• Students

    Aarone Perez is an Oxnard College student transferring to CSU Channel Islands in the fall. Pursuing a degree in chemistry, he wishes to one day play an active role in the evolution of technology. He will be investigating nanoparticles with his mentor Samuel Bennett this summer.
    See all his posts

    Alexander Lyte is an Economics student at UCSB. He works in China, Washington DC, and Los Angeles on economic initiatives for multiple organizations, including trade negotiations, research for antitrust litigation, and DOT-funded studies. He is currently working in the Center for Nanotechnology in Society researching expertise in deliberations on nanotechnology.
    See all his posts

    Britt Christy is an astrophysics major at Santa Monica College. This summer she is working as an intern in Dr. Phil Lubin's astrophysics lab with mentor Ishai Rubin at UCSB helping to design and build a 10 Ghz microwave telescope. The goal of her assigned project, LATTE, is to study microwave data from our galaxy in order to distinguish it from the cosmic microwave background radiation. Her number one passion in life is physics, her dream is to one day work in Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory! (Or maybe even be an astronaut!)
    See all her posts

    Daniel Vicory attends Allan Hancock College, majors in computer science, and will be transferring to a university in fall 2012. He has a passion for all things related to computers. This summer he'll be working at UCSB in Prof. Xifeng Yan's Data Mining Lab with mentor Nan Li, improving Hadoop's efficiency.
    See all his posts

    Dylan McCapes attends Santa Barbara City College. He is very interested in science and engineering and plans to major in computer engineering at UCLA or UCSB. This summer he will be creating a process to remove surfactants from a liquid-liquid interface in Professor Gary Leal's fluid mechanics lab.
    See all his posts

    Elizaveta Davies is a Chemistry major at Santa Barbara City College. She is working in Dr. Sumita Pennathur's Lab. She will be participating in the future development of a lab on a chip system, that will be used in DNA fingerprinting.
    See all her posts

    Ivan Lucatero recently transferred from Allan Hancock College to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as an Aerospace Engineering Major. He will be working with Anahita Mirtabatabei, conducting research on a problem called "self-assembly" with a program called Matlab.
    See all his posts

    Jason is a Santa Barbara City College student interested in chemistry and biochemistry. He will be working in Dr. Arturo Keller's lab researching the interactions of TiO2, Ag and Pt nanoparticles with specific amino acids. Jason is entering the Neuroscience program at UCLA in the fall.
    See all his posts

    Jose Cruz attends Ventura Community College. His interests are mainly rooted in scientific inquiries and discoveries. He will be working in the Gordon Lab on organic photovoltaic cells and using microscopy techniques to probe them.
    See all his posts

    Juan David Gutierrez-Franco just finished attending Allan Hancock College and is transfering to Cal Poly SLO. He enjoys all science but mainly physics. He will be working with electrowetting in free surface microfluidics in Professor Carl Meinhart's lab in UCSB this summer.
    See all his posts

    Lara Voelker is a second year student at Moorpark College. She is currently studying biochemistry and is hoping to transfer in 2012. She is interested in learning about the way the world works, as well as coming up with functional methods to preserve this functionality through ecology. This summer she will be studying tidepool organisms in Steve Gaines' lab, working closely with projects that graduate student Stephen Gosnell has initiated.
    See all her posts

    Morgan Swaidan attended Ventura College and is interested in physics and chemistry, among lots of other things. She will be working in Dr. John Bowers' optoelectronics lab this summer.
    See all her posts

    Noe Gonzalez, Santa Barbara City College, majoring in Electrical Engineering. This summer, I will be working in Dr. Katie Byl's Robotics lab along with Guilia Piovan my mentor this summer doing research on a one-legged walking robot.
    See all his posts

    Sergio Cardenas, recently a student at College of the Canyons community college, will transfer to the University of California, San Diego in the fall of 2011, to pursue his Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry. Working with CNS fellow Roger Eardley-Pryor and Professor Patrick McCray in IRG 1, Sergio will research the environmental health and safety issues of nanotechnology.
    See all his posts

    William is Mathematics major who will attending UCSD in the fall. He is interested in the application of mathematics and will be working with his mentor Casandra Engeman on the role of NGOs in Nanotechnology and how they are affecting regulation and policy of the industry and its development.
    See all his posts

    Yonk is a Computer Engineering student studying at Moorpark College, Moorpark CA. He loves both programming and electrical engineering. This summer, he will be working on large graph mining projects with his mentor Arijit Khan.
    See all his posts

    Summer 2010 INSET Students
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What next?

