Here you can find information about the ISEC mentors.
Andrés was born in the Canary Islands to a Bolivian-Galician family and has been involved with Astrophysics from a young age. He moved to Italy to do IB at the Collegio del Mondo Unito dell’Adriatico, where he founded the astronomy club. He is now graduating with a Master’s in Mathematics and Physics at the University of Bath and is scheduled to start a PhD position at Kings’ College London researching neutrino oscillations as a member of the T2K – Super/Hyper Kamiokande collaboration. His main academic interests lie in pure mathematics, modeling, astrophysics, particle physics and mathematical physics. He is currently working on determining the causes for entropy profile bimodality in galaxy clusters.
Andrés is a passionate musician and has been playing classical guitar for 15 years. He is also a conductor and the founder of the Early Music Ensemble at the University of Bath. He is particularly moved by the works of Dowland, Bach, Beethoven and Schubert and has given several lectures on the life and works of these composers.
Andrés was involved in the early developmental stages of ISEC and is now returning to the team as a mentor.
Carlos was born in Málaga and raised in a lovely village near the city, with a breathtaking view of the sea from the cliffs. After finishing high school, he moved to Madrid to continue his studies. He graduated in both Mathematics and Physics at the Complutense University of Madrid in 2016, and in 2017 he completed his Master in Education and Teaching Formation. He works at SEK Catalunya International School teaching Physics (including IB Physics). He can only speak positively about all his students – last year, they passed their exams with great marks and did outstanding small research projects during the school year. Carlos also worked at the Complutense University of Madrid, where he did research on Quantum Thermodynamics, working with numerical simulations of several quantum systems.
He finds Physics to be one of the coolest branches of science, and Mathematics the most beautiful and elegant. If you take a bunch of the first and a bit of the second, mix and shake, you end up with the tools to explore the very fabric of the Universe ! And if you stumble into a wall of unintelligible equations you couldn’t solve in a million years, why not turn to Turing’s invention – computers! Carlos is ready and excited to help you with Maths, Physics and numerical simulations.
Carlos is the President of the Inspiring Science Association and one of the founders of ISEC. He was previously a mentor at ISEC 2019.
Elif was born in Central Anatolia, specifically the Cappadocia region of Turkey. The region is known for its natural beauty and historical stories that combine many different cultures under a single roof. Her love for nature led her to study Molecular Biology and Genetics. During her studies, she discovered an interest in data analysis, which in turn led her to complete a master’s degree in the field of Bioinformatics.
She always creates time for extracurricular activities. Elif has been an amateur classical guitarist for more than ten years. In that sense, she has assisted and led many guitar lessons for people from different backgrounds and ages. She is also involved in different volunteer coding events such as DjangoGirls, both as a mentor and organizer. She created a project called Music Within, which is an installation merging music and led signals that are produced from mutation data. This project allowed her to share her enthusiasm for science and art with the help of her supervisors, lovely friends, and family.
She loves horses and they have recently become an important part of her career. Currently, she is doing her PhD at Vienna Graduate School of Population Genetics and her topic is sequence diversity of the Y chromosome in different species; her first candidate species is horses. Besides keeping her existing activities, she is also trying to deepen her sports journey. She is very excited about being a mentor at Online ISEC 2020.
Elif is joining the ISEC team for the first time as a mentor for Online ISEC 2020 and will be co-mentoring projects with Erinç.
Erinç was born in İstanbul, Turkey. He spent his first 8 years in the city of Tekirdağ, before moving to Çanakkale with his family. The city witnessed numerous turning points throughout history and was the location of many epic classics such as the ‘Iliad’ by Homer. Erinç developed an interest in science during his childhood and, by the end of high school, decided to delve into the magical world of biological sciences.
After graduating high school, he studied Biology at the Middle East Technical University. During his undergraduate years, he contributed to many non-profit scientific conferences and seminars, which were organized by the University’s Biology and Genetics Student Society. He also translated several scientific articles for Evrim Ağacı, a non-profit popular science society. After graduation, he completed his Master’s Degree in the field of Ancient DNA in the same department and presented his research at three different international scientific conferences.
One of his biggest passions is acting. Erinç has been involved with theater since elementary school. He also loves to sing songs from different genres and one day hopes to be able to play at least one instrument. In his free time, he enjoys playing video games and watching movies and TV series.
