Tim McJilton, Physics '11
Please tell us a little about yourself
I am a fifth year dual major in Physics and Computer Science. I have had the opportunity to be involved with both the Society of Physics Students and the Peace & Power Christian Fellowship. I find myself spending a lot of time in the lab and enjoying the rock climbing wall in the recently renovated gym. What’s your current research project or area of study?
I am doing my senior research on the cause of mass segregation in a system of stars in virial equilibrium. I am working with Dr. McMillan on the AMUSE code-base to do two things. One involves working with a CS Senior Design group to write a piece of software for creating experiments using the AMUSE library quickly and easily so the repetitive work that may take hours becomes something that is done in a matter of minutes. The second part of my research consists in using this new experiment creation tool to produce a simulation for investigating mass segregation.
Have you received any awards or scholarships while here at Drexel?
I have been very fortunate to receive a $10,000 scholarship from Microsoft that was both merit- and need-base for Computer Science. Were you provided you with opportunities to travel?
I had an internship with Intel in Folsom, CA, during which I lived in Sacramento CA. I was able to explore San Francisco, visit Berkeley, and just enjoy California for 6 months while on the internship. How was your co-op experience?
I have been very blessed with my co-op experiences. I got to work for a research-oriented plasma physics laboratory in Princeton, big name defense contractor Lockheed Martin, and Intel. Drexel prepared me for professional interviews, teaching me about the process and how to stay calm. Through Drexel's co-op program, I have been to over 40 professional interviews at companies like: Lockheed Martin, Intel, Microsoft, Amazon and Google. And the networking opportunities are amazing. I have become friends with people all over the United States who are working at many big name companies. I can contact them for help or they can contact me. It has been an amazing learning experience, just as much as my experiences in the classroom. What has made your experience at Drexel “special” or “unique?
After five years at Drexel, the one thing that stands out the most is the quality of the students I have spent hours upon hours working with. Getting a degree in physics at Drexel University is definitely a challenging path to take but one that is well worth it. I have spent many days working with other physics majors from the afternoon to early in the morning the next day. It would be a lot more challenging if it wasn't for the fact that these students are people of character. It is not hard to see that they care about the well being of not only themselves but their fellow students. They are not boastful and they do not put other students down. Instead, there is a great sense of community in the Drexel Physics department. I would not trade the friends I made for anything. Why would you recommend the Physics program at Drexel for undergraduate school?
The physics program at Drexel is great for two reasons. First, our program is very computationally based which I feel is vital for the future of physics. It isn't all plugging numbers into equations, and that helps set us apart. The other great thing is that we cover everything. I was speaking with a friend who graduated from Drexel and is going to graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania for medical physics, and he pointed out that our Drexel’s physics program covered everything so well and in such depth that he was well-prepared him for graduate work. What advice do you have for a high school student looking for an undergraduate program?
I would say that key thing is to apply for scholarships immediately. If you're not financially prepared, it is hard to go to school with no scholarships. It's also vital to choose something that opens up the roads to many careers rather than sending you down on one single path. You are young -you don't know what you want yet. Being able to try something out and determine if that’s what you truly want is key. Set yourself up to make decisions in the future when you see what you truly want, and let this decision be gradual. But the key thing is, if you go to a hard school, see the challenge and meet it head on.