ESP Biography

ALLISON HAMILOS, MIT junior premed studying Chemistry and Biology

Major: Chemistry and Biology (5/7)

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: 2012

Picture of Allison Hamilos

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Allison is an adventurous third year who loves exploring new places, playing lacrosse, laughing rambunctiously, chewing bubblegum, and making new friends. She's interested in just about everything, so much so that she couldn't settle on just one major and so is going for two - one in her first love, biology, and one in her surprising passion, chemistry.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

S4794: Painting with Atoms: The Art of Organic Chemistry in HSSP Summer 2011 (Jul. 10, 2011)
Organic chemistry is aesthetically unique among the physical sciences because it demands an artist's creativity and a scientist's logic to create vast arrays of complex and beautiful molecular structures from a set of simple chemical building blocks. Like math with pictures, organic chem challenges us to combine knowledge of physical laws with spatial reasoning to solve complex problems like designing drugs, plastics, explosives, and other surprising molecules we come in contact with every day. This class will cover the basics of organic chem from drawing Lewis structures to sketching perfect benzene hexagons and chair conformations, stereochemistry, arrow-pushing mechanisms, nucleophilic substitution/addition syntheses, cool stuff with electrophilic aromatic substitution, and more! By the end of the class, students will be able to use forward and retrosynthetic techniques to plan the synthesis of cool molecules like TNT, caffeine, and common drugs from a toolbox of standard organic molecules. Additionally, we will look at how creative syntheses can make targets more efficiently and compare some of the most beautiful organic molecules to famous works of art. Students should be familiar with general chemistry and enjoy puzzle solving and art. We may have craft sessions with painting and do some in-class molecule building with toothpicks and gumdrops, plus other games and activities to improve our spatial reasoning and chemical intuition!

S4557: Spectacular Spectroscopy! How light lets us see inside stars, travel back in time, and unravel the mysteries of the universe. in Spark! 2011 (Mar. 12, 2011)
Ever wonder how astronomers came up with the Big Bang Theory? Or how we can predict how the universe will end? Everything we know about space comes from electromagnetic radiation - aka light! We'll start from the basics of what light is, how it works, and how spectroscopy lets astronomers experiment on supermassive objects billions of miles away. Then we'll talk about what we've learned so far: how the universe began, how stars die, and how planets are born. Come learn how a rainbow lets us see inside the sun, look back in time, and fast forward into the future!