Amelia Camino ’21 — the URECA Undergraduate Researcher of the Month for January 2021 — thoroughly enjoys the collaborative, international research environment of Dr. Milind Diwan’s group at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), a team she joined initially as a participant in BNL’s Science & Learning Internship program in Summer 2019.
One of the group’s current projects is the calibration and analysis of the photo sensor system for the ICARUS (Imaging Cosmic And Rare Underground Signals) neutrino detector, a liquid argon time projection chamber (LArTPC) that detects neutrinos from the Booster Neutrino Beam as part of the Short Baseline Neutrino experiment at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
“The goal is to study the oscillation of neutrinos to observe a fourth flavor of neutrinos, which is completely different and would set it apart from the three basically standard models,” said Camino, who eventually hopes to work at a national lab.
“I really wish to not only be a part of these international collaborations and big experiments, but also to find my own path in terms of mentoring and outreach opportunities,” she said. “I really wish to include minorities and people who look like me more into this field.”
Camino, a 2017 graduate of Comsewogue High School in Port Jefferson Station, NY, is a senior double-majoring in physics and applied mathematics & statistics. She is also a member of the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) honors program, the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) and an advisory board member of CSTEP. She cites her early exposure to research through the WISE high school program, and through the INSPIRE/Include New Students through a Peer Introduction to Research Experience peer mentoring initiative, which she participated in during freshman year, as being pivotal factors for her involvement in STEM research.
Through her research experiences, Camino has developed strong programming and analytical skills, and has since presented at multiple research symposia, both on and off campus. She won first place in the “Math, Physics, and Computer Science” category for her poster presentation at the 2019 CSTEP Statewide Student Conference on “IceCube Artificial Light Source (Flasher) Data Reconstruction.” Recently, she presented “Development of Calibration Analysis for the Scintillation system in the ICARUS LAr Neutrino Detector” at the 2020 virtual summer symposium.
For Camino, any opportunity to present is welcome. “I think it’s a really cool opportunity for science to have a place where I can communicate how excited I am about my work to others and that whole kind of challenge of getting you to be really interested in what I am really interested in,” she said.
On campus, Camino has served as a peer mentor and/or tutor through WISE, CSTEP and the Peer Academic Success Coaching Program (PASC). She has served as a teaching assistant for applied mathematics & statistics, and is a member of the Society of Physics Students (SPS). She also is a WISE student volunteer for 3Diatrics, a student club for those who aim to become leaders in compassionate innovation and improve the patient experience. She also worked with iCreate to make 3D-printed toys and create goodie bags for children in Stony Brook Hospital.