At our Story Collider event, five talented CMU speakers told stories of how science has affected their lives.
Masters student, Robotics
Victor Hwang is a New England born nerd. After graduating from Tufts, he helped build ground telescopes, fly spacecrafts, and chased a dream to become a circus acrobat. Now he's a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute trying to make humanoid robots a little bit smarter.
M.D./Ph.D. student, CMU/University of Pittsburgh joint program
Craig Lehocky's tinkering runs deep. He currently develops surgical robots as an M.D./Ph.D. student at CMU and University of Pittsburgh. Before that, he worked on prosthetic limbs controlled by the brain at the University of Pittsburgh. And even before that, he restored cars, houses, and guitar amplifiers at the University of his Dad. He doesn't know what tinkering his future holds, but hopes it unfolds in Pittsburgh.
Masters student, Language Technologies
Avner Maiberg studies how to make computers understand foreign languages, such as medical-speak and aerospace-speak. If successful, his work will help scientists and engineers get faster and better answers to their questions from something like an even geekier Watson. Avner hopes one day to have a machine named after him, but he'll settle for appearing on an episode of Jeopardy!
Miranda Munoz is a sophomore in biology at Carnegie Mellon University with a passion for understanding the brain. When she isn't studying, she enjoys babysitting and working community events with the student club Future Leaders of Science.
Ph.D. student, Physics
Michelle Ntampaka studies dark matter halos that surround galaxy clusters. When she isn't Ph.D.ing in physics at Carnegie Mellon University, she trains Rwandan high school science teachers to deliver memorable lessons using common materials. Her surname has two silent consonants – we’ll let you guess which ones they are – and translates roughly from Kinyarwanda to English as "Don't Argue with Me."