Reflections on the Compass Lectures

Dec 9, 2010   //   by gina   //   Compass News  //  No Comments

This semester was the third set of Compass lectures I’ve organized since coming to Cal and it was probably the best I’ve seen since being here.  The lecture series has always done what they were intended to do- expose undergraduates to current on-campus research.   This semester I found them particularly meaningful, not just because I’m finally reaching the point where I can actually understand most of the content, but because it helps remind us of what science really is.  Being a third year undergrad studying physics is challenging, to say the least, and this semester I found myself taking the two most difficult and time consuming classes I have ever taken in my life.  My school life was characterized by so much self doubt about my ability to be a physicist.  But every other week, going to the Compass lectures reminded me why I’m spending hours in the reading room on work that seems meaningless- because at the end of all of this lies really badass research.  Every lecture inspired me and made me fall in love with physics again, after weeks of frustration.  I know that this sounds like an abusive relationship, but I guess what I am trying to say is that physics is hard.  The path to becoming a physicist certainly is not an easy one, but it is indescribably cool and enables you to do the most amazing things.  Thanks to Josh Bloom, Yury Kolomensky, Geoff Marcy, Feng Wang and Hal Haggard for reminding me of this.  You guys are awesome!

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