©2019 by Sara Laura Wilson.

About

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Class of 2020
Major: Materials Science and Engineering
Concentration: Music

Research Interests

In graduate school, I plan to apply my knowledge of materials science to study how our interactions with synthetic materials shape our experience and, in turn, how modifying a material’s properties can tailor our experience.  Materials which are responsive to external stimuli (i.e. “smart” materials) are the ideal medium to create interactive experiences.  As my interest is in artistic applications, such as visual interfaces for music, I plan to investigate visual responses to stimuli (change in size, shape, or color).  Particularly, electroactive polymers and electrochromic materials, which change shape and color, respectively, under applied voltage, present opportunity to synthesize a highly tunable system of visual responses that are calibrated to a specific voltage.  Using a transducer, physical properties (such as sound, motion, and pressure) can be translated into voltages, which can then stimulate electroactive/electrochromic materials.  One form of energy (like sound), which can be experienced by one sense (hearing), is thereby translated into another form of energy (voltage) that, mediated by this material, can be experienced by a different sense (sight).​

Extracurricular Interests

I love meeting other passionate researchers and working to inspire enthusiasm in young scientists. At MIT, I have been a Teaching Assistant for Introduction to Solid State Chemistry (3.091), an Outreach Chair for the Society of Women Engineers, Career Development Chair for the Society of Undergraduate Materials Scientists, a Freshman Pre-Orientation Program Coordinator, and an MIT Tour Guide.

During my free time, you can find me playing piano in one of MIT's music practice rooms! I am an avid anime (Japanese animation) and KPOP (Korean pop) fan, and I often arrange covers of anime and KPOP music.