Students Do Summer Study, Research Abroad

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More than a dozen Harvey Mudd College students will spend the summer abroad studying, doing research and experiencing a new culture.

The opportunity is part of the College’s ongoing mission to provide its engineering, science and mathematics students with a rich background in the humanities and social sciences. Through the Study Abroad program, students gain a global perspective of their fields, while continuing their education and exploring other cultures and countries.

Chemistry Research in Italy

Chemistry major Lydia Jahl ’14 will conduct atmospheric research at the Italian National Research Council’s Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate in Bologna, Italy. She will study the optical properties of fog from the Po Valley and perform sample analyses to correlate absorption to organic nitrogen and carbon content.

It was a research opportunity forged by relationships.

“After working for Professor Lelia Hawkins doing chemistry research last summer, I learned she had a former colleague, chemist Stefania Gilardoni, who works at a research facility in Italy. She made the connections for me to be able to work with Dr. Gilardoni this summer,” Jahl said.

Engineering Studies in China

For eight weeks, Amanda Bennett ’15, Abhishek Goenka ’16, Paul Jolly ’16, Pichaya “Michael” Lertvilai ’16, Maggie Liu ’16, Megan Shao ’16, Miranda Thompson ’16 and Ashuka Xue ’16 will study Chinese language, history and culture at Peking University in China. They will also participate in an Introduction to Electrical Engineering (E84) course taught by HMC engineering Professor Ruye Wang, an expert in computer vision, image processing, pattern recognition and computer graphics.

Offered in collaboration with the China Studies Institute, all courses will be taught in English and course credits can be transferred back to HMC.

“Students will experience the society, culture and language of China, which is valuable in their future career in a progressively more globalized environment,” said Wang.

A graduate of Tianjin University and a former lecturer at Peking University in China, Wang played a key role in building a partnership with the China Studies Institute and worked with HMC Director of Study Abroad Rhonda Chiles to plan logistics and promote the opportunity on campus.

“Engineering is one of the most global of professions, and it is exciting that HMC students have the opportunity to study technical and humanities courses in the world’s fastest-growing major economy,” said Chiles.

Students will stay in Peking University campus dorms and visit locations such as the Great Wall, Forbidden City and the Lama Temple. They’ll also travel to Ping Yao, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Shanxi Province.

Other students studying abroad this summer include rising juniors Maya Johnson (Japan), Miranda Parker (Tanzania), Emily Ross (Japan) and Brianna Thielen (France).