'The ability to come at a problem from multiple angles is valuable'

Perri Thaler

Astronomy and Economics
Scarsdale, N.Y.

What are the most valuable skills you gained from your Arts & Sciences education?

two people taking a selfie

I think the ability to come at a problem from multiple angles is really valuable, and I've gotten that from A&S; the variety of classes I've taken has provided me with a large arsenal of problem solving skills that I use daily.

What was your favorite class and why?

I can't pick just one! My two favorite classes have been ASTRO 1101 (From Black Holes to New Worlds, took it freshman year) and ASTRO 6570 (Physics of the Planets, currently taking). 1101 was my first introduction to astronomy and inspired me to take it as a major, and 6570 is so packed with fascinating information that I wouldn't be able to learn anywhere else.

What is your main extracurricular activity and why is it important to you?

Most of my free time is spent as a team lead for Cornell Mars Rover, which is an engineering project team that designs, builds and tests a semi-autonomous rover from scratch every year. The team is fundamental to my positive experience on this campus, both academically and socially.

Three women at work in a lab

How have your beliefs or perspectives changed since you first arrived at Cornell? What have you discovered about yourself?

From being on campus, I've learned a lot about how to not diminish my opinions or abilities just because I'm an undergrad. It took a few years to really grasp, but students bring valuable academic ideas and methods to the table, even when compared to grad students or faculty.


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