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That Time I Built A Wooden Box for Science

When I came to graduate school to study chemistry, I suspected that I would have to expand my skill set to succeed. Experimental design has a tendency to draw from many different areas of expertise. It’s not enough to be a good chemist; you have to be a good chemist who is part electrician, part engineer, part computer programmer. But, now in my fifth year, I figured those days were behind me and I’d finally gotten a handle on the whole thing.


Postcard from the Field: Thailand

Sunset on the Mekong River, looking towards Laos. Nong Khai, Thailand, June 2015.

Sunset on the Mekong River, looking towards Laos. Nong Khai, Thailand, June 2015.

My research is on Thai migrant workers in Israeli agriculture. I spent the summer doing research on the background of these workers and studying their language in Isaan (Northeast Thailand). My research was carried out with the support of the Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant and the Southeast Asia Center's Thai Studies Grant.

Matan Kaminer, Doctoral Candidate, Anthropology

To Be a Scientist

A few weeks after arriving in Ann Arbor for graduate school, nearly four years ago, the strangest thing happened to me. I was walking to the public library downtown to return a mystery novel, book in hand, when I was approached by a kid. He and his friend had been skateboarding and he had what appeared to be a sprained ankle. He asked me, "Hey, are you a scientist?" I hesitated, I had never been asked a question like that before. Then I replied with, "I'm not sure," more eager to be on my way than anything else. But he kept on it. "Well, are you majoring in a science?" I was, so I answered in the affirmative. Then he got to his question. I don't remember the exact phrasing, but he wanted to know if, in my expert opinion, his ankle was too injured to continue skateboarding.