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Researcher of the Month
Major: Electrical Engineering, Minor: Physics
New York Space Grant (Summer 2012); Collegiate Science & Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) & Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) programs
Research Mentor: Dr. Daniel Knopf, School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences
Frederic Jones is an Electrical Engineering major and member of CSTEP/LSAMP at Stony Brook University, doing research under the mentorship of Dr. Daniel Knopf, Institute for Terrestrial & Planetary Atmospheres, School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences. Frederic recently presented posters at URECA’s campus-wide research symposium, and at the Earthstock research showcase (April 2012), on “Ice Cloud Formation from Solid Ammonium Sulfate Aerosols: Onset Conditions, Surface Area Dependence and Nucleation Rates.” Frederic’s research in the Knopf Aerosol Research Laboratory for summer 2012 is being funded by a competitive research grant award from the New York Space Grant (NYSG) consortium.
Prior to joining Stony Brook University in fall 2010, Frederic Jones performed research at City College of New York (CCNY). In CCNY’s Electrical Engineering department, Frederic worked in an Optics and Remote Sensing Laboratory during 2009-2010, performing atmospheric measurements using a multiwavelength-Raman LIDAR system. In Summer 2010, Frederic worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Nonproliferation and National Security Department, fabricating and testing room temperature nuclear radiation detectors, as a participant in the SULI(Science Undergraduate Summer Internship) program. In Summer 2011, Frederic had a SIST (Summer Internships in Science and Technology) internship at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia IL where he measured and calculated higher-order electromagnetic modes of a 53 MHz radio frequency (RF) cavity.
Frederic notes that he was interested in science at a very young age: “I always wondered about radios, how they worked. My interest in electronics motivated me to get into science.” He is grateful to his mentor, his graduate student lab colleagues in the Knopf lab, and to Paul Siegel of Technology and Society, for their ongoing support. Frederic plans to apply to graduate programs in the fall. Below are of his interview with Karen Kernan, URECA Director.
When did you start in the lab?
When I came to Stony Brook as a LSAMP/CSTEP student, I went to Paul Siegel’s office, and he highly recommended Dr. Knopf’s research group. So I thought I’d give it a try. And it turned out to be a really great opportunity— a very rewarding experience.
Did you have previous research experience?
Yes. I had worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory on nuclear radiation detectors, and at City College ( CCNY) in the Optics and Remote Sensing Lab.
What is Prof. Knopf like as a mentor?
He is an excellent mentor. He’s very passionate about the research. He encourages me to be independent and to do my own research. This helps me to think more creatively and builds problem solving skills that will help me in my future career.
Do you become frustrated when things don’t work?
My mentor’s advice is to go into the literature when things don’t work. If the experiment isn’t working as expected, just go read and get more educated about what you’re doing, and then try again.
Is there much of a connection between your classes and the research you do?
My research is a direct application of the thermodynamic principles that was taught in my classes. But beyond that, in the lab you have to be really organized and focused. The lab trains you in a different way that you cannot experience in the classroom.
Had you given any poster presentations?
I did several poster presentations before, and this spring I participated in the URECA Celebration, and in Earthstock. It was definitely a rewarding experience because it helps to improve the way you communicate science to people not familiar with your research.