Kaylee de Soto: A Game Changer

Published in MIT News on September 6, 2017, by Paul Rivenberg, Plasma Science and Fusion Center

Incoming freshman refreshes Plasma Science and Fusion Center outreach tools.

On Aug. 21, Kaylee de Soto was in Tennessee viewing the eclipse — but with a newly acquired perspective on the sun’s corona, and the fusion processes going on behind the shadow of the moon.

The incoming freshman from Miami, Florida, worked this summer at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC), where the focus is on how to recreate the sun’s fusion energy on earth. Wanting to spend her summer productively, she had explored MIT’s UROP offerings, hoping she might be eligible. Drawn to a PSFC request for someone to evaluate and explore options for the education program’s popular, but dated, video game, she took a chance and contacted the center.

“We were surprised to get a response from someone not yet registered at MIT,” PSFC research scientist Jerry Hughes says, “but were impressed with her background and her drive.”

Because de Soto was not yet officially an MIT student, the PSFC could not hire her for UROP, but offered her the project as a summer job...

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