I am a rising sophomore at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, majoring in Physics and minoring in both Astronomy and Philosophy. Academically, I am interested in dark matter astrophysics and philosophy of science. More broadly, I am interested in science communication, education, and digital media.
On campus, I am an undergraduate researcher at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research. This summer, I’m working with Professor Anna Frebel to investigate the formation histories of ultra-faint dwarf galaxies. To do this, we’re using data from the Caterpillar simulations.
Last semester, I worked with Professor Mark Vogelsberger where I investigated the origins of strange red spiral galaxies. To do this, I used data from the IllustrisTNG simulations.
Besides research, I write for the MIT Undergraduate Research Journal. I make K-pop dance covers with the MIT Asian Dance Team as well. I am also active in Communicating Science at MIT, Philosophy Club, and the Filipino Students Association.
Right after I graduated from Philippine Science High School – Eastern Visayas Campus, I chose to take a gap year. During that time, I spent many of my days doing public talks on science all around the Philippines (and once in the United Nations)—most of which are featured on this site. That year, I reached more than 5,000 people in person (students from elementary to graduate level, teachers, librarians, business executives, policymakers, and so on). Through social media, I got to engage even more people.
My gap year strengthened my commitment to science communication. Knowing its importance, I am always working on getting more people excited about science.
Breakthrough Junior Challenge
When people recognize me, it’s usually because of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge. The Challenge is an international science competition organized by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, which includes Silicon Valley names like Sergey Brin (Google), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), and Yuri Milner (DST Global). In 2017, I won the competition, placing first out of 11,000 participants. The year before that, I received the Special Prize, placing third out of 6,000 participants.
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