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Physics and Math Major Researches the Sun and Stars while Planning His Future

Story By:
Will Wrobel | Videographer/Producer
Micah Arends
Micah Arends

Micah Arends, a senior from Simsbury, Conn., originally studied architecture at Keene State before transferring into the Physics Department during his second year. “Originally I liked the design aspect of architecture, but I decided that I wanted to focus on the math behind it instead,” he said.

Arends’s journey in finding his path through college led him to exciting research opportunities with the Physics Department faculty. “Right now I’m doing solar flare research with Dr. McGregor and binary star research with Dr. Harfenist. It’s really beautiful to be able to explain things that nobody’s ever heard of and explore new topics – it’s the coolest thing in the world,” said Arends.

While searching for another major that would help him achieve what he was looking for, Arends found physics to be an excellent fit. “I took the universal physics course while trying to figure out what I really wanted to do. From there, I ended up studying physics for three years. I like that physics is about explaining the how and why of how things around us work,” he said.

Math, admittedly, did not come easily to Arends during most of his high school years, though he was an excellent student when it came to using language skills. However, during his senior year of high school, something clicked for him and math just began to make sense and became enjoyable. Keene State offers a hybrid program, which combines the core principles of both mathematics and physics – a perfect fit for Arends to explore his interests.

Though where his studies and research experience will take him next is still a mystery, Arends is making plans for a future in the physics world.

“I have applications in for mechanical engineering graduate school, and I’m also considering going into the field of biomedical engineering. MRI machines are very complicated and need to be calibrated very precisely using physics,” said Arends. “Many times, hospitals will have a resident physicist on staff who maintains machines. I think that would be a really great job.”

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