Photogrammetry is the technique of obtaining measurements of an object using a series of photographs. The digital technique can be used to generate reliable 3D models. I wanted to learn more about photogrammetry as it is used in documenting archaeological finds and capturing underwater shipwrecks. Photogrammetry can be used to ensure certain vulnerable artifacts, such as a submerged merchant vessel, are recorded and can be studied even if the original model has succumbed to environmental degradation.
One day when I was a first-year, I decided to go walk along the Chenango Trail Towpath. The problem was: I had no idea where it started. I had heard people talk about it, but I had trouble finding it - apparently, it was somewhere behind Price Chopper?
Coming to Colgate, I had an interest in pursuing a finance-related career. As a Mathematical Economics major, I have studied economic theory for years but had not been exposed to its application. The Tuck Business Bridge Program through Dartmouth University allowed me to work with students across the country to learn skills essential to the finance industry and to think independently about the valuations of corporations. Working in teams on a final capstone project and presenting our findings to industry executives had the biggest impact, as we were forced to defend our position in a high-pressure situation. Participating in this program helped me not only learn necessary skills but provided me the opportunity to network with professionals in many finance-related sectors.
I spent a big part of my teenage years playing a video game called Dota 2, and around the summer of 2019, an artificial intelligence research laboratory called OpenAI unveiled their own bots that they trained for the game’s eSports scene. These bots went on to defeat the then world champions, and I watched that event with a lot of curiosity. At the time I was struggling with what I wanted to do with computer science and what field I wanted to specialize in, and eventually, I realized that the intersection of mathematics, optimization and computer science was something I found really interesting and set to work on it. I was lucky enough to get a summer research job at Colgate where I was going to work on supervised machine learning problems, and since it was the summer right after the pandemic started a lot of the summer courses that were traditionally offered in-person were moved online. I wanted to use this as an opportunity to take some of these courses since I thought I probably would not get another similar opportunity so I enrolled in the Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python course at Harvard University. Since the course’s description was explicitly focused on AI and not data analysis, I thought it would help me round off my research’s focus and help prepare me for some of my personal projects which are more in line with the kind of work OpenAI did to train the Dota bots.
Both England and Pakistan are among major cricketing nations. Yet cricket is substantially more popular in Pakistan and is part of almost every Pakistani’s childhood and features in almost every dinner conversation. However, the cricket that is widely played in Pakistan is a modified version of the sport with different rules to accommodate the lack of equipment and facilities. In the UK, the cricket playing fanbase – although small – plays the sport much more seriously. Resources of a developed country, of course, help in ensuring access to cricketing facilities. However, cricket in the UK is just that – a sport. In Pakistan, it is religion.
“The sight of the twinkling stars made a strong impression on us and led to discussions of astronomy. We would marvel at the sun as it came slowly toward the horizon and finally appeared in all of its splendor to bathe the Alps in a mystic rose.” -- Maurice Solovine on his relationship with Albert Einstein.
I came to Colgate interested in plants, not knowing much about how they worked or the first thing about how to research them. I was fortunate to find myself in Professor Eddie Watkins’ sporadically cluttered Fern Ecophysiology lab later my freshman year. He gave me the freedom to explore different research projects and the homely energy in the lab inspired an almost mad scientist in me, doing multiple experiments with ferns at a time, just for the love of seeing what would happen. I was hooked. Ever since, I haven’t looked back, so it was only natural to use my AMS funding to figure out a way to study ferns.
During my two months abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, my AMS funds allowed me the opportunity to travel to a few other cities in Europe in pursuit of my research. In the time that I had, my funds allowed me to travel to Sweden, Norway, Prague, Belgium, and Hungary. I visited two cities in Sweden, Malmo and Stockholm, and one city in each of the rest. Throughout these two months, I was studying as a full-time student in Copenhagen, and conducted my research there as well. Due to my obligations to my studies, most of my travel took place on weekends. In each of these cities, I visited public libraries to obtain my sample from the books that were put on clear display.
For my AMS project I wanted to investigate storytelling in other countries. I found that some of the most important national narratives are found in memorials that commemorate important events and collective tragedies, which are defining moments in a country’s history. As an English major, I am interested in text-based storytelling, but I also appreciate the power of art, photographs, statues, and other modes of representation. I had the privilege to travel to four different countries with my study abroad program, Semester at Sea. While in Japan, Vietnam, Mauritius, and South Africa, I used my AMS funding to visit important sites such as commemorative museums and engage in interpersonal exchange where possible. Here is a brief summary of my key findings in each country.
Throughout my time at Colgate, I have spent hundreds of hours in McGregory Hall hunched over textbooks and class notes studying rigorous mathematical theories and models. Many of these models came from the minds of German mathematicians, and the city of Berlin is rooted in rich mathematical history. However, what the liberal arts background of Colgate has taught me, and through my experiences with other students on campus, is that there are social impacts and takeaways of even seemingly unrelated fields such as math. Combining my interests in math and how society can be impacted in surprising ways, I spent five days immersing myself in the city of Berlin and analyzed how math was underlying many societal aspects of the city.