Sasha Nanda, a physics major at California Institute of Technology, takes time to talk about applying for an internship at NASA and the teacher at Jumeirah College Dubai who inspired her passion for science.
How did you learn about the NASA internship?
I knew of the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab from prior independent research as well as reading about quantum computing and quantum information theory. I looked on the NASA website and saw that they offered internships and decided to apply.
How does this kind of internship help young students like you? Would you encourage other students in the UAE to apply?
I have learned key facets of research and software engineering. I would encourage anyone pursuing a degree in physics or computer science to apply for such internships.
How did school help prepare you for the internship?
I studied at Jumeirah College, where I was provided with a strong foundation in mathematics and science, especially via the A-level curriculum.
When did you realise you like maths and science? Did any teachers at school help you?
I have loved maths since I was little, when my mum used to read me bedtime stories about Galileo, Curie, and Nightingale. My version of playing outside in the grass was solving puzzles and crunching numbers. I also owe a lot to my middle school and high school physics teacher, Mr. Bonnar, who recommended and lent me books on quantum physics and the standard model; we often had in-depth discussions about topics that weren’t typically covered in high school.