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Mara Birndorf

Skokie, Illinois
Math and Computer Science
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
Moose Tracks

In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
The community: you feel welcome and get to know everyone. 

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
I knew in high school that I wanted to go into chemistry, but the great professors, friends I've made, and fun events throughout the year kept me coming back. 

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
Keep exploring. There are so many different types of chemistry, and if you don't like one class you shouldn't give up. Take a couple more - I'm sure you'll find an area you love. 

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
I love to cook, which has a lot to do with chemistry!

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
Explore as much as you can: in life, in classes, in everything. 

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
In the chemistry department, Physical Chemistry with Dr. Bartz: there's a lot of math involved, so I found it really interesting. Outside of the department, Wheel Throwing: I loved learning a new skill and getting pretty good at it by the end of the quarter. 

What is your SIP?
I'm investigating the photodissociation of HONO to determine the vector correlations between the transition dipole, velocity, and angular momentum of the ions upon photodissociation.  

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I plan on going to graduate school to earn a PhD. After that I'll hopefully go into research. 

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