STEM Seminar: Nanorchitecture Energy Storage

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to attend a seminar by renowned chemist Debra Rolison. Coming in to the seminar, I honestly had no idea what to expect; even though I knew the premise of a seminar, I had never actually attended one. To ease some of my anxiety of attending a seminar, I asked my friend from my scholars program, Ethan, to accompany me.

When we arrived to the room that the seminar was taking place in, a kind-looking woman opened the door for us and greeted us. “Gentlemen,” she said politely, as Ethan and I entered. Little did we know that that woman was actually a research leader at the U.S Naval Research Laboratory with 39 U.S patents to her name, as well as over 225 published research articles: Dr. Rolison, herself.

When Ethan and I sat down, we looked around at the other people attending the seminar. Everyone else there looked like a PhD student or faculty member, and we were pretty sure that we were the only undergraduate students there. As Dr. Rolison started her presentation, I was able to follow along pretty well. She was discussing her research on the zinc-air rechargeable battery, and how she changed the structure of the battery from a linear barrier between the anode and the cathode, to a porous zinc sponge that had more surface area and, thus, the ability to transfer more electrons. While this was all very interesting to me, I was only able to understand what she was saying for the first 20 minutes. After she was done discussing the general idea of her research, she started to dive deeper into the advanced chemistry that made her battery possible. Despite my “extensive” chemistry knowledge from my AP Chemistry class in high school, I was incredibly lost.

Even though I may not have been able to understand what Dr. Rolison was saying, I was definitely able to appreciate the complexity of her research. Her sheer knowledge and expertise in chemistry was fascinating to me, and I was mesmerized by her eloquence and confidence when speaking on the topic. Despite chemistry not being my major, this seminar inspired me to strive for greatness in my own field of computer science. Another thing that I found captivating about Dr. Rosolin’s research was that she was revolutionizing the field of science. Her research has the potential to completely change the science of the modern-day battery, and I think having that sort of power in knowledge would be an awesome thing to accomplish.

In the future, I would definitely love to attend more seminars. I think that I would find a computer science seminar even more fascinating, since I would most likely be able to understand more than I was able to in the chemistry seminar. Seminars also seem like great opportunities to network and learn more about topics that I would not necessarily learn about in the classroom.

Coming in to college, I had no intention of pursuing a master’s or PhD. However, after learning about research in my survey course, as well as seeing what research looked like in seminars, my interest in pursing graduate school has been sparked. That being said, a lot can change in three years, but it is definitely not out of the picture. Overall, the seminar was a great experience and I’m looking forward to attending more in the future!

Engineering Career Services

One major goal that I had coming into Ohio State was to use my resources here at the university to find an internship, or job in the computer science field, for the upcoming summer. I had planned to attend both the university-wide career fair and the Engineering Expo, but both events took place during my class time, so I was not able to attend either. This ruined my plans of finding an internship and caused me to become stuck in my job search process: I didn’t know where to go from here.

Not all hope was lost, however. When I went to pick up my name tag for the Engineering Expo, I had to get it at the Engineering Career Services (ECS) office. I had heard of the ECS before, but I wasn’t exactly sure what they did for students. This STEM post requirement gave me the perfect opportunity to visit the ECS and see what it was all about.

After researching on the ECS website for a while, I decided the best strategy to visit would be to go for a walk-in appointment, rather than a scheduled one. When I arrived at the office, I told the secretary I was there for a walk-in advising appointment and she had me sign in and register with Engineering Career Services. After about 5 minutes, I was called back into an office by a nice woman named Amy, and my advising appointment began. I told her my whole scenario: how I wasn’t able to go the career fair events, how I wanted to start searching for jobs early this year, and how I wasn’t sure what to do from here. Amy took what I had said into consideration for a second, and then immediately referred me to Handshake, Ohio State’s career networking site.

On Handshake, Amy showed me how to add any previous work experience to my profile, how to upload my resume, and overall, how to make my profile look appealing to potential employers. Since I didn’t know what steps to take to find a summer internship, she told me to first complete my Handshake profile, and then update and reformat my resume to upload on to Handshake, and then to schedule another appointment with ECS to review my profile and take my next steps in my job search.

Going into my walk-in appointment with ECS, I was hoping for some guidance on how to secure a summer internship, and that is exactly what I got. The staff there were incredibly friendly and helpful, and also recommended I come back in the future so they can continue working with me in finding a job. In my opinion, this type of service is exactly what makes Ohio State so great in helping students. Even though I had no idea how to pursue a summer internship, the ECS office gave me a step-by-step guide on what I should do to get my name out there to employers. My visit to the ECS made me excited about my professional career, and it also makes me want to go out and explore the other campus resources that Ohio State offers and really get the most out of my time here at The Ohio State University.

If you’re interested in checking out Ohio State’s campus resources, I would highly recommend starting with the Engineering Career Services office!

STEM Outreach Organization

When I first arrived at Ohio State, one of my top priorities was to find and join a club/organization that interested me. With campus being so large, I wanted to find a club where I could meet new people in a smaller setting, while also doing something that I enjoyed. For me, STEM Outreach was that club.

I first discovered STEM Outreach at the STEM EE Scholars Program Mini-Involvement fair. I had initially went to the university-wide involvement fair the week prior, but with over 1,000+ student organizations on campus, it was very difficult to actually find a club that suited me. At the Mini-Involvement fair, on the other hand, I was able to take time and determine which clubs would be best for me, without the intimidation from the sea of clubs on the Oval. When the STEM Outreach club was presenting at the fair and telling everyone about the small STEM-related projects that they made for presentations at inner-city Columbus schools, my interest was immediately sparked.