I’ve been happier this summer than I have been for a long time. I can’t even put into words how much fun I had learning all of these different skills: soldering electronics, machining, engineering software,design, programming…the list goes on and on. Not to mention how much I’ve learned about grad school and how to best succeed and be happy there. I didn’t get to finish what i wanted to do with my project, but Im going to work in the lab for another month before school starts, so i hope to finish Gathering the data that i want. I’m so grateful to have met my mentor Ishai and my advisor Dr. Lubin, as well as everyone else involved in the INSET program, this experience has definitely hanged my life for the better. 

One problem for me right now is that I want to change my major from astrophysics to computer engineering. Over the summer I fell in love with both electronics and programming, and found out that I can combine both hardware and software studies with this major. I still love astrophysics an want to do it as a minor, but the process of using physics to design and create real life systems has taken over my interest, and I like the fact that I would actually have jobs available for me after I graduated. The problem with this is that I no longer feel that attending the school I have accepted (UC Santa Cruz) is the right choice. UCSC was great for astrophysics, but UCSB is much better for engineering, so I am actually considering spending one more year in community college; both to save 8000 dollars of debt for taking classes at Santa Cruz for engineering that I could take at a CC, and because I want the chance to apply to UC Santa Barbara. I’ve completely fallen in love with this school, and really cant imagine going anywhere else. It’s scary to think about rejecting admission to a UC when I’ve worked so hard to transfer, but it really wouldn’t be a step backwards when you consider all of the benefits. I’m still undecided though. 

Advice to future interns: ask questions, as many as possible; the more you know about your project, the more you will enjoy your work. I never thought I would ever care about building a giant thermos, but I’m having a blast! Also don’t close your eyes to any doors or opportunities, keep your mind and future as open as possible. I wish I could go back on time and take my own advice. In closing, thank you to all the wonderful people who made this possible, I appreciate this experience more than words can say! 

-Britt Christy



The internship is over and I wrapped up all my work this summer. It has been a challenge and though there is much work to be done I am content with the amount of work that I accomplished this summer. It had definitely changed my perspective of what research consists of. There were times where I felt overwhelmed with the amount of science that is involved in simple experiments like visible spectroscopy; nevertheless, you have to dig deep and persevere. Since I had never been involved in any research or internships I really did not know what I was getting myself into. So this was such a great opportunity for me to see what graduate work is all about. From the different experiences I herd from the other interns I soon found out that everyone experience was quite unique. Some had excellent relationships with their mentors and faculty advisers, such as myself, others not so good. Some were assigned projects where they were on their own and others worked to advance the research of their mentors, such as myself. So there are many different things you can take out of this experience. Personally I could not have had a better experience, it has really been a wonderful summer regardless of the frustrations I encountered along the way. I would absolutely recommend anyone considering applying to INSET, it is a great opportunity to learn and be aware of what graduate life is like.

Looking back and looking forward

My mentor asked me today how I felt about the summer looking back. I told him I felt pretty worthless and the general consensus amongst my lab group was that research does that to you. You just need to love feeling worthless.

My summer wasn’t entirely worthless though. I expected things to progress more quickly, but that’s where patience comes in. Patience is important in research. Patience and a love for feeling worthless sometimes. I did get a considerable amount done this summer though. I ended with a design for a novel apparatus as well as a few successful experiments. I also learned a ton about interfaces and surface tension. It’s incredible how often you notice phenomena that result from things like surface tension once you’re aware of it. I’m glad that I got to spend some time in the machine shop too. I didn’t end the summer with a physical prototype, but I did get familiar with the milling machine and I think that’s more important.

The only advice that I have for future interns is to come with an open mind and be ready for things to take longer than you expect. Experiments are always more difficult than you would think and they can be really tedious. So be patient. Did I say that before? Patience is important.

I plan to do internships every summer until I graduate. This internship definitely gave me a new perspective on grad school and careers. I want my next internship to be in industry. I feel like there’s no way for me to know whether I want to go to grad school or not until I see if I like the working world. Before this summer I was considering grad school as a possibility, but I really didn’t know anything about it. Now I feel like I know a little about it and it’s less of a possibility in my mind. I’ll bet that I would be successful in grad school and what not, but I don’t think it’s necessary and I’m way too impatient to spend 4-7 years doing research. Especially considering how little grad students make.

