Graduate Student Spotlights



Chitra Karanam - Ph.D. Student in Communications and Signal Processing


photo of chitra karanam

Favorite things about

  • ECE department: The friendly faculty and students, who are always ready to help and chat. Also, the location of the department, and a view of the ocean from my desk in lab!
  • UCSB: It’s a beautiful campus, with a diverse community and a variety of events and talks that interest many students
  • Santa Barbara: The wonderful weather all year long and the scenic location of the city

Tell us about your research

Our lab works on problems at the intersection of communication and robotics. My research is in the field of RF Sensing and Imaging with robots. RF signals are present everywhere these days, and they carry a lot of information about our surroundings. Signals like WiFi can even pass through walls and reflect off people and other objects present in any area. Broadly, I work on using RF signals like WiFi to see through walls and image the area located on the other side of the wall. I use unmanned ground vehicles and octo-copters to collect wireless measurements outside an unknown area. Then, through an extensive modeling of the interaction of such signals with the area of interest, I reconstruct an image of the unknown area. In the past, there has been a lot of work in our lab on reconstructing a 2D image of the unknown area, and I am currently working on 3D image reconstructions, through walls, using drones with WiFi.

How and why did you get into your area of research?

At an internship during my undergrad, I worked in the field of array signal processing, and I found the related algorithms and ideas very interesting. Later in grad school, when I got a chance to work on RF sensing and robotics, I realized that this would be a great opportunity to explore more avenues along the lines of my undergrad internship.

Why did you select UCSB and ECE in regards to your research?

The ECE department at UCSB has a great reputation. I first applied for the Masters program, and after arriving here, I liked the atmosphere at the department, and the research in my advisor Professor Yasamin Mostofi’s group. I then decided to pursue my Ph.D. here as well.

What do you find rewarding about your research?

When our proposed methodology and design works well in practice in our experiments.

UCSB prides itself on its collaborative atmosphere, give some examples of how you collaborate

Some or the other form of collaboration is essential for research. In our group, we frequently discuss and collaborate on various ideas and projects, and I feel this helps immensely whenever anyone feels stuck in a problem. We regularly meet with our advisor to discuss research. Other faculty in the department are also always easily approachable, whenever we want to discuss any topic or problem. 

Thoughts on working in a group research environment and your experience working with an advisor

When working on a research problem, it helps a lot to be able to discuss it with others in the research group. I am glad to be working in a group where we constantly discuss and help each other with various aspects of research. I have also had a great experience working with my advisor. She is always supportive and meets with us regularly to discuss progress on research.

Where will your research take you next?

In the future, I would like to be working in the industry, on RF sensing related applications.

photo of chitra karanam

Chitra's thoughts on the academics at UCSB

Strengths of the graduate program

The diverse research fields and associated faculty, the various research groups, and how everyone is easily approachable to discuss various ideas or problems.

Experience with the graduate exams

The screening exam can be a bit stressful. It is the first major exam during the Ph.D. program and tests the basic knowledge of various undergrad and initial graduate courses. Having a plan for a systematic preparation helped reduce some of the stress. The qualification exam was less stressful, since it is a presentation on our research, and I had a stronger grasp on the material I had to present.

Describe your experience as a Teaching Assistant (TA) and GSR

I have mostly been a GSR. I was a TA for an undergrad course - Probability and Statistics. I had to conduct discussion sessions where I go over the topics and examples taught by the professor that week. It was a great learning experience for me, to read up about the topics and be ready to answer the various questions that the students might have.

Life as a graduate student

Quality of life as a graduate student and how you balance school, work, social, and family life

Overall, I think the quality of life is good here at UCSB. Research takes up a lot of my time, and sometimes it gets challenging to balance work and personal life. During deadlines, it is difficult to set time apart for any other activities. But then, at other times, it’s not so hectic and I try to plan a few fun activities and relax.

What is your social life like and where have you lived?

I live at San Clemente Villages – the grad student on-campus housing. I like living at San Clemente because of the proximity to the campus and the facilities that are available. It is pretty convenient since most graduate students stay at the grad housing.

What will you be doing over summer break?

I will be staying at UCSB and working on research this summer.

Advice to prospective graduate students

There are a lot of opportunities to learn, through courses, interaction with faculty, interesting talks and seminars – try to make the best use of everything.

