Senior physics major Emily Batt learned an impor­tant lesson by con­ducting research on melan­choly 17th-​​century monks for a directed study as an unde­clared freshman.

“It was the first time I real­ized that one topic could be approached and under­stood from many dif­ferent per­spec­tives,” said Batt, who was named the 2012 stu­dent com­mence­ment speaker by mem­bers of the university’s senior lead­er­ship team. “Con­sid­ering a topic from a new point of view or with a dif­ferent method­ology can bring forth new solu­tions to old problems.”

Her research phi­los­ophy has shaped her wide range of experiential-​​learning oppor­tu­ni­ties at top-​​tier firms, labs and universities.

Batt has con­ducted research on phys­ical oceanog­raphy for Oregon State Uni­ver­sity; exam­ined the link between cancer and bio­log­ical cell net­works for the Dana-​​Farber Cancer Insti­tute; designed dozens of bio­med­ical devices for Fikst Product Devel­op­ment, a product design and engi­neering firm in Woburn, Mass.; and cre­ated a network-​​science-​​based com­puter sim­u­la­tion of macro­eco­nomic prin­ci­ples for the Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nology Media Lab.

“Co-​​op showed me what my strengths and weak­nesses were and made me a more con­sci­en­tious worker and a better leader,” Batt said. “I was able to dis­cover jobs that focused on my inter­ests in very dif­ferent ways.”

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