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SULI Students 2008

(Image)The Summer Undergraduate Laboratory Internship program officially wrapped up last week, and its bright young students headed back to their home institutions. The summer was full of hard work, but also fun, excitement and new friendships. For nine weeks, SULI participants worked alongside their SLAC mentors in areas including astrophysics, accelerator science, synchrotron science, social science, and science writing. The students concluded the summer with talks and papers outlining their summer research.

"My summer was filled with meeting awesome people and writing an awesomely efficient code for simulating reionization," quipped SULI student Shuenn Patrick Ho. "My favorite part about SULI was not only being a part of a successful project, but also seeing how I could do it in a fun place and a comfortable environment. SLAC rocks!" Ho attends Princeton University and did astrophysics simulations of ionized hydrogen bubble growth during reionization with computational cosmologist Marcelo Alvarez of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology.

At the SULI farewell barbeque two weeks ago, SLAC Director Persis Drell spoke to the students and their mentors about the many researchers she has met who got their start in the SULI program. Drell wrote in her weekly SLAC Today column, "As our visitors return to their home institutions for the fall term, we wish them well and look forward to meeting them again as they pursue their careers, enriched, we hope, by their summer with us."

"Something great about the program was that I felt like an insider to the world of physics for the first time," said SULI student Karina Roitman. "We heard a talk about [the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope] mere hours after it started sending data, and, besides my mentor, I seemed to be the only one who knew about my project. Even textbooks don't talk about it." Roitman attends San Francisco State University, and worked on massive correlated data analysis with accelerator physicist Yiton Yan.

Southwestern University student Pelham Keahey added, "I really enjoyed working with and meeting many different people at SLAC. My mentor and everyone I got to work with were amazing and made this program go way beyond what I thought working at SLAC would be like." Keahey worked with physicist Richard Partridge on an analysis program to study the track finding ability of the Silicon Design Study simulation for the International Linear Collider.

SLAC Education Officer and SULI mentor Susan Schultz said, "In addition to their research experiences, the SULI students had a lot of fun camping in California's national parks, attending concerts in San Francisco, taking salsa dance lessons and competing in volleyball tournaments."

The students made a temporary home together in a group house on the Stanford campus. "Living with these amazing housemates, it was impossible to go a day without cracking more than my fair share of smiles. The SULI program was a wonderful experience, and surely one I will never forget," said University of California, Berkeley student Stanley Quan. Quan studied on X-ray absorption spectroscopy with Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory scientists John Bargar and Apurva Mehta.


"SLAC is an absolutely amazing place to work. I've enjoyed the program so much that I've decided to work as an intern for my mentor during the coming school year!"
Roxanne Martinez. Martinez worked with the High Performance Storage and Computing group's Adeyemi Adesanya to monitor project Blackbox node performance. Martinez attends Stanford University.

"I found myself pleasantly surprised to see how many people at SLAC are able to live well-balanced, fulfilling lives while contributing to some of the most cutting-edge research of our time. The positive atmosphere and abundance of smiles makes the working environment here at SLAC leave little to be desired."
Adam Zok. Zok worked on software for the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope with physicist Marcus Ackerman. He attends the University of California, Berkeley.

"I had a fantastic time writing about science and hanging with a group that was very tough to leave. I continue to laugh in my sleep at some of the funny things y'all came up with."
Zoe Macintosh. Macintosh worked as a science writing intern in the Communications office with Associate Director David Harris. She attends Smith College.
"I got to work on an interesting project, and work with some talented people. It was a great way to experience a real research environment."
―Jachin Spencer. Spencer studied the performance of the Linac Coherent Light Source timing mechanism with klystron physicist Ronald Akre. Spencer attends the University of Delaware.

—Calla Cofield
SLAC Today, August 27, 2008