Lake Michigan, April 2019. Photo by author

On a gloomy afternoon last week, some friends of mine and I drove from Lafayette, IN to the Indiana Dunes State Park. It was a bit too cold and dry to be outdoors for my taste. But I was visiting Indiana only for a few days, and I really wanted to visit Lake Michigan, so I decided that it would be worth it.

As we hiked up along the sandy dunes of the State Park’s Trail 8, we began to get a good view of Lake Michigan. This was my second time visiting the lake, and I was hoping to…

Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

The tattooing has taken only seconds, but Lale’s shock makes time stand still. He grasps his arm, staring at the number. How can someone do this to another human being? He wonders if for the rest of his life, be it short or long, he will be defined by this moment, this irregular number: 32407.

When he was 24 years old, in April 1942, Lale Sokolov was transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was only one of the thousands like him that were forcibly brought to these camps. Shortly after his arrival, he was put to work as…

About 3.7 billion years ago, on a small blue planet orbiting a humble star in a moderately-sized galaxy, the conditions so happened to be right for prokaryotic bacterial life to emerge. Through all the ups and downs that planet earth has been through since then, life has not only managed to survive, but it has also evolved into more complex forms. Because the planet’s resources at any point in time are limited, species have had to compete both among themselves as well as with other species in order to survive. An ability to seek out information about the surroundings, therefore…

“Is he ghosting me?”

“Is she mad at me? Did I say something wrong?”

“Am I good enough? Does s/he even recognize and appreciate what I’m doing?”

Although these sound like the thoughts of someone worried if their partner/spouse is mad at them, these are also the kinds of thoughts that PhD students riddled with Impostor Syndrome often have about their advisors/PIs.

Impostor Syndrome | Artwork © Laura Weiszer; Creative Commons license

This apparent similarity might seem strange at first sight, but there is often a deeper reality to it: a PhD advisor, and by extension the relationship that a student has with their advisor, has enormous influence over the…

Sai Kanth Dacha

Physicist, Photographer, Professional Cat-lover |

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