sadhana chidambaranMajor: Genetics, Computer Science; Minor: Statistics

Certificate: Computational Genetics

Graduation Year: 2020

How did you decide on your major?

I knew coming into college that I was interested in both biology and computer science, so during my freshman year I took introductory courses in both subjects. My favorite topic in my biology class was easily genetics, which lead me to the major. I also learned about the Certificate in Computational Genetics offered by the department which aligned perfectly with my interests.

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

Research is a requirement of the genetics major and something I was excited about doing at Rutgers. There are a lot of different topics being researched within the Department of Genetics, so there’s something for everybody to study. I also found that the professors in the department were really helpful in figuring out which lab was right for me, which I appreciated as I didn’t have much exposure to research at the time.

Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?

I recently took Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics with Dr. Matise. I enjoyed the opportunity to take a class that directly connected genetics with computer science. It was interesting to learn how exactly researchers use different kinds of software and their programming skills in their work.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

I’m a member of the Association for Undergraduate Geneticists (AUG) here at Rutgers. We host a variety of events throughout the year, including our Speaker Series where we invite professionals in different fields to come speak to students. It’s been a great way to meet other people in my major and explore career options.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

I am a tutor for the SAS Honors Program, where I meet one-on-one with students to tutor them in a variety of topics. I am also a tutor coordinator for the same program, so I help to run training sessions. I’m involved with Craft Nights at the Honors College as well, where we create scarves, hats, and other items to donate to shelters in New Brunswick.

What are your plans following graduation?

After graduation, I plan to go to graduate school for computational biology.

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