Abstract: Over the past five and half years since graduating from USF, I have been conducting research as part of an experimental cosmology group at UC Berkeley led by Dr. Adrian Lee. Specifically, I have been studying the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) and the early universe using cryogenic detector systems. In conjunction with radio telescopes, these detector systems make precise measurements of the CMB, which help deepen our understanding of the universe. This particular vein of research is incredibly active and provides ample opportunities for aspiring physicists and engineers. Most importantly, this research has required advanced problem solving, analysis of large data sets, micro-fabrication process development and techniques, technical writing, complex system operation and implementation, speech giving, and team leadership all of which are valuable skills that can be applied to any number of industries. While my post-graduation plans are not finalized, I will likely continue my work in the field in any of three ways: as a post-doctoral candidate at a research university, working in industry on a wide variety of technologies, or teaching at a non-research institution. In this presentation I will discuss the highlights of my career, my possible plans for the future, and how my education in physics from both USF and Cal have provided me with the skills, training, and education necessary to succeed in many different careers. About Mr Westbrook: Ben Westbrook is a Ph,D. candidate in Physics at the University of California- Berkeley on track to graduate in 2014. He is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, but first came to the Bay Area 9 years ago as an undergraduate student at the University of San Francisco, where he graduated summa cum laude, double majoring in Physics (honors) and Mathematics. Ben worked under the direct guidance of Dr. Thomas Böttger, and was awarded the Dr. Raymond Genolio prize by the USF Physics department during his senior year. He was also a finalist for Valedictorian and the Dean’s Medal of Excellence for the College of Science.
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