If you asked me what lies at the top of my bucket list at any point in my life, I would have immediately responded by saying “Seeing the Northern Lights”. Even after having the incredible experience of observing them, it remains #1 on that list. It seems that others shared the same sentiment because while I was abroad in Denmark in the fall, John Slater ’22, Matt Sampson ’23 and I decided to study light pollution in Fairbanks, Alaska within the context of the Northern Lights.
I utilized part of my AMS grant to attend the Deep Learning Summit hosted by Re-Work in San Francisco, February 17–18. The summit hosted talks by academics, researchers in the technology industry and engineers involved in the development, production and implementation of Deep Learning algorithms.
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.