Hi there! My name is Jeffrey Melzer and I am a fourth year PhD student in Optical Sciences. My research revolves around a technology called optical tweezers, which basically means using a beam of light to pick up objects and move them around. I use this technology as a platform for assembling miniature building blocks into larger structures – it’s a lot like Legos, but over a thousand times smaller! I love research and plan to continue doing research for a company once I graduate. Outside of the laboratory, I like to stay active, either by going to the gym, playing tennis, or hiking. And when I’m not moving around, I just stay home and play with my Shih Tzu puppy.
I have a great deal of experience working with students, both as a teaching assistant and as a research mentor. While I was an undergraduate in engineering, I spent a semester teaching a laboratory course to younger students, which was my very first teaching experience. I found it very rewarding to be able to pass my knowledge onto others, while also developing a deeper understanding of the diverse learning styles of individual students. As a graduate student, I have continued to serve as a teaching assistant and have also mentored several students in the laboratory. Each of these students came to the lab with little to no research experience or fundamental understanding of the work, but I am proud to say that each one of them performed excellent research at a high level.
My greatest qualities when it comes to tutoring are patience and persistence. I understand that learning some things can be tough, so I am always relaxed, yet devoted to making sure the student “gets it”. Often times, the secret to learning is to find an aspect of the subject that you find interesting, and from there, anything is possible. I will do my best to frame topics in such a way that they can be both relatable and interesting in order to kickstart the learning adventure.