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High School Student Describes Internship Experience at MCEER

The internship is part of an ongoing Amherst Senior High School program which matches students with researchers in the western New York area. Under the supervision and advisement of Andrea Dargush, Jake is the second student which MCEER has mentored in the program.

My four month internship at MCEER gave me the opportunity to study, first hand, what takes place in a new and relevant scientific research center.

At MCEER, I was involved in a project that was to monitor crustal displacement by using the Global Positioning System (GPS). Using the Internet, I was able to search for relevant data. I also started another project that will attempt to incorporate topographic, soil composition, and chemical and biological threats in urban areas.

I worked in an engineering lab at Ketter Hall at the University at Buffalo. I helped graduate student Tony Yang in his project that studies the cross-planar vibrations in a simple structure. Theoretically, when a building is vibrated due to an earthquake, it is only supposed to vibrate in that direction. However, due to structural and material defects, the building vibrates in both an X and Y direction. Accelerometers placed at various points on a model measure different acceleration.

My experience at MCEER has shown me how to quickly filter the Internet for relevant information needed in a professional environment. I am very grateful for the opportunity to spend time in an engineering lab.

--Submitted by Jake Davis, Amherst Senior High School, Amherst, New York

Editor's Note: In his laboratory activities, Jake was mentored by Tony Yang, a former MCEER REU intern, who is now completing his Master's degree at the University at Buffalo and starting a Ph.D. program at the University of California, Berkeley. Jake, who at the same time interned at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, graduated with the class of 2002 and plans to major in physics as an undergraduate student.

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