Student News

Summer Research – In Her Own Words – Tara Murty

Ivory Hills – September 26, 2013

During the summer of 2013 many Deerfield students had the opportunity to engage in science research. This Daily Bulletin series shares with you some of the exciting experiences afforded to your fellow students. If you are interested in doing something science related during the summer of 2014, contact Dr. Hills (ihills@deerfield.edu) to arrange a time to chat.

Research Science Institute (RSI) at MIT is one of the premier science summer internships in the world. It is a cost-free six-week program housed at MIT. Students are partnered with leading scientists and engineers in the Cambridge, MA, area and engage in cutting edge research.

Tara Murty was an RSI participant during the summer of 2013. Here she shares her own words:I spent six weeks this summer at the Research Science Institute at MIT. I pursued scientific research in theoretical chemistry exploring DNA condensation and aggregation in the presence of monovalent and multivalent ions. I constructed a mathematical model to predict the behavior of DNA and ions in solution, a fundamental system present in every cell of every organism. The quantitative model offered insight into novel properties of our genetic material as it undergoes the phenomenon of acquiring a more compact conformation. With further theoretical and experimental work, this research may elucidate the central biophysics of DNA as well as have applications in DNA therapeutics.



Being in the Boston/Cambridge area, we had the amazing opportunity to explore the city–the streets, the restaurants, and the landscapes. We–that is all 81 RSI members, the counselors, and many alums–camped out all night on the banks of the Charles River to watch the July Fourth Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. One weekend, we visited local beaches and forts, and had Italian food (cannolis, of course) in Boston’s North End. Back on campus, we had a talent show, the first RSI Hunger Games (which I may or may not have won…), movie screenings, and international dance nights, to name a few. Spending six weeks with peers hailing from everywhere on the spectrum of San Francisco to Switzerland created a home–we shared science and the city.

Again, if you are interested in doing something science related during the summer of 2014, contact Dr. Hills (ihills@deerfield.edu) to arrange a time to chat.