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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “On the spot: Nahid Ilyas, Chemistry graduate student”

    What year are you in school?

    I’m a grad student, second year. That’s why I’m here today. We don’t get the national holiday as a holiday.

    Really? You don’t get the holiday off?

    Yeah. This is my lunch break. I was here Saturday and Sunday until midnight.

    You have to go to school every day of the week?

    No, but basically we don’t have days as weekends. Sometimes Wednesday and Thursday is my weekend.

    So, what class did you just come from?

    Oh, we don’t have classes either. We do research. (laughs)

    There are designated times to do research?

    It depends, but in my group, it’s up to me. So, I work my own hours.

    Okay. So, you’re like a group leader?

    No. Basically, you have a project that you have to do.…and you do some experiments. So, you can choose to come at seven in the morning and leave at four, or you can choose to come at two in the afternoon and leave at midnight.

    What’re you researching?

    (laughs) Hold on. Let me make it something that people can understand. Solar cells.

    What are solar cells? Be as complicated as needed.

    Basically, we’re doing fundamental work. These other groups build the solar cells, and we do fundamental work that actually supports their work. So, we look at the physics of how it works at a molecular level. And, other people, who actually build the device, can use that information. Like engineers. And, we’re green. We want to promote alternative energy. If you can make molecules produce energy, that is renewable.

    OK. That- I’m- … You’re smarter than me.

    — Katie Gault

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