What Matters to You?
At the UC Davis College of Letters and Science, we sought to discover what matters to the people who make this college what it is today. We interviewed alumni, students, and faculty and asked simply, "what matters to you?" Here are their stories.
I am a professor of chemistry. With my team at UC Davis over the past twenty years, we have developed methods for determining structures of small saccharaide chains. In the process, we have developed blood tests for prostate, ovarian and breast cancers. I have made breakthroughs into why a mother's milk is the perfect food and have worked on solutions to help infants without access to that food. In other research centers, I would have had to have a biology appointment for the work I'm doing. Not here. UC Davis is the perfect place to break the traditional lines of research, and cross into new fields to great success.
Like so many of my fellow undergraduate students at UC Davis, I wanted to become a doctor. It is a wonderful profession that allows you to really make a difference in people’s lives. I enjoyed science in high school, and I truly thought becoming a doctor was my path. Then, I took an organic chemistry class, and it just clicked. I saw that through chemistry, the right drug that is developed, or the right scientific test, has the potential to change millions of lives.
I am a triple major at UC Davis: chemistry, mathematics, and history. I am the recipient of a $6,000 Hach Scientific Foundation scholarship. And I am blind.
My area of study, cosmology, deals with some of the most profound questions about our world. How did the universe come into existence? How was the matter we observe around us created, and why does it exist in the state we observe?
In today’s world, we are surrounded by questions involving the collection and interpretation of data. Each data set is a puzzle. And I love solving puzzles! The challenge these puzzles invariably pose is how to extrapolate from data to make meaningful inferences about the processes or populations of interest?
I think mathematics has the elegance and beauty of an art. It is precise, truthful and logical, and it can be useful in so many situations of our daily lives, from credit card transactions to UPS deliveries to Google searches. As a professor of mathematics at UC Davis, I enjoy teaching it enormously.
I’m a postdoctoral researcher in the Geology Department at UC Davis. I study modern microbial communities in an attempt to understand and interpret fossil microbial structures. Unlocking these ancient signs of life will help us understand the early evolution of life on Earth, as well as search for evidence of life elsewhere in the universe.
How do we discover patterns we’ve never seen before? We seem to do this quite well—witness the progress of science over the last century.
I am engaged in the issues facing the management of California’s water and the rivers that carry it, both now and into the future. My job is to use my background in geology to think about water over the long-term and at very large scales, and to impart this approach to students here at UC Davis.
Since receiving my Ph.D. in chemistry from UC Davis, I have pursued a career in the pharmaceutical industry to help create a healthier society. During the past 20 years I have been involved in variety of research projects spanning many diseases that afflict society.
The University of California, Davis, touches everything that matters to us as human beings. From our health to the economy, to what we eat and drink, to how we experience and interpret life, UC Davis has impact through teaching, research and public service. For more than a century, we have prepared and inspired students and discovered solutions to some of society's most pressing problems. As we look to the future, we address those things that matter most to California in order to transform the world.