skip to Main Content

Luis C. Alvarez – September 2012 Scholar of the Month

2011 CHCI Scholar

Hometown: San Mateo, California

Degree: A.A., Astrophysics

School: College of San Mateo

From the moment I began pursuing Astrophysics wholeheartedly, I’ve maintained an average GPA of 3.94. I’ve engaged myself in the hardest mathematics, chemistry, and physics at the College of San Mateo to have a strong application into the California Institute of Technology and to strengthen my skills as a student and scientist. My goals consist of earning a PhD in the area of Astrophysics, and to conduct research with NASA and other affiliates including private industry. Gaining entrance into Caltech is the first step and furthering my education there will provide me with tremendous opportunities for research, for experiential and theoretical learning, and for gaining insight into the field of astrophysics. I plan to attend by the Fall of 2012, and plan to transfer as a junior from College of San Mateo. Having done research with NASA and the SETI Institute by 2012 in the arctic via the Haughton-Mars Project will strengthen my chance of gaining acceptance along with Associates degrees in Physics and Mathematics. Through Caltech, I will become adept as an astrophysicist and will be able to contribute greatly to the field.

One particular accomplishment that I have great pride for is the initiative I took to establish a partnership with College of San Mateo, The San Mateo Astronomical Society, The Mars Institute, and The SETI Institute. A speaker had spoken one Friday evening for SMCAS in monthly Astronomy meetings and I decided to ask the speaker, Pascal Lee, about internship opportunities for students. Initially, I believed no partnership would unfold between the SETI Institute, The Mars Institute and CSM as a result of my initiative in the project. Without the initiative on my part, CSM, the Mars Institute, and the SETI Institute would not be currently engaging in a partnership that includes sending CSM students to the Arctic with the Haughton-Mars Project.

I took a risk in trying to establish a tremendous project without the aid of any supervisors, and it resulted in a tremendous success for CSM, SMCAS, all the partners involved, and most importantly, Astronomy students at CSM. As a result of the partnership, I was able to venture to the High Arctic with the Haughton-Mars Project in the attempt to establish a remote winter telescope for astrophysical observation and still maintain an ongoing internship with the Mars Institute with opportunities for travel to other areas of the world. I am also an avid member of the honor societies Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Gamma Sigma at the College of San Mateo campus with a VP of Scholarship position in Phi Theta Kappa and have maintained a standing on the Dean’s List for academic excellence since Spring 2010.