Celeste Bean - B.S./M.S. Student

photo of celeste on the stairs outside of HFH
  • Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
  • Degrees Sought: B.S. / M.S. Program - B.S. CE, 2016 and M.S. EE (1st year)
  • Graduate Study Area: Electrical & Computer Engineering - Control Theory
  • Advisor: Professor Francesco Bullo, Mechanical Engineering
  • Research Interests: renewable energy, power grid development
  • What types of Financial Assistance have you receive? Graduate Student Researcher and Teaching Assistant
  • Awards & Honors Received: Outstanding Teaching Assistant
  • UCSB Student Organizations: UCSB Hyperloop
  • Professional Memberships: International Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Student membership
  • Hobbies: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, reading (history, philosophy, science fiction), writing, podcasts, politics
  • Interesting Aside about You: I have been to six continents

Favorite things about

  • ECE department: the accessibility of the professors, senior project classes
  • UCSB: The collaborative atmosphere, emphasis on entrepreneurship, friendliness of peers, Campus Point
  • Santa Barbara: McConnell’s ice cream, hiking, general emphasis on health

Celeste and her UCSB Senior Project experience

Celeste completed her B.S. in Computer Engineering from UCSB in 2016. During her senior year, she took the required two quarter Senior Computer Systems Project (ECE 189A/B) course also known as the Senior "Capstone" Project. As a graduate student she has been the Teaching Assistant for both quarters of the course. We asked Celeste to share her Capstone experience with us:

  • Student Experience:  My senior design project was easily my most formative experience at UCSB.  I worked with twenty senior Engineering students to develop a proof of concept for SpaceX’s Hyperloop competition, which involved building a magnetically levitating pod from scratch for transit in a low-pressure tube.  Doing so allowed me to take the training wheels off of everything that I’d learned in my classes and apply my knowledge to a problem that didn’t have a known or even promised solution.
  • Teaching Assistant Experience: Transitioning to a role as Teaching Assistant for our Computer Engineering senior project class gave me huge insight into learning, both my own and my students’.  It’s been hugely gratifying to watch their progression as engineers in just one year and I’ll be very proud to share our Alma Mater.

Celeste and her research

Tell us about your research

My research involves designing, analyzing, and modeling self-sustaining inverter-based microgrids in the presence of variable renewable generation and battery storage and implementing controller schemes on experimental inverters.  Incorporating renewable energy onto the power grid is critical in ensuring energy security for the world’s population, but it’s not as simple as just plugging in a solar panel.

My experience leading UCSB’s Hyperloop team also gave me an unparalleled experience in collaboration.  I have been able for two years to be a leader on a high-budget, multi-disciplinary (ME, EE, CE, CS, Physics), project with more than ten industry sponsors and more than six advisors.

photo of celeste on the stairs outside of HFH

How and why did you get into your area of research?

I found my fascination with power grid development during my second internship at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where I worked with Ray Newell and Glen Peterson on their Quantum Cryptography project to advance the security of the national power grid.  After learning about all the inspiring research in field, I knew that I wanted to involve myself in facilitating the advance of renewable energy.  Advancing the infrastructure itself can offer huge opportunities for people, especially as nations rapidly develop and deliver power to new populations.

Why did you select UCSB and the ECE Department in regards to your research?

I knew I wanted to work on the power grid, and taking undergraduate classes in UCSB’s Center for Control, Dynamical-Systems, and Computation (CCDC) prompted me to choose controls as my specific venue given its elegant and robust solutions to an incredible variety of problems.  There are very few problems to which a controls approach cannot be applied.

What do you find rewarding about your research?

I am very gratified by the fact that my research directly supports the expansion of renewable energy.

UCSB prides itself on its collaborative atmosphere, give some examples of how you collaborate

My project involves a collaboration of researchers from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), the University of Minnesota, and UCSB, with additional involvement from industry to implement the results.  I will be travelling to Golden, Colorado this summer for a summer internship at NREL to continue my experimental work.

Thoughts on working in a group research environment and your experience working with an advisor

I couldn’t enjoy my group more.  People are very friendly, helpful, and supportive and enjoy discussion on all topics, from power electronics to materials science to sociology.  I find their general curiosity and diligence in their research makes me a better researcher.  My advisor, Professor Bullo, is also spectacular.  He is exceptionally cheerful, a huge wealth of knowledge, and genuinely wants to see his students succeed.

