What Science Looks Like at NC State
At NC State, science is more than labs, computers and experiments. Science is a story. Science is a calling. Science is diverse.
Take Mia de los Reyes, an NC State undergraduate who is double majoring in pure math and physics. A Park Scholar, de los Reyes has also received the prestigious Goldwater and Astronaut scholarships.
Outside of the lab and the classroom, she’s an avid rock climber and lives an active lifestyle. She’s also the head of Just Cuz Crew, one of NC State’s hip-hop dance crews.
“When you’re dancing, there’s this moment when you get it and you understand the choreography and it just makes sense,” de los Reyes said. “There’s also that moment in physics, when you write down an answer and you know it’s right, you just feel it and everything clicks.”
De los Reyes said the similarities between the two drove her to pursue both her love for dance and her passion for physics.
Sean Mealin, a Ph.D. student and National Science Foundation graduate research fellow in the Department of Computer Science at NC State. Mealin is completely blind and is researching ways to use technology to enhance communication between dogs and their handlers.
“Right now my focus is on working dogs, such as guide dogs for the blind and search-and-rescue dogs, but in the future I could see my research expanding to encompass pets and their owners,” Mealin said. “I love my research since I get to work and play with dogs every day, and I get to come up with new technology that blurs the boundaries between software and the physical world.”
When not in the lab, Mealin enjoys spending time with friends, playing trivia and expanding his cooking skills.
“A lot of people think that science can be intimidating, but it’s just a different skillset that anyone can cultivate,” he says. “Like cooking, you may not be fantastic when you start, or you might excel the first time you pick up a frying pan, but practice and you can get somewhere.”
Editor’s note: The series This Is What Science Looks Like at NC State lives online in The Abstract and highlights the diversity of researchers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It’s meant to humanize the idea of science and attract and educate potential newcomers to the field. De los Reyes and Mealin are two faces in a Pack of researchers at NC State. The series shows the dual identities of our scientists – the researcher and the everyday man or woman.