Akshay - Physics and Astronomy

Science Ambassador

Akshay holding an umbrella and a star wars mug while wearing sunglasses and a colourful lab coatYear: 4

Stream of study: Regular

Joint Honours: Mathematics

Minors: Biophysics, Economics

Career goal: Become a university professor in Astrobiology and inspire the next generation fo Scientists, with some occasional work as a science consultant for big movie franchises like Marvel or Lucasfilm

Favourite food: Sushi (especially Dragon Rolls), followed by Crème Brûlée

How I get involved: Starting off my first year as a cashier at the student-run Science Coffee and Donut Shop (CnD), I started to realize just how fun it is to be involved on campus. From there, I've been involved with the Science Society as a CnD Manager and eventually as the Vice President of Administration of Finance. In addition, I've participated as an Orientation Leader and Food Coordinator for Science Orientation, volunteered for Let's Talk Science and for the Physics Outreach Labs, developed various astrobiology experiments under the Science division of the UW Robotics Team, helped to run the Waterloo Space Society and Physics Clubs on numerous occasions, and mentored a group of students as a Physical Sciences Peer Leader and a Residence Life Don.

Why I love my program

I always find myself asking mind-boggling questions like: "What started life on Earth?" or "How did all of the elements form around us?", and the Physics and Astronomy program allows me to explore these concepts concretely, using tools like mathematics and computer programming to help us get there. I always manage to learn something new and astonishing during all of my lectures, and having the chance to observe some of these concepts in action during my labs still amazes me! My professors' enthusiasm is also a great catalyst in wanting to learn more about astronomy, and it's awesome to have the opportunity to further break down various concepts with them at their office hours. Whenever I pass by the Gustav Bakos Observatory on campus, I always have the greatest sense of joy knowing that it’s connecting us to knowledge light-years away from us!

Why University of Waterloo?

Initially I wasn't sure of where I wanted to go to university, and I happened to hear about the University of Waterloo from a recruitment officer who travelled to my high school - on the other side of the globe! After hearing about the amazing physics happening at the Institute of Quantum Computing and Perimeter Institute, I decided to apply. I was delighted when I received my welcome package in the mail, and I was touched that I got a personalized, handwritten postcard too. Upon arriving on campus, I instantly felt welcomed by everyone on campus, and it has grown to be my second home. This friendly environment has introduced me to multiple experiences that have morphed my interests, and I can always find new ways in which I can apply my physics knowledge everyday!

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