Senior Yadira Gaibor of the department of physics, astronomy and materials science took part in the WAVE Fellows program during the summer of 2020.
Due to the pandemic, the program occurred virtually.
Gaibor shares how the program benefited her learning and professional growth.
Studying the stars
Stars are not always safe in outer space. They can explode or collide with each other and other objects.
Gaibor led research investigating these occurrences in the program.
“My goal was to learn how often these events happen,” Gaibor said. “I also looked at how much material the stars and other objects eject into their surroundings.”
“Together, we used computer simulations to model different sizes of galaxies,” Gaibor said. “We also modeled varying yields of material.”
Confidence is key to building a career and network.
In the WAVE Fellows program, Gaibor connected with other students, as well as professors at Caltech and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
Building these connections allowed her to gain the confidence she needed to reach out to potential advisors and start discussions about their research.
“I received helpful tips and insight on applying to grad school,” Gaibor said. “The program really helped me orient my future career decisions.”
Gaibor is grateful to have had such professional opportunities.
“I learned a lot about the field and the research process,” Gaibor said. “It was a great way to spend the summer.”
About the WAVE Fellows program
The program fosters diversity in science and engineering by extending opportunities to underrepresented students in these fields.
This includes minorities, first-generation college students, women of certain fields and students with disabilities or disadvantages educationally, financially or geographically.
Participants work under the guidance of Caltech faculty who serve as leaders in research.