Now I’ve got one more semester of pre-reqs at SBCC before I can transfer. I’m taking some cool classes though. Circuits should be fun. Electricity and Magnetism too. I’m going to study abroad in the spring so I’m really looking forward to that. After that I’ll be transferring to UCSB for computer engineering. There’s no way I can go to another school after this summer. I like UCSB too much.

Thanks for reading whoever you are.

The Last Post

We talked today about the rest of our lives
Where we’re gonna be when we turn 25
I keep thinking times will never change
Keep on thinking things will always be the same
But when we leave this summer we won’t be coming back
No more hanging out cause we’re on a different track
And if you got something that you need to say
You better say it right now cause you don’t have another day
Cause we’re moving on and we can’t slow down
These memories are playing like a film without sound
And this is how it feels

As we go on
We remember
All the times we
Had together
And as our lives change
From whatever
We will still be
Friends Forever

So if we get the big jobs
And we make the big money
When we look back now
Will our jokes still be funny?
Will we still remember everything we learned in school?
Still be trying to break every single rule
Will little brainy Daniel be the stockbroker man?
Can Britt find a job that won’t interfere with her tan?
I keep, keep thinking that it’s not goodbye
Keep on thinking it’s a time to fly
And this is how it feels

La, la, la, la:
Yeah, yeah, yeah
La, la, la, la:
We will still be friends forever

Will we think about tomorrow like we think about now?
Can we survive it out there?
Can we make it somehow?
I guess I thought that this would never end
And suddenly it’s like we’re women and men
Will the past be a shadow that will follow us ’round?
Will these memories fade when I leave this town
I keep, keep thinking that it’s not goodbye
Keep on thinking it’s a time to fly

But INSET cant last all year long

And after tomorrow it’ll all be gone

The time I’ve had has opened my eyes

I look out now and see blue skies!

End of the Line :(

It has been one of the best summers I have ever had and I would definitely recommended others to do it. I also hope to come back again and do another internship. My advice for those coming in next summer, is to enjoy your time here. Enjoy the research you do, but get out, go have fun and live. Don’t let the summer pass you by why your here.

I see myself still in school working towards my bachelors and by ten years I hope to have my doctorate in math or something I really love and be teaching or working in a job I can not wait to get to every day.

The fall I am transferring to UCSD. I will still working on my undergraduate and hopefully double majoring in math and maybe engineering or computer science . Next summer I hope to be doing another research program here at UCSB, UCSD or some other institution.

Hope every one has a great summer and that every one does extremely well where ever they go. So I’ll see you all when I see you.

Last day of INSET…

Well, I guess this is my last day of INSET. I can’t believe it’s over! WoW!! This feels strange…..I was super busy throughout these eight weeks slaving away in my lab, so now it is hard to realize that I’m through with my internship. I feel super sentimental…..boo-hoo 😥 I almost want to burst into tears. I’ll miss my awesome “whelk whisperer” roommate and my super quite ninja roommate…..aaaa!!! I don’t want to think about it!!! I’ll miss ALL of my INSET family! Even though my other awesome roommate and I are staying here for another month just to (hopefully) finish our projects, it’s not going to be the same.
This internship was definitely a wonderful way to spend summer. I’ve learned so much, and I’ve met so many people with great personalities, great sense of humor, just good people in general! I have no idea how does INSET program screen its applicants but they are definitely doing a great job!
So, what are my plans for the upcoming year? I am staying here at UCSB for another month, and I will try to finish my project. Then I am going to UCLA. I will definitely seek an intern position at one of the labs there during the academic year, and since INSET was such a wonderful experience, I am planning to apply for other summer internships.
Oh, and I’m looking forward to our little INSET reunion in November (during the NC conference) YAY!!!

Summer Reflections

I didn’t know what to expect at all from this internship when I started. I came in with what seemed like no useful prior knowledge at all about the project I was assigned to work on. The amount of information I had to learn in a very short span of time was definitely overwhelming, but I got through it. I’ve gotten through more than I thought I was capable of this summer. There were definitely frustrations, and lots of mistakes made, but I learned something from each incident. I was not always happy or satisfied with everything, but I am a better person because of all of that. The presentations we all had to prepare actually went better than I had expected. Learning how to put together good power point slides and polishing up my speech skills for a clear, confident talk was the best part of the summer for me. Getting to know UC Santa Barbara was also a definite plus, since I’m transferring here in the fall. There is so much less stress involved in the transition now because I already know a lot about the environment here, and in September it will almost be like coming “home.”