Erinç is joining the ISEC team for the first time as a mentor for Online ISEC 2020 and will be co-mentoring projects with Elif.
Fernando has always defined himself as a city boy. He grew up in the centre of Valencia, Spain, and spent his childhood dreaming of becoming a private detective, a football player, or a scientist. It was bound to be the last one of the three once he decided to study a chemistry degree at the University of Valencia. During his studies, his love for languages and foreign lands developed, and he spent a year on an Erasmus scholarship at Imperial College London researching organometallic complexes and their use as catalysts in organic reactions.
After graduating he sought an opportunity away from academia and moved to the Netherlands to start as an R&D intern in a company developing new technology for water desalination. During the seven years he spent in the Netherlands, he became a project manager at the same company and learned a lot about water treatment and the business world, but not very much Dutch. In the end he decided to move back to Spain.
Fernando found a new home in Madrid, where he changed career paths and took up teaching at a secondary school. He is currently in his second year as a physics and chemistry teacher and finds the learning curve in this job a lot more challenging than that of business or academia.
During his time away from Spain, Fernando has picked up new hobbies such as baking, playing board games, and drinking a pint of cider at the pub with friends. He also discovered a renewed liking for gazpacho. Fernando enjoys playing video games, playing & watching sports, and traveling to visit old friends.
Fernando is joining the ISEC team for the first time as a mentor for Online ISEC 2020.
Hayley was born in Los Angeles to a family steeped in film and humanities. She discovered a love for the physical sciences thanks to some of her closest friends in high school. Hayley attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated with a degree in Earth & Environmental Science in 2018. As an undergraduate, she was part of several research efforts exploring different facets of geochemistry. Her research gave her opportunities to travel to different states and countries for sample collection and wet lab work, and also to present her work at some of the world’s largest conferences. This influenced her decision to pursue geochemistry as a career path. After graduation, Hayley continued to work at UCLA as a lab assistant to gain more experience, and also as a Museum Guide at Griffith Observatory to hone her skills as a science communicator. In the fall, she will begin her doctoral geochemistry program, again at UCLA. In her spare time, Hayley enjoys hiking, long-distance running, a good novel or film, amateur astronomy, and most importantly: coffee.
Hayley is joining the ISEC team for the first time as a mentor for Online ISEC 2020.
Miriam was born in a small Spanish city in La Mancha, the land of Don Quixote’s adventures and misadventures. Her interest in astronomy and maths began before elementary school. In 2018 she completed her Masters in Astrophysics, focusing on the warm molecular gas around the Trapezium stellar cluster in the famous Orion Nebula. She is currently a second year PhD candidate, working in the Institute of Fundamental Physics at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). Her research focuses on the galactic interstellar medium, specifically its physical and chemical properties. Miriam also studies the stellar feedback in warm molecular clouds where more massive stars form. She has carried out studies of the molecular gas in the direction of the Milky Way’s central black hole, in the Orion nebula, and in Sgr B2, which is a more massive and luminous molecular cloud in our galaxy. Miriam is currently working on, and starting to enjoy, writing her first first-author paper.
Miriam was part of the 2019 edition of the Spanish version of “I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here!”, as part of the CSIC Zone. She spent a few weeks connecting with teenagers about science and was pleasantly surprised with the high quality of their questions. She ended up winning in her zone! It was the students themselves that voted for her as their favorite scientist.
Miriam is one of the founders of ISEC and is now returning to the team as a mentor.
Özgür Can was born in Istanbul, Turkey and he spent his childhood years in a small village near the Aegean Sea in Western Turkey where he had the opportunity to observe the Milky Way every clear night. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Astrophysics at The Middle East Technical University and working as a Research Assistant. His research topic is mainly focused on X-Ray Binaries and the anomalies in their accretion disks.
Özgür has been an active member of the Astronomical Society of his university. He was part of the organizing committee for the National Astronomy Congress of Turkey in 2014, 2016, and 2018. He was alsoan advisor to the organizers of Turkey’s first Astrobiology Conference. Özgür also traveled all around Turkey and spent most of his time giving lectures on astronomy and popular science. He presented his research at the International Conference for Physics Students in 2017.
