Research Mentor: Dr. John Deisz
Pierce participated in full-time research during the summer of 2015 through a Swenson Summer Research Fellowship awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Studies.
What was your summer research project? Did you learn anything exciting?
My research was on the superconductivity of the material strontium ruthenate, specifically creating quantum simulations in order observe the behavior and characteristics of the material. Something exciting I learned in the process was how this material behave unconventionally compared to other known superconductors in that it exhibits half-flux states.
How did you get involved in doing research? What sparked your interest?
I was involved through my professor who also performed research on this in he graduate years. I applied for a research fellowship and for some reason I was chosen. I just wanted experience and had no idea this was what I was doing until I started working but found it extremely interesting.
How has doing physics research as an undergraduate enhanced your experience? Has it influenced your future goals?
It has definitely given me an advantage to those who have not done research like this. I wrote about 3,000 lines of code where in other situations at other schools the code is kind of handed to them where as i developed it from the ground up. Most physics student don’t perform this type of work until the graduate years and having it during my undergraduate education has prepared me for my future education and future work environments. It hasn’t inspired any future goals per say, but given me more confidence in attempting to reach my goals.
If you choose to pursue physics at the graduate level, do you feel well prepared for it? Why?
Yes, I feel more prepared because I know I can keep up with any type of work that comes my way. It has established a mind set for me that is fun. I like doing this kind of stuff, even though it is not directly related to my future interests, I love it. That is why I am a physics major. It is hard for me to even call it work because I have so much fun doing it.
Why did you choose to double major? How does your double major express who you are?
I love both physics and music production passionately, and I wanted a challenge that reflects my capabilities. My double major expresses my ideas about developing intelligence along with talent and a bit of charisma. I love to do what is unexpected, maybe even irregular, and surprise people with capabilities they didn’t know I had.
What is your career goal? How will your double major impact your career goal?
I realize my majors can lead to completely different careers. Fortunately I can further my education in both subjects as a graduate student. I do want to be a part of something that incorporates both the aesthetic and technology of music production with the theoretical and practical uses of physics.
What are you most passionate about in school? In life?
I am passionate about increasing my intelligence along with the wisdom to use it. Also, my family, my friends, my relationship with a wonderful young woman, and with surfing coming in there somewhere.
Anything else you’d like to say about double majoring to prospective Cal Lutheran students?
If you plan on double majoring, especially in opposite disciplines, have your four-year schedule organized and ready by the end of your first semester. I’d be much better off if I’d taken a few classes earlier.