As we prepare to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday and take stock of everything that we’re grateful for during these uncertain times, CUPS would like to show gratitude to our hardworking postdocs. Every day this week, we will highlight a different postdoc and how they’ve lifted up their communities.
We continue our Outreach Highlight series with Benjamin Rudshteyn, a NIH postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia’s Chemistry Department. Ben shares how working with Columbia Splash and the Wave Learning Festival has provided an avenue to share his scientific interests with students while inspiring them to use scientific thinking in their everyday lives.
“I’m Benjamin Rudshteyn. I am an NIH postdoctoral research fellow at Columbia’s Chemistry Department where I am studying computational chemistry. I work with Prof. Friesner on building up the accurate Auxiliary Field Quantum Monte Carlo technique towards the accurate prediction of the properties of metalloproteins.
I would like to inspire students to use scientific thinking in everyday life and to potentially study science in college. I volunteer with Columbia Splash and the Wave Learning Festival to teach students. They allow the freedom to teach how and what you want. I taught courses on chemophobia, solar fuels, and careers in science. The students offered feedback on how to improve my teaching and I got new ideas for courses e.g. how the scientific method should work and how sometimes our application of science fails it.
It was challenging to adapt to online teaching and not getting instant feedback from the room. It was rewarding to see the questions students posed to me and how they were engaging with the material.”
Would you like to be featured in the next Outreach Highlight? Share your experience with CUPS by filling out the outreach and volunteering survey.