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College of Arts and Sciences

Sourabh Chakraborty

Class of 2020

 Sourabh Chakraborty

Hometown: West Windsor, NJ

What is your College Scholar project? 
I'm working on understanding how people develop and change their beliefs, individually and when interacting with others in society. I'm currently approaching this problem primarily from a moral and political angle. I want to work on developing a theoretical framework to explain how people conceptualize their own beliefs and their relation to others, as well as how groups of people can collectively promote certain beliefs and hinder others. I’ve taken courses in linguistics, economics, philosophy, and government that have helped me understand both the individual side and the group/societal side of the problem, some more abstractly and some more concretely. I plan to take more courses in those areas, as well as psychology, sociology, and anthropology, to further my knowledge of individual reasoning and group behavior both separately and in terms of how the two affect each other. 

What are your most important extra-curricular activities?
I've been on the Cornell Data Science project team as a marketing lead and associate. This past semester, I was a mentor in the Women in Computing at Cornell mentorship program. I'm also a member of the Midnight Comedy Troupe. 

Talk about any summer internships or programs you’ve attended?
The summer after freshman year, I worked in the astronomy department under Professor Saul Teukolsky, and I've continued my work during the school year. The lab I work in is part of a collaboration that simulates systems of black holes and neutron stars, working with groups like the LIGO project to verify gravitational wave data. I've been working on the software to make videos from the simulations, both to make the process behind the scenes more efficient, and to make the videos better illustrate the 3-dimensional gravitational waves. 

What do you dream of doing after graduation?
I want to do research using computational models to study how people think and interact. I plan to start doing this kind of research as an undergraduate and do it in graduate school as well. I can see myself working in research-oriented branches of the computing industry, in academia, or possibly in public policy or journalism.