Where will your research take you next?

I started as a 1-year MS/BS student but enjoyed my research so much that I extended my Master’s to two years and intend to apply for PhD programs in Fall 2017.

Celeste's thoughts on the academics at UCSB

Strengths of the graduate program

In my experience, UCSB’s professors are both exceptional researchers and excellent teachers.  That combination of skills naturally means that I find classes to be very clear but also speaks to the general ability to communicate even the most advanced ideas.

Favorite course

ECE 594, Special Topics: Mechanism Design in Game Theory with Professor Jason Marden.  As with control theory in general, I am very interested in the wide array of problems to which game theory is applicable.   Special Topics classes are always fun because professors can lecture on topics in which they are personally interested, and that enthusiasm carries over to their teaching.  That’s definitely true for Professor Marden—he’s able to get the whole class excited (even on Monday mornings!).  Another great thing about Special Topics classes is that they can spawn collaboration with the professor.  I know a number of people who have found projects or even their advisor through Special Topics.

Describe your experience as a Teaching Assistant (TA) and Graduate Student Researcher (GSR)

I’ve TA’d both Computer Engineering’s senior project class and a Sensor/Peripheral Interfacing lab class, both of which really deepened my understanding of the topics and ability to synthesize and convey information.    The experience dramatically developed my ability to troubleshoot—it’s amazing how “creative” students’ solutions in code and circuitry can sometimes be!

Life as a graduate student

Quality of life as a graduate student and how you balance school, work, social, and family life

Managing school, friends, and hobbies can be stressful, but I’ve found that keeping a reasonably strict routine keeps me sane.  I keep my Sunday afternoons free to get ready for the week, train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the mornings, and treat school as a job, with the aim of working productively from ~9 am-~7 pm every week day with whatever extra work spilling onto the weekends.  Time blocking rather than to-do lists keep me on track.

Where have you lived while at UCSB?

I live in San Clemente (UCSB Housing) this year and plan to do the same next year.  A lot of my friends from undergrad at UCSB are still in Santa Barbara, and I’ve made some very dear friends with fellow graduate students.  I make time to spend with the people I care about because I know that for myself, pushing past my limits of focus has very diminishing returns, so I make efforts to spend time with people and on things that bring me joy outside of school.

What do you do over the summer?

I will be traveling for three weeks to Africa then continuing work on my research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

Advice to prospective graduate students

I try to find time every day to do something that makes me remember how lucky I am to be here.  I also try to make sure that I have things that I am looking forward to that are separate from school, whether that be a concert, a barbecue, or seeing a friend.  Take advantage of the great events that the Graduate Student Association puts on, such as free pizza, open yoga, or beer socials.

Most importantly, take care of your physical and mental health.  You’re an engineer, and your body is one of the most advanced engines you’ll ever see!

Chong Zhang - Ph.D. Student in Electronics & Photonics

chong zhang in the optoelectronics lab
  • Hometown: Luoyang, China
  • Degrees: Undergraduate – Harbin Institute of Technology, China and Masters – Zhejiang University, China
  • Degree sought from UCSB and Progress: Ph.D. 6th year
  • Graduate Study Area: Electronics & Photonics – Si photonics (SiP), photonic integration circuit (PIC)
  • Group / Advisor: Optoelectronics Research Group / Professor John E. Bowers
  • Research Interests: photonic integration, optical interconnection, semiconductor laser, modulator
  • Important Awards and Honors: Herbert Kroemer Dissertation Fellowship
  • Professional Memberships: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), The Optical Society (OSA)
  • Hobbies: Basketball, Photography
  • Interesting aside about Chong: Good cook, "The Pacifier"

Favorite things about

  • ECE department: The UCSB nanofabrication cleanroom and testing facility
  • UCSB: Quiet campus, energetic students and nice sea view
  • Santa Barbara: Moderate climate and polite people

More about Chong and his research

  • Important Conferences attended: Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), Optical Fiber Communication Conference (OFC), IEEE Optical Interconnects Conference (OI Conference) — More of Chong's Pubs
  • Most important publications to date: Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), Optical Fiber Communication Conference (OFC), IEEE Optical Interconnects Conference (OI Conference) and more
  • Dissertation title: “Heterogeneous Integrated Photonic Transceiver on Si”
  • Types of financial assistance received: Graduate Student Researcher (GSR)

Tell us about your research

My research emphasis is optical interconnections with highly integrated of photonic circuits. Like electrical circuits with billions of transistors on a single chip, photonic integration circuit (PICs) are capable of jointing a large number of functional optical components (e.g. waveguide, semiconductor lasers, modulators, photodetectors) on single chip in order to realize complex functionalities and superior performance. This is a promising solution for future high-speed, ultra-compact, cost and power effective optical interconnections by scaling down the device footprint and scaling up the integration density.

