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A Future Engineer Makes Space for Self-Discovery


Alexei Smith ’19, who has wanted to be an aerospace engineer since she was in high school, also wants a little poetry in her life. She opted for a liberal arts college so she could try new things rather than get locked into a narrow course of study.

Smith found the right fit in Hamilton’s “4-2” program, which will enable her to get her undergraduate degree and move into a two-year graduate engineering program at Columbia University. Smith, a physics major, loves English and the poetry course she’s taken. She’s discovered a passion for theatre and lighting design, plays the oboe in the College orchestra and is a member of the knitting club.

And, of course, there’s the science. Smith loves the physics department and how its professors always seem to have their doors open to students.

“I think it’s a challenging climate, but it’s worth it it,” she says.

As a rising sophomore, Smith spent the summer doing a physics research project as a Clare Boothe Luce Undergraduate Research Scholar, working with another student and Assistant Physics Professor Kate Brown to test the validity of a research paper about human versus machine drumming.

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