firm. During his down time, Logan loves to play music, invent new gadgets, and do anything outdoors.

Christian Murphy

Christian smiling in front of a garden Institution: Green River College
Faculty Mentor: Xiaodong Xu, Materials Science & Engineering

Christian is a non-traditional sophomore at Green River College aspiring to become a Chemical Engineer. He is building his experience in the Xiaodong Xu Lab by studying 2-D materials, optical spectroscopy, and electrical transport. With this work, he hopes to expand his horizons and better understand the processes from their inception. Christian is an active member of his college’s MESA program and tutors for the school’s Math Learning Center. Originally from Massachusetts, he enjoys going to Red Sox games, cooking, gardening, listening to music, and helping others build connections in math.