We are most interested in silicon – one of the richest elements on earth, which is one the best options for optical integration by means of the availability of large wafers (up to 450 mm in diameter nowadays) with lower unit prices. Additionally, high-density photonic integration on silicon benefits from the advanced CMOS fabrication techniques that are developed by the IC industry. We, here at UCSB, have built a platform on silicon photonic integrations – including silicon components as well as other materials heterogeneously integrated on silicon e.g. indium phosphide based quantum wells (QWs) and gallium arsenide based quantum dots (QDs) for efficient laser sources on silicon.

I would like to mention the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics) project at UCSB. As the West Coast Hub of AIM Photonics, the UCSB photonic groups are aiming to accelerate photonic integration to overcome the data communication bottleneck in next decade and convert this achievement to into manufacturing productivity.

photo of chong zhang in the E2 courtyard

How and why did you get into your area of research?

The field became more and more attractive to me when I studied it further. This is an integrated discipline that requires different background knowledges and skills. I am big fan of engineering. Designing and fabricating devices from sketches gives me a strong sense of accomplishment. I feel confident and excited in this field because I believe it is fast-growing and plays a critical role in modern IT technology that will also play a more important part of our future daily lives.

What do you find rewarding about your research?

We are living in the “information blasting” age, enabled by the fast-growing information technologies, including modern optical communication technology. Not only is the world connected by light through the submarine optical fiber cables, today’s internet network is enabled by high speed optical links in data centers. In the near future, optical interconnections will replace copper wire and pins in short links, e.g. between the processor and memory or among the processor cores in the computer, in order to solve the current I/O bandwidth bottleneck. Such chip-level optical communications require large bandwidth density, low power consumption, so there is a strong motivation to develop high integration density, high performance and low volume photonic integration circuit. As a milestone for this application, we have just achieved a state-of-the-art, highly integrated transceiver network on a single silicon chip with hundreds of effect units with a maximum transmission speed up to Terabit per second – which corresponds to a data rate that can transmit 50 channels of 4K media in one second!

Why did you select UCSB and ECE in regards to your research?

I don’t think I can find a better place than UCSB to work in the research field that I am working in. UCSB has been a leader in the photonic integration area for the past 30 years and is now the West Coast Hub of AIM photonics. Plus my advisor Prof. John Bowers is a pioneer in the field of silicon photonics. The close relationship between the ECE department with industry as well as the beautiful beach outside the ECE Department’s building strengthened my determination to come here.

UCSB prides itself on its collaborative atmosphere, give some examples of how you collaborate with others

Indeed, teamwork is always the key in solving difficult issues in research work. The ‘team’ includes my advisor, experts in the group and department, and collaborators outside of UCSB. We have routine meetings and constant one-to-one discussions throughout the project timeline. We report progress, discuss issues and concerns, exchange opinions and make decisions. The meetings and discussions are critical in research work for proper planning – firstly, being prepared and concise can make communication efficient and secondly, it’s equally important to have independent opinions in the collaborations. Knowing each collaborator’s role on the team and understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses helps make correct decisions when working in a group. This is where I would like to thank my advisor, Prof. John Bowers, who is always open-minded and allows us space to think freely in our research projects.

Thoughts on working in a group research environment and your experience working with an advisor

From my own experience, my suggestions to all of UCSB’s potential grad students:

1) Keeping motivated is most important. Passion is the only key to help you pass through the difficult journey of research work, plus I think it is also the top personality trait that advisors would like to see.
2) Always bring your thoughts and ideas when talking with your advisor and teammates.
3) Take advantage of the resources around you. We are spoiled here at UCSB and one should not waste the opportunity to access the field experts, funding resources and various facilities.

Where will your research take you next?

