Week 2: Living the life in D.C.

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Sunday, June 8, 2014


Benjamin Perez

Friday officially marked the end of my first workweek at NIST, and all I can say is I have never worked in a work environment like it. From the employees, to the SURF interns and the giant campus, I was a little overwhelmed at first. But with help from my mentor, Arvind, and John, my boss, I have started to ease into my new work life. It’s a face pace culture and forced me to hit the ground running from day one. I quickly fell into my role in John’s group while they were in full swing developing their nanosensor to detect biomolecules. My objective for the summer is to model molecules flowing through the transistor to predict what we should see in real life. It’s going to be a tough challenge because I have to learn the software and understand the simulation results, but I am confident I will be able to accomplish that task by the end of July. I am excited to see the progress we will make in one summer, and the possibilities this technology will bring.

World War II Memorial in Washington, DCApart from work, the interns and I had an event filled weekend. Friday, Toni treated us to fancy dinner with the executive board member of SPS and a night of stargazing on the National Mall. We were able to see some great stars that night, especially the stars on the scaffolding cranes in the city. They were amazing. Saturday, I relaxed and hungout with the interns. That night we met kids from Duke in our hallway and instantly kicked it off. This inevitably led to a night out on the town and addition of four more friends. Finally, we rounded out the week volunteering for a public outreach at Howard County Community College. It was a blast performing demos to the children and their families on the wonders of physics. I can’t believe it is already week two into the internship, and we are already a fifth way through the summer. These past two weeks have been quite a ride and I can’t wait to see what else D.C. has in store for us.

Benjamin Perez