Meet the Majors – Physics and Computer Science – Smith College Grécourt Gate

Audacity, Agency, Authenticity.
Physics and Computer Science
Class of 2022
Hometown: Hargeisa, Somalia
Physics and Computer Science
House: Hopkins
she/her

Other clubs, sports, activities:
Al-Iman Student Muslim Association
Describe your major for someone who has never heard of your field before.
Physics is the mathematical description of the physical world around us. It describes how forces interact with matter in large and micro scales. But physics is not just math, it challenges our perspective on reality, and there is room for interpretation.
What’s been a challenging moment with physics that you look back on with pride?
During my junior fall semester, I took my first 300 level courses while I was home with an eight-hour time difference. It was difficult to engage with the material, but I am glad that I accepted the challenge and managed to enjoy what I was learning.
Did you ever have trouble deciding on a major? What, ultimately, helped you decide?
Before coming to Smith, I thought I was going to take physics courses but not major in it, but after my first course, I decided to major. I love the way the introductory courses are taught here because it includes active learning and explorations.
If an incoming student was considering a physics major, what advice would you give them?
I think Smith is the perfect place to explore a physics major. The professors are very encouraging and supportive, and the courses are interesting and challenging. It is important to go to office hours, ask questions and do not let failures prevent you from learning.
Who’s been a role model for you in your field or someone whose career you’d look up to?
I look up most to my first physics advisor Courtney Lannert. She encouraged me to apply to graduate school and continues to guide me even after she retired.
What’s your “Big Dream” for your future? What would you like to do next in physics?
Currently, I plan to pursue further education in the field and, hopefully, I can become a professor that inspires other women to become physicists.
What’s your all-time (big or small) favorite Smith memory?
My last Mountain Day with other physics majors.
What spot on campus will you miss the most?
The Paradise Pond trail (when the weather is nice).
If you could tell an incoming first-year anything about Smith, what would it be?
Do not be afraid to explore different courses and fields of study.
What do you think has been the most “Smithie” thing you’ve done in life so far?
The most “Smithie” thing I did was take a course in the German department.
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