I just finished up my Ph.D. research work this past summer and joined the photonic research group at Hewlett Packard labs, which is one of the leading teams in silicon photonics area. I feel very excited to move to the next stage of my career. The team I am working with is dedicated to developing a photonic solution for future high performance computers. I believe we will experience a revolutionary period in next the decade or two in this field – photonic integration as an enabling technique will change the way we think about computers, or “machines” in general, and the way “machines” change our lives. I am honored to be part of this evolution and I can’t wait to see what will happen next.

Life as a graduate student

Quality of life as a graduate student and how you balance school, work, social, and family life

I have to say that there’s quite a bit of pressure being a graduate student researcher. The pressure comes from balancing the project side, my advisor’s anticipations, and also the work with the colleagues in my group and department. It is also a wonderful training process for my career and for working with personalities and because of it I can clearly see my growth and improvement. I live with my family in town. We had our first child in 2014 and since then we have become even busier but everything is delightful. I don’t think I have done a good job balancing my school and family time and I always feel guilty that I didn’t spend enough time with them. But family recharges me for the hard research life at school and they are also my biggest motivation for working hard.

Social life and living in Santa Barbara

I have moved a few times around right outside of campus in Goleta, from UCSB graduate student housing and to a public apartment in town and then back to family housing after our kid was born. Our favorite place to live was at UCSB family housing, where the rent was more reasonable, and more importantly, we got to know many friendly neighbors. Santa Barbara is probably the best place I can think of to stay for a long time, especially if you live with kids. I am so glad we could stay here after I graduated and continue to enjoy the sweet climate and the charming environment.

Vincent Radzicki – Ph.D. Student in Communications & Signal Processing
photo of vince radzicki in the lab

  • Hometown: Fountain Valley, CA
  • Degrees: B.S. Electrical Engineering, UCSB (2013) and M.S. Electrical Engineering, UCSB (2015)
  • Degree sought from UCSB and Progress: Ph.D. (3rd Year)
  • Important Awards and Honors: William R. Hearst Scholarship (2012); Graduate Student Paper Award (1st Place) at International Telemetering Conference, 2015
  • Graduate Study Area: Communications, Controls, and Signal Processing (CCSP)
  • Main Area of Research: Signal processing and image reconstruction algorithms
  • Research Interests: Microwave Imaging and Sensing, Radar Signal Processing, Target Tracking and Identification
  • Advisor / Lab: Professor Hua Lee / Imaging Systems Lab
  • Important Conferences Attended: International Telemetering Conference (ITC); IEEE Radar Conference
  • Professional Memberships: IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS); IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS)
  • UCSB Organizations: UCSB Intramural Sports League (Basketball)
  • Hobbies: Basketball, hiking, reading, and engineering


Favorite things about

  • ECE department: The faculty here is comprised of accomplished researchers, and the students are talented and driven engineers as well. Most are very amicable and enjoyable to work with as everyone is committed to making a strong impact in their field. This positive environment makes everyone working here proud to be a part of it.
  • UCSB: UCSB is a great institution that features both world class academics and research. The campus is also located literally right on the California central coast that offers stunning views. These two aspects offer a unique and exciting student experience that I am very happy to have.
  • Santa Barbara: The city is a cool place to live due to its great weather, scenic area, and diverse environment. There is a variety of outdoor activities, cultural experiences, museums, and city areas to explore that ensure there are always interesting things to do outside of one’s school activities.

More about Vince and his research

Tell us about your research

Our lab focuses on advanced signal processing techniques for sensing and imaging systems. The emphasis is on two and three dimensional image reconstruction algorithms from scattered coherent wavefield data. Applications include high resolution radar imaging, microwave non-destructive evaluation, and medical tomography. Current topics of interest are the integration of target motion detection and tracking with image formation algorithms for increases in efficiency and accuracy.

How and why did you get into your area of research?

For my senior design class, I was fortunate to be able to work on a research project in my area focused on ground penetrating radar systems under the supervision of an experienced faculty member in the area. It was very exciting to see how the theoretical concepts taught in the classroom applied to real world systems, and could be utilized to solve complex engineering problems. I wanted to be able to build upon what I learned from that experience and contribute to the field in a more substantive and meaningful way.

Why did you select UCSB and ECE in regards to your research?