Since 2013, Özgür has worked as a Columnist for the Bilim ve Gelecek (Science and The Future) magazine. He writes popular science articles, which will soon be compiled and published in a book. One of his science fiction stories was selected by Nbeyin Magazine and was published alongside other captivating stories. He also writes articles about the philosophy, history, and methodology of science. Together with the astronomical society, Özgür has spent many nights observing the sky and taking time-lapses with his DSLR camera. Özgür has many other talents and interests, including Japanese Martial Arts and composing music on his guitar and harmonica. You’ll have a chance to hear some of his talent at camp!
Oz is the Secretary of the Inspiring Science Association and one of the founders of ISEC. He was previously a mentor at ISEC 2019.
Paula was born in Valencia and raised in a small city in the Spanish plains called Albacete. She studied physics at the University of Valencia and moved to Italy after receiving an Erasmus scholarship. She continues to reside in Italy while working as a research collaborator at MUSE, a science museum in Trento. She is mainly involved with programming and modelling environmental data, but is also studying topics such as the migration of birds through the Alps and the population flows of various species. She has also recently received a master’s degree in Renewable Energy and Energetic Sustainability from the University of Barcelona. Her main study topics are climate change, adaptation, data modelling and environmental studies.
Paula is very passionate about nature, mountains, and, in general terms, the world! She loves climbing and during summer she spends long periods of time hiking, climbing and exploring the Alps. In addition to spending time in the outdoors, Paula has a deep appreciation for music. She has been playing violin at the conservatory for almost 9 years and her musical talent also extends to her singing voice. She was a part of Valencia University’s chorus for two years and still enjoys singing with a group whenever there is a guitar around.
Paula was involved in the early developmental stages of ISEC and is now returning to the team as a mentor.
Radka was born in Košice, Slovakia, but mostly grew up in the suburbs of Boston in the USA. She spent most of the last ten years in southern California, completing a Bachelor’s degree in astrophysics from the California Institute of Technology and working on research at the Owens Valley Radio Observatory. Her multi-wavelength research focused on blazars, which are complex black hole systems that spew a large amount of energy and radiation towards our Earth via relativistic jets. Luckily, these objects are so far away that this energy is not harmful to us. Instead, by studying the radiation from these objects, scientists can gain insight into powerful jet processes. Since graduating from Caltech, Radka has turned her energy away from research, and is instead pursuing science and astronomy outreach as a museum guide at the famous Griffith Observatory.
In addition to astronomy research and outreach, Radka spends her free time trying to find the darkest night skies for her astrophotography. More complex trips involve gathering up her camping gear and backpacking to remote locations to truly escape light pollution. Her favorite styles of astrophotography are nightscapes and timelapses, which only require a DSLR camera and tripod. When her mind isn’t focused on astronomy, she spends time coaching Ultimate Frisbee at both the high school and college levels. Coaching has given her a new appreciation for ensuring that students have a healthy outlet for their stress, and are able to give their brains a rest and pursue other interests.
Radka is the Vice President of the Inspiring Science Association and one of the founders of ISEC. She was previously a mentor at ISEC 2019.
Yurğa was born in Üsküdar which is one of the oldest towns on the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey. Yurğa was raised in a Kurdish-Turkish family and therefore speaks both Kurdish and Turkish. As a child, he spent his summers in his father’s home city of Kahramanmaraş, which is located in the southeast region of Turkey. It is a unique place where people from different cultures live together. After high school, he moved to Ankara, the capital of Turkey, to study Philosophy at the Middle East Technical University. He continues to reside in Ankara. Due to his upbringing in a bilingual and multicultural family, Yurğa is also very interested in Linguistics and Anthropology. Yurğa’s study of Philosophy focuses on various topics, including Epistemology, History of Science, Scientific Methodology, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind, and Ethics. For Yurğa, knowledge, especially scientific knowledge, is very important. However, what he finds even more important is critical thinking. To know the answer, one must ask the right question. This is why philosophy makes anything we do meaningful.
Yurğa enjoys watching films, particularly Soviet cinema, and his favorite director is Tarkovsky. He is also into science-fiction novels. His favorite writers in the genre of Science Fiction are Ursula K. Le Guin and Frank Herbert. In his free time, Yurğa likes to play and critique indie video games. He believes that indie games are becoming the next generation art, much like cinema was. Yurğa also plays “baglama”, a traditional instrument in Anatolia and the Balkans.
Yurğa is joining the ISEC team for the first time as a mentor for Online ISEC 2020.
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