Intern Spotlight: Rani Patel

By Gary Alan Miller, UCS Assistant Director

What's your name, home town and major at UNC?

My name is Rani Patel and I am from Cary, NC. I recently graduated from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and I am currently undecided on my major. (click title for full article)What are you doing this summer?

This summer I am participating in the Jackson Laboratory Summer Student program. The purpose of this program is to expose high school and undergraduate students to research science through methods of unearthing and communication of understanding. I will be conducting independent research under the guidance of Dr. Joel Graber. My research focuses on finding a technique to better visualize output from NyMF, a non-negative matrix factorization algorithm, so there is flexibility in how the data is presented.

What's been the most rewarding part of your summer so far?

The most rewarding part of my summer so far is meeting such dynamic students. The program is comprised of 39 students from all around the world who live together in the Highseas mansion overlooking the ocean. The variety of backgrounds, interests and personalities make the summer experience not only well-rounded but intriguing. Tucked away in the Acadia National Forest, The Jackson Lab and Highseas provide a mentally and physically stimulating environment. Daily activities and excursions include hiking, biking, white water rafting and camping.

What do you think you'll learn the most from the experience?

Even though I've only been in Bar Harbor for about three weeks now, it has changed me in so many ways. I have become a more intellectual thinker, observer and doer. I've learned the importance of research and the struggles it encompasses. I've learned the definition of success and the definition of failure. Most importantly, I've learned the importance of curiosity and the value of knowledge.

What are you looking forward to the most about this fall semester at UNC?

I am very excited about the endless possibilities this fall semester and UNC are going to bring to me. I'm excited to take stimulating classes and explore a variety of extra curricular activities while discovering my hidden passions and talents. The thing I'm most looking forward to, however, is the opportunity to discovery myself and find out who I am, what I can be and see where that takes me.