NIST Research Intern
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
My name is Thomas Smit. Born in Minnesota, I lived in the small town of Wabasha for most of my life before moving up to Moorhead for a couple years to attend Concordia College post secondary in high school. After that, I moved down to Iowa. I just finished my Freshman year at Coe College, where I am participating in the honors program and majoring in physics, mathematics, and chemistry, with a possible minor in computer science. However, physics alone is the paramount of my academic interest - the pursuit of the fundamental nature of the universe itself. I can ramble on about physics for hours, and there is nothing more exiting than having a good discussion about it or learning something new about the universe.
I like to define myself as a scientist. Not because of what I study, or what I plan to do with my career or my life - I feel that a scientist is defined by a worldview, the way he or she approaches every situation with logic, creativity, and boundless curiosity. Curiosity is what binds all scientists together - constant wonder at how the world works, and the drive to understand it.
Nevertheless, I have a passion for many more fields than I am able to major in and pursuits that I am able to follow. I love to sing, and have participated in theatre since I was a child. I adore nerdy pursuits of all kinds: sci-fi/ fantasy reading (Tolkien, GRR Martin, Gaiman, etc) and television (Doctor Who, Young Justice, Firefly), dungeons and dragons, comic books, role playing of any kind, and just general geeking out about science. Aside from my academics, I am active in a myriad of other clubs and activities, leaving me with very little free time. I am grateful to SPS and to NIST for this wonderful opportunity, and like everything else in my life, I mean to make the most of it. I look forward to meeting new friends and colleagues, and to live out on the east coast and experience all of the wonders inherent in exploring someplace new (the furthest east I have ever been is Chicago). Finally, I cannot wait to begin my research, whatever it turns out to be. Watch out, DC, here we come!