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Hi! I'm Aatish.

I'm a science writer, a physicist, and a science educator. I'm constantly scheming up ways to get more people to experience the wonder, joy, and excitement of finding things out

From Fall 2013 to Summer 2019, I served as an Associate Director of Engineering Education at Princeton University's Council on Science and Technology, where I worked on improving science and engineering education, and co-taught courses on art & engineering, and on the science of music. I have a Ph.D. in Physics from Rutgers University, and a B.A. in Physics from Swarthmore College.

My hobbies inlude eating (and occasionally cooking) Sichuan food, deeply overthinking everyday things, and exploring the outdoors whenever I can.

Upcoming Events

If you'd like to invite me to speak at your event, get in touch. Please first ensure that your event has a diverse lineup. Thanks!

Past Events

  • STUDIO for Creative Inquiry (Workshop)
    p5.js Contributor's Conference
    Pittsburgh, PA · Aug 2019

  • Kent Place School Ethics Institute (Workshop)
    Creative Coding & Ethics
    Princeton, NJ · Jul 2019

  • W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Institute (Workshop)
    Group Theory And Hair Braiding (led by Bernat Guillen Pegueroles & Sharon De La Cruz)
    Princeton, NJ · Apr 2019

  • Princeton Public Library (Workshop)
    Processing Day Workshop: Art + Code: Make a Greeting Card with p5.js
    Princeton, NJ · Feb 2019

  • Music Education at Spotify, NYC (Talk)
    Tinkering at the Boundary of Physics and Music
    New York, NY · Oct 2018

  • Maker Faire (Workshop)
    Using Your Senses Makes Sense
    New York, NY · Sep 2018

  • Princeton University Materials Academy (Workshop)
    Two week workshop on Wearable Technology for Princeton and Trenton High School Students
    Princeton, NJ · Jul 2018

  • Interaction Design and Children (IDC) Conference (Workshop)
    Paper Piano: Making Circuits with Everyday Things
    Trondheim, Norway · Jun 2018

  • Annual Crump Physics Lecture, St. Andrews School, Delaware (Talk)
    Wandering into Puzzles: Being Curious About Everyday Things
    Middletown, DE · Feb 2018

  • St. Andrews School, Delaware (Workshop)
    Paper Piano: Making Circuits With Everyday Things
    Middletown, DE · Feb 2018

  • New York Public Library (Mid-Manhattan Branch) (Talk)
    Why? What makes us curious? Mario Livio in conversation with Aatish Bhatia
    New York · Jan 2018

  • Maker Faire (Workshop)
    Making Circuits with Everyday Things
    New York, NY · Sep 2017

  • TED-Ed Weekend (Workshop)
    Making circuits with everyday things
    New York, NY · Jun 2017

  • Princeton University (Workshop)
    Creative Art of Structural and Civil Engineering
    Princeton, NJ · Jun 2017

  • W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Institute (Workshop)
    Making circuits with everyday things
    Princeton, NJ · May 2017

  • Parsons, The New School (Panel)
    Talking about Seeing Symposium
    New York, NY · Dec 2016

  • Parsons, The New School (Talk)
    Mundane Beauty | Observational Practices and the Everyday
    New York, NY · Dec 2016

  • Rutgers University Physics Colloquium (Talk)
    The Physics of Everyday Life
    New Brunswick, NJ · Dec 2016

  • American Society of Engineering Education (Talk)
    Engaging Students With The Creative Art of Civil Engineering
    New Orleans, LA · Jun 2016

  • UMass-Amherst (Workshop)
    Creative Art of Structural and Civil Engineering
    Amherst, MA · Jun 2016

  • Princeton University (Panel)
    The Art of Science Communication
    Princeton, NJ · Mar 2016

  • Princeton University (Panel)
    Beyond the Podium: Educators on Social Media
    Princeton, NJ · Dec 2015

  • American Museum of Natural History (Panel)
    STEM Career Panelist, NYC Science Research Mentoring Consortium
    New York, NY · Nov 2015

  • Princeton University (Talk)
    Making Ideas Stick: Tips on being a more effective communicator
    Princeton, NJ · Jun 2015

  • Princeton University (Workshop)
    Creative Art of Structural and Civil Engineering
    Princeton, NJ · Jun 2015

  • Princeton Pi Day & NJ Chapter American Association of Physics Teachers (Talk)
    Finding the Hidden Pi: a Physics Demonstration Show
    Princeton, NJ · Mar 2015

  • American Museum of Natural History (Panel)
    STEM Career Panelist, NYC Science Research Mentoring Consortium
    New York, NY · Nov 2014

  • Harvard University (Panel)
    Active Learning: From Evaluation to Practice.
    Boston, MA · Nov 2014

  • American Physical Society April Meeting (Workshop)
    Undergraduate Physics Teaching
    Savannah, GA · Apr 2014

  • Invited Lecture: American Physical Society (Talk)
    Can we build a more efficient airplane? Using applied questions to teach physics
    Savannah, GA · Apr 2014

  • Science Online (Talk)
    How Science Education Can Improve Science Communication.
    Raleigh, NC · Feb 2014

Skills


Writing

I specialize in explaining complex ideas in simple ways. In addition to writing Empirical Zeal, an award-winning science blog exploring the curious patterns and hidden harmonies of daily life, I have been published in online venues including Wired, Nautilus, Minute Physics and TED-Ed. In 2012, I was published in print in The Best Online Science Writing 2012 (Scientific American Books), and awarded first prize in the 3 Quarks Daily Online Science Writing Prize. My writing and videos have collectively been accessed many millions of times.

Expanding Access to Science and Technology

At Princeton, I work on bringing science and engineering to a wider audience by co-teaching courses, collaborating with faculty on developing courses, mentoring students, organizing talks and workshops, and collaborating widely to get more people curious and excited about science.

Teaching

I helped create and co-teach 'Transformations in Engineering and the Arts', where students of all majors use engineering to create art. Along with Dan Trueman, I teach 'Musical Instruments, Sound, Perception, and Creativity' a lab course in the Music department exploring the fundamentals of music, sound, and perception. While at Rutgers University, I taught physics to nearly 600 undergraduates, developed a physics course about meeting our energy needs through renewables, taught an afterschool class in space science to middle school students in Newark, NJ, and taught high school students a summer course on building two-wheeled self-balancing robots.

Coding

I use code to create interactive explainers, to make sense of data, and to play with patterns. I’m fluent in Python, well-versed in Javascript and Processing, and have a working knowledge of C++, R, HTML and CSS. During my Ph.D., I wrote code and implemented data analyses for bioinformatics projects published in PLOS One, G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, and the Journal of Neuroscience.

Research

I'm a physicist by training. My Ph.D. research addressed problems in biological evolution and quantitative genetics, and has been cited over 100 times. Prior to this, I spent two years of graduate school studying particle physics and quantum field theory. Following my Ph.D., my research at Princeton University has focused on engineering education.