I went to the first club meeting by myself, but when I walked into the room, I saw a lot of my friends from the STEM EE Scholars program. This was reassuring and definitely eased any apprehensions I had, since going to an event by yourself can be a little daunting. While there, we did a small project (similar to the ones that we would conduct at a school event), socialized, and ate pizza. Overall, it was a great time and it made me excited to continue working with the club in the future.

The first experiment we did as a club was a small electromagnetic circuit that made a little coil of wire “jump” off a magnet. Even though the projects are intended to be fun and informational for elementary-level students, I still got a small introduction to basic electronics and circuits, which was very fascinating to me. My first impression of the club was definitely a good one, and it hit all the check marks for what I was looking for in a club: networking with other STEM-interested people, learning new things, fun meetings, and free pizza.

Even though I have not been to an actual event for the club yet, I hope to become more involved in the future. One of the big concerns of joining a club was the fear of stretching myself so thin that I would not have time to finish all my school work and still have time for leisure. The good thing about this club, however, is that the meetings are biweekly, and members have the ability to sign up for events as they wish, meaning I could be involved as I’d like, or only do events when I’m available.

Sometime in the near future, I’d like to find other clubs to join and be involved in. While I have found a passion in the STEM Outreach club, I also think it’s important to diversify myself and join a club that’s not necessarily STEM-related. With the incredible number of clubs on campus, it doesn’t seem like it should be an issue to find another club that’s right for me. Regardless, the STEM Outreach club has definitely opened me up to being more involved at Ohio State, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for me here over the next four years!

An Afternoon at the Math and Statistics Learning Center

Earlier today, I visited the Math and Statistics Learning Center (MSLC) to seek help on my Math 1172 homework. My first midterm is tomorrow, and since I still didn’t understand certain topics that were going to be on the exam, I figured it would be beneficial for me to go and see if the MSLC tutors could help me understand the material. To some students, seeking out help like this is a normal occurrence. However, to me, it was a new experience. In high school, I excelled in all my classes and typically, I was the one helping other students, and not vice versa. That being said, walking into the tutoring center didn’t exactly make me feel embarrassed, but it definitely was out of my comfort zone.

Despite this sense of uneasiness, I actually managed to take a lot away from my tutoring session. Not only did the tutors not make me feel silly for asking questions, but they also helped me understand each concept thoroughly so that I could apply my knowledge in later questions. Another aspect of the MSLC that I really enjoyed is that the tutors did not solve the problems for me, but rather they led me in the right direction and let me do my own critical thinking. Not only was it more satisfying when I finally arrived at the correct answer, but it also helped me understand the process of each question, making me feel confident for the midterm tomorrow. For example, in class and recitation, I simply tried to memorize the formulas and then plug the numbers into them. At the MSLC, on the other hand, the tutors really helped me understand how each formula was derived, so if I forgot the exact formula for a certain problem, I could derive the formula on my own using critical thinking (a skill that the MSLC also helped me develop today).

As the semester continues, I definitely plan on using the MSLC more. The one thing that I really liked about it was that it was a such an efficient concept: rather than it being a traditional tutoring center, it was more like a library/study area with help available whenever you needed it. There also seemed to be no stigma about the MSLC, and I was not ashamed to be there at all. Obviously, college is exponentially harder than high school, and it is normal to struggle with tough classes (like my Math 1172 class). That being said, the MSLC was a very positive environment about learning and growth, rather than helping the “dumb” kids (such as how tutoring may have been stereotyped in high school).

In the future, I could certainly see myself working as a tutor in the MSLC or another learning center similar to it (such as the Dennis Learning Center or Younkin Success Center). In high school, I really enjoyed helping my peers with problems, and it also helped me solidify my knowledge further by teaching them. Obviously, I would have to understand a class well enough to be a tutor, but that will come with time.

With all that being said, my time at the MSLC was a very beneficial experience and I would highly recommend everyone stop in and check it out!

Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

G.O.A.L.S.

[ “G.O.A.L.S.” is a place where students write about how their planned, current, and future activities may fit into the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S.: Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.

  • Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc.
  • Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.
  • Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.
  • Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
  • Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.]

Career

[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career.  Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

Artifacts

[Artifacts are the items you consider to be representative of your academic interests and achievements. For each entry, include both an artifact and a detailed annotation.  An annotation includes both a description of the artifact and a reflection on why it is important to you, what you learned, and what it means for your next steps.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

About Me

Hello! My name is Tristan Graber and I am a Computer Science and Engineering student. I am from a town twenty five minutes southeast of Columbus called Canal Winchester, and I have one older brother and one dog, Scooby. Some of my personal passions include soccer, ping pong, music, and making fun memories with my friends. As of now, my main academic interests include Calculus, Physics, and computer science topics, such as Java programming and networking. My main academic goals include achieving a 3.3 GPA so I can be accepted into my Computer Science major, develop good study habits that will help me over the next four years/the rest of my life, and to graduate in four years with a Bachelors of Engineering from The Ohio State University. One thing that makes me unique among other people at Ohio State is that I was actually born in Michigan and grew up a University of Michigan fan. However, I’ve changed my ways and love the Buckeyes now!