Though cosmic-sized theories provide the inspiration for her learning, Nicole’s involvement in two undergraduate research projects reveal applications of both math and physics that keep her feet on the ground.
Working with Dr. James Gole in the Physics department, Nicole studied the relationship between gases and porous surfaces. When etched with hydrogen fluoride to create small pores, silica wafers become sensors that can measure levels of gas in the air. This technology is particularly useful for individuals diagnosed with asthma as the levels of certain gas compounds in the breath of asthma sufferers spikes shortly before the onset of an attack.
Nicole also worked with Dr. Christine Heitsch in the Mathematics department to create the first formula that determines the number of folds a certain class of RNA can create upon itself. This breakthrough utilized mathematical concepts to solve another piece of the human puzzle.
Born into a family of Georgia Tech graduates, Nicole aspires to be the first person in her family to achieve a Doctoral degree.