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Math & Physics

Science is inherently interdisciplinary. You will often find biologists collaborating with physicists and engineers to develop the next generation of medical technology. Similarly computer scientists, physicists, mathematicians and engineers are currently working to develop the next generation of data and information processing. Understanding the math and physics behind the latest scientific developments is paramount to refining and developing new technologies.


In the Math/Physics PCRi course you will learn about the scientific method and how to characterize and develop experiments through various lenses. We will study topics from fields such as biophysics, topology, complex dynamics, computer programming, and optics. We hope to provide you with foundational research skills and mentorship from undergraduate and graduate students.

Guest Speakers

Julius King

Julius is a first year Physics Major at UNC Chapel Hill. He enjoys reading, playing basketball and chess, and running! He loves physics because of the depth of the subject and he is planning on pursuing research in Astrophysics. Julius wanted to participate in PCRi because he did not have access to research throughout high school. He believes it is important to get an early head start on figuring out if research is for you or what topics you may want to pursue. He is excited to share his experience so far and offer some advice.


Jaylen Carr

Jaylen senior majoring in Civil Engineering and minoring in Engineering Leadership and Development from Baltimore, Maryland. He is also a member of the Millennium Scholars Program, a program aimed at increasing the level of diversity of S.T.E.M. students who pursue postgraduate education. He loves basketball, working out, and hanging out with friends. He hopes to offer some advice and share his experiences!

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Takuma Makihara

Takuma received my BS in physics from Rice University in 2020 and is currently pursuing a PhD in Applied Physics at Stanford University. While at Rice, he pursued a few different research projects. Takuma's first project involved studying biomembranes using metallic nanoparticles. His second project involved studying how nanoparticles self-assemble into larger structures. Finally, he studied a variety of quantum phenomena in magnetic materials using an esoteric technique known as terahertz magnetospectroscopy.


Currently, Takuma is pursuing my degree in the field of quantum hardware. Quantum computers promise to solve computational problems exponentially faster than any classical computer we have today. However, we have to overcome many hardware challenges before building a useful quantum computer. There are many different physical platforms that are being explored for quantum hardware applications, and he is specifically interested in nanoscale mechanical oscillators (imagine extremely small pendulums). 


Takuma excited to participate in PCRi because he had no idea what a PhD or real research was when I started in high school, so he is always happy to talk with younger students interested in this career path.


Outside of research Takuma likes to hike, climb, and read science fiction.



Gina Panopoulou

Gina grew up on the island of Crete in Greece, and got interested in Physics and Astronomy through school projects. She studied Physics and got a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Crete. She moved to Caltech in 2017 and received a NASA postdoctoral fellowship in 2019. She studies the stuff between stars: the gas and dust from which stars are formed (i.e. the Interstellar medium). She's excited about sharing cool tricks we can play with light to learn more about the Universe and talking about how research works.

Arynn Gallegos

Arynn Gallegos is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, she went to college at the University of Southern California, and she is currently living in the Bay Area and is an Electrical Engineering PhD Student at Stanford! Her research interests are in optoelectronic materials and devices– basically, she loves light and understanding how light and electricity interact with materials to create interesting and useful phenomena. Currently, she is working on developing new lasers with a variety of materials! Her research sits at the intersection of physics, electrical engineering, and material science. Outside of lab, in college and beyond, she has been heavily involved in STEM organizations and societies focused on empowering the next generation of diverse STEM leaders – one of her greatest passions outside academics is being involved in the community advance STEM education with URM students like herself. Outside of that, she loves running, hiking, cooking, and baking, and she is always looking to find new places to explore. Arynn is excited to get to know the students, learn about what they're passionate about, and share the knowledge and experience she has picked up so far in my educational journey!

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Sample Course Schedule

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