The ECE department has a very strong faculty that is well-regarded in the signal processing community; therefore I believed being able to work under them would be beneficial to my success. The breadth and depth of research coverage at UCSB, would also provide me with a well-rounded technical knowledge upon graduation. I was a member of UCSB ECE as an undergrad, so I was lucky in the sense that I was able to draw my conclusions from first-hand experience. I also was able to work with my advisor at that time (Prof. Hua Lee), who was a great and supportive mentor.

What do you find rewarding about your research?

Working on academic research is challenging and can be intimidating as you are trying to find solutions to many unsolved questions. However, with the help of your advisor and group, along with hard work and focus you will find success. Being able to make an impact in your field and solve problems that don’t have solutions written in a book somewhere, ultimately, is a very satisfying feeling that makes all the hard work worthwhile in the end.

UCSB prides itself on its collaborative atmosphere, give some examples of how you collaborate

The professors and students at UCSB all do a good job at fostering a collaborative environment. Many professors are happy to answer off-the-cuff questions in class or office hours about student’s research and provide their expert advice. The students are also very open to discussing one another’s research topics with the hopes of potentially sparking new ideas and approaches. My research group has been involved in many collaborative projects with other campus labs and industry groups. I myself work with an outside company working on similar research in the hopes of advancing the state-of-the art of our field.

Thoughts on working in a group research environment and your experience working with an advisor

Being able to work in a group under an advisor is a key aspect of any graduate school. As an undergrad, the vast majority of what you do is individually based. Research problems, however, are often very complex and require collaborative efforts to solve. Working in a research group with successful peers and an experienced mentor is a great experience to learn how to do this effectively. The academic research model has been around for a while, and it has repeatedly been proven to be very successful. I know that my group and advisor have been very supportive and encouraging, which really makes the whole research process enjoyable.

Where will your research take you next?

As of now, I am mainly focused on my research work, but afterwards I hope to go into industry to apply some of my ideas to real-world applications.

photo of vince radzicki

Vince's thoughts on the academics at UCSB

Strengths of the graduate program

The professors here are very committed to teaching and there are many excellent teaching facilities such as our electronic device fabrication labs that are not available at many other universities.

Favorite course

My favorite class was ECE 278C (Imaging Systems) by Professor Hua Lee. The course begins with the basic principles of imaging from optics and builds up to more complicated material at the end. It is exciting to see complicated ideas being synthesized from first principles in an enthusiastic manner.

Experience with the graduate exams

Going into it any exam is always tough because you never fully know what to expect. There is plenty of support structure in place for you to succeed as long as one is prepared and confident it tends to work out in the end.

Describe your experience as a Teaching Assistant (TA) and Graduate Student Researcher (GSR)

Teaching a class is an invaluable experience, where you learn almost as much as you would from taking the class. The ability to explain complicated concepts in a succinct manner not only helps your own understanding, but is a skill that can be applied in whatever endeavor one pursues after graduate school. I have been fortunate to TA both lab and theory based classes. The theory classes were enjoyable as you get to practice a more traditional form of teaching at a high level and see what life is like on the other side of the classroom. I also was lucky enough to TA the Senior Design Capstone (188A/B/C) classes, which has probably been my favorite academic experience at UCSB. In the class, the seniors get to put together all their skills and knowledge they have learned to design and build an advanced engineering project from scratch. It is really exciting to help highly motivated students build these very cool projects, and although the problems can be very challenging, seeing the finished products at the end of the school year is a proud and rewarding experience.

Life as a graduate student

Quality of life as a graduate student and how you balance school, work, social, and family life

The quality of life at UCSB is very nice for graduate students. You have the opportunity to work at an excellent academic institution and live in a terrific area. Balance is always key, so I always just try to work hard on achieving my goals while maintaining a clear perspective.

What is your social life like and where have you lived?

People in Santa Barbara are very friendly and it is a fun place to relax with friends. I have lived in apartments, dorms, and houses throughout my time at UCSB, and as of now I live in an off-campus apartment in Goleta for a quiet atmosphere. Because the area is such a nice place to live, finding housing that fits your ideal preferences can be competitive. If you are prepared and persistent with your housing search, you will find something that works for you.

What did you plan to do over Summer break?

I plan to work at a local company (AKELA inc.) and also work on my research.

Advice to prospective graduate students

Focus mainly on doing good work, and try to learn as much as possible. Also, keep a healthy perspective on life while maintaining a good balance. The time will probably go by faster than anticipated, so just make the most of each experience at UCSB.