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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

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.