Category: Profiles

Amherst College Science Center

ASN Interviews Famed Science Writer Ed Yong Ahead of LitFest

Man in printed shirt gazes into camera for formal portrait

By Kyle Hur and Nora Lowe Ed Yong is a science journalist and the author of two New York Times bestsellers. He has received national recognition for his science writing, including winning the Pulitzer Prize in explanatory journalism and the Victor Cohn Prize for medical science reporting. The Amherst STEM Network had the pleasure of…

A New Look into Computer Science: An Interview with Professor Lillian Pentecost 

Article by Pho Vu In the beginning of the fall 2022 semester, I had the opportunity to sit down with Professor Lilian Pentecost, the newest addition to Amherst College’s Computer Science Department, for The Amherst Student’s “Fresh Faculty” article.  After our initial interview, I asked to follow up with Professor Pentecost to delve deeper into…

Probing Planet Formation: Cailin Plunkett Thesis Spotlight

Article by Amy Zheng Cailin Plunkett ’23 is a physics and math major from Oakland, California. She is writing her thesis with Assistant Professor of Astronomy Kate Follette on the formation of protoplanets. Since childhood, Plunkett wanted to study space and physics. Despite receiving advice to pursue computer science or engineering, Plunkett chose to follow…

Exploring PAR-1 in Neuromuscular Junctions—An Interview With SURF Participant Zakaria Shenwari

Could you briefly describe your research? “Of course! Our lab research is concerned with Drosophila—a fancy name for house flies. We are using the JR neuromuscular junction of Drosophila as a model system. Every student’s research is different, [but] I was assigned to research one of the proteins called PAR-1 within the presynaptic region of…

Spilling the Peas on STEMsibs

This piece was co-authored by Amy Zheng. STEMsibs, derived from “STEM siblings,” is a student group with a mission to guide new and undeclared students throughout their STEM journey at Amherst College. The STEMsibs offer monthly informational panels hosted by upperclassmen to form a tight-knit STEM community.  Tavus Atajanova, one of the group’s organizers, describes…

Positive Psychology: A Q&A with Professor Sanderson

Cover of Dr. Sanderson's book; rainbow design.

This year, the Amherst DeMott reading and lecture were centered around Poler Family Professor of Psychology Catherine Sanderson’s book, The Positive Shift: Mastering Mindset to Improve Happiness, Health, and Longevity. I sat down with her to ask a few questions inspired by the reading. Could you start by describing what your book, The Positive Shift…

An Interview with Presidential Scholar Dr. Harriet Washington

Amherst STEM Network had the privilege of interviewing inaugural Presidential Scholar Harriet Washington. Washington has been a research fellow at Harvard Medical School, a senior research scholar at the National Center for Bioethics at Tuskegee University, a Shearing Fellow at the Black Mountain Institute, and a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University. As a…

A New Approach to Data Analysis: Chloe Wohlgemuth Thesis Spotlight

The following was adapted from an interview between Chloe Wohlgemuth ’22 and Max Hauschildt. Could tell us a bit about yourself? Why did you decide to do a senior thesis? I am a computer science and physics double-major. Aside from one AP class, I had never taken computer science before coming to Amherst. Coming to…

Following the Script: Kelly Huang Thesis Spotlight

Kelly Huang ’22 is a mathematics and psychology major from Arcadia, California. Her thesis explores the relationship between anger scripts and psychological adjustment, specifically looking at depression, anxiety, and stress. A script is an assumption or expectation that people have in their heads about how different kinds of interactions are supposed to go. These expectations…