My Journey as a Research Assistant at NASA

In my second semester sophomore year of high school, I was researching with a professor at Georgia Tech, who was a joint professor in the School of Psychology and the College of Computing. We were working on cleaning the data from his lab, and after seeing my knowledge of datasets and manipulating data points, he referred me to Dr. Dorritt Billman at NASA. After meeting with Dr. Billman, we decided I would assist her on a project she has been working on for a few years. My job here is to analyze how an astronaut’s progress through space simulations, to determine whether or not they will be able to replicate these tasks in the space shuttle. On the May 30th NASA and SpaceX launch, I analyzed the data of three astronauts. The people I have worked with on this project have been extremely encouraging on having a high schooler help work on these algorithms. Dr. Billman has helped me reach my goals that I set in the beginning of my work at NASA.


In August of 2019, NASA and SpaceX began a new collaboration on finding a way to refuel rockets in space. This would make it theoretically possible to go as far in the galaxy as we possibly can, because we can keep refueling the rocket. I work on creating statistical models to test the validity of ideas. This is a rather new project and will take years to find the right solution.


Overall, over my two years of working at NASA, I have had the pleasure of working with some of the brightest minds in America. The environment is very forward-thinking and motivative. I look forward to all opportunities in the future.


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