Highlights from aiM Boot Camp 2022 and Launch of Student Leadership Council

October 20, 2022

On August 24th and 25th, the aiM program welcomed the new Fall 2022 cohort of ten doctoral students representing MEMS, ECE, Chemistry, Physics, and Math departments. During the 2-day boot camp, students participated in a mix of technical presentations and team-building activities.

Day 1 of the boot camp included engaging talks from Dr. Buoyan Chen, Dr. Po-Chun Hsu, Dr. David Banks, and Dr. Christine Payne on topics ranging from introducing data science applications, to statistics, and materials in science fiction. On Day 2, Nicholas Finan (cohort 0, MEMS), prepared an interactive lesson on materials science data platforms. It was followed by a session facilitated by Dr. Karis Boyd-Sinkler who joined for a discussion on best practices for mentorship, emphasizing graduate student well-being and support networks. A highlight of the day was a team-science activity where student teams brainstormed a list of related interests and hobbies and presented a short lesson for the group. Teams drew parallels between this activity and the benefits and challenges of working in interdisciplinary teams. The lesson topics included baking the perfect quiche, cooking the perfect scrambled eggs (yum!), and mastering a figure-eight knot used in rock climbing, a hobby shared amongst team members! Later, the group headed to Boxcar arcade to celebrate their new connections and officially kick-off a successful start to the academic year.

group pic
Members of the new cohort are welcomed by senior trainees and program leaders.
students in lab
Defne Çirci (cohort 2, MEMS), Safak Callioglu (cohort 2, MEMS), and Sam McDonald (cohort 2, Chemistry) prepare their team science lesson.

In other announcements, this fall, the aiM Student Leadership Council (SLC) was born. With the goal of promoting aiM community engagement and providing trainees with leadership opportunities, the SLC is co-chaired by Po-An Lin (cohort 1, MEMS) and Aiden Sable (cohort 2, MEMS). Committees within the SLC are responsible for leading monthly All-cohort student meetings along with organizing peer-to-peer teaching sessions, guest speaker presentations, K-12 outreach events, communications club, and aiM social events. 

“We aim to build an inclusive community for aiM students to tailor and enhance their Ph.D. training. The role of SLC is to organize activities for aiM students based on their needs to become an expert in AI and Materials Science.” 

- Po-An Lin, Co-Chair, aiM SLC

“My experience as a co-chair of the aiM SLC has not only provided me with a leadership opportunity, but it has also given me the opportunity to guide the development of aiM program events so that they can best serve us. In the process, I am happy to have met so many people who are excited about AI and Materials!”

- Aiden Sable, Co-Chair, aiM SLC 

Here are the 2022 SLC Committees with students from all cohorts of the aiM program taking on leadership roles –

SLC CommitteeCommittee Leads
SLC Co-chairsPo-An Lin, Aiden Sable
Peer-to-peer TeachingMigon Choi, Sam McDonald, Jessica LaLonde
Guest SpeakerJack McErlean, Defne Çirci, Aiden Sable
Communications ClubHao Zhang, Safak Callioglu
OutreachJack McErlean, Jessica LaLonde
Social eventsPo-An Lin, Migon Choi

We commend the SLC’s initiatives and wish the SLC leaders a fantastic year ahead!