Aida Hortensia Nava Bencheikh

Professor Aida Wofford, Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

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Learn to build in a sustainable way.

What do you do?

I do research in astrophysics and train college and graduate students so that they can also do research or teach others. In particular, I study the energy distribution of the light from galaxies in order to infer properties about their stellar populations and interstellar gas. One of my main interests is understanding the properties of galaxies which are not very evolved.

Why did you choose this field?

As a college student, I attended a Summer School at the Mexican National Astronomical Observatory of San Pedro Mártir, and it was after this that I knew I wanted to become an astrophysicist. But I had started reading about space exploration and astronomy since childhood/adolescence. This is because although my parents and maternal grandmother were not hard scientists, they used to buy me wonderful magazines and books on these topics. I met the fist Mexican astronaut, Rodolfo Neri Vela, as a child at a book fair in Mexico City and in highschool and college, I picked the scientific route because I had an inclination for physics.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I wish I had done some engineering so that I understand better how machines work and I could build some myself.

Why do you love working in STEM?

Working in STEM keeps me entertained. It makes my life really interesting. I look forward to working on my research papers and helping students with their research.

Best advice for next generation?

Learn to build in a susteinable way.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

"It is the mind that searches but it is the heart who finds" George Sand

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