Syed Ali Haider

ASE 2019

“On June 27th we had our last faculty lecture. Since it was our last lecture, I was hoping for it to be the best one since it was my favorite topic: “Astrophysics.” I got my breakfast, grabbed coffee on the way, walked from Davenport towards the Whitney Humanities Center, and sat in the front row full of excitement. There was a woman sitting right next to me, and I expressed my excitement for today’s lecture to her. She continued investigating my passion, and as the hall filled up she got up and went towards the podium. I was sitting next to Professor Priyamvada Natarajan, one of the smartest people in the world, and I didn’t know!

She started her lecture, “The Puzzles of the First Black Hole,” where she talked about dark matter, dark energy, supernovae, Einstein’s theory of relativity and how to detect black holes. All of these ideas makes blood gush through my brain; this is the kind of stuff that makes me excited and motivated.

Professor Natarajan told us about the importance of loving your work, to own what you do, and what it is like to be part of a community of people who love doing similar stuff as you. Each word she said had an impact on my whole idea of success. Since I was a child, my community praised and labeled a person who has wealth as a successful person, but Priyamvada Natarajan showed me that real success is happiness and that comes from getting up every day and exploring what you are truly passionate about.

Priyamvada Natarajan took 20 years to prove her theory correct, and she described the journey as, “fun, exciting, and satisfying.” Her passion in her field was emitting from her body and that’s what I want for myself.”

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