“For students who are interested in science and in the humanities, the history of science has a beguiling way of seamlessly combining the two in a totally new intellectual adventure.”
Class of 2015 (MA in History 2016)
Thesis: “Hidden Narratives: Inventing Universal History in Joseph Priestley’s Charts of History and Biography”
PhD Candidate in the Science, Technology, and Society (STS) Program at MIT
First Job after Graduation:
Research analyst in small tech consulting firm in Palo Alto
How did you end up pursuing your career? Do you have any advice for students contemplating similar career paths? What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were an undergraduate?
The history department at Stanford played a very big role in helping me find my feet as a historian, as a researcher, and as a person. I was first introduced to the history of science through Professor Riskin’s survey course on the Scientific Revolution, and I was totally hooked. For students who are interested in science—in my case, statistics and cartography—and in the humanities, the history of science has a beguiling way of seamlessly combining the two in a totally new intellectual adventure.
Has your History training helped you along the way - and if so, how?
Yes; I’m in the STS program at MIT, so thinking about archival documents and material objects are part and parcel to the work I do today.
Do you have any particularly fond memories of the History Department?
Other than Professor Riskin’s survey (which led to her becoming my advisor), I really enjoyed my courses with Professors Findlen and Mullaney, who helped me become the kind of writer I am today. Their courses on the history of commodities and the history of information left a profound impact on the kinds of scholarship I’m interested in now. I also really enjoyed Prof. Stansky’s class on British history, as it gave me the opportunity to put together a museum exhibition with some other history graduate students.