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Clarkson Student Spotlight: March '11

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Muhammed-B Yusuf ‘12
Physics/Computer Science, minor in Mathematics

If you looked up the word "well-rounded" in the dictionary, there just might be a picture of Muhammed next to it. The Brooklyn, New York native has tried his hand at a bit of everything at Clarkson, including joining the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the International Students Organization (ISO), performing undergraduate research with Professor Daniel Ben-Avraham, playing intramural soccer, volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club and taking advantage of opportunities with the Collegiate Science and Entry Program (CSTEP). We caught up with Muhammed to see what else he's been up to. Check it out.

Q: Why did you choose Clarkson?

A: I was thoroughly impressed with Clarkson’s curriculum, its reputation as a school for engineering, arts and sciences, and the vast resources it had at its disposal, especially the Career Center.

Q: Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you.
A: Not many people know that I have been playing piano since I was 7.

Q: Who is your favorite professor?
A: Professor of Physics Daniel Ben-Avraham is extremely friendly and funny, and he's allowed me to do research with him. He always has a bag of math tricks ready to make even the scariest of integrals and quantum physics look simple.

Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
A: I would love to have Telekinesis. It has always intrigued me to see the limits of the human mind and being able to move objects with your mind would be a great show of the mind's potential. Plus, it would be convenient for getting things which are far away from you, like the TV remote (laughs).

Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
A: I have two - Pepsi and white chocolate. I LOVE Pepsi. I don't know what it but I guess I have an insatiable sweet tooth!

Q: Do you have any hobbies?
A: I really enjoy listening to music - R&B, hip-hop, pop, rock - almost anything. I also enjoy playing soccer and usually play every weekend with friends. I also play the piano, which I’m able to do since Clarkson actually has pianos all over campus.

Q: What are your goals for the future?
A: I hope to go to graduate school and earn a Ph.D. in statistical physics, cryptography, or artificial intelligence algorithms.

Q: If you could reincarnate as any animal, which would it be?
A: I would be an owl. They have excellent hearing and vision and are usually thought of as being wise in many cultures and lore. Also, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to fly.

Q: What is your favorite spot on campus?
A: Woodstock Apartments. I am really into wildlife and stargazing, and Woodstock is the perfect spot for both of those. I’ve seen foxes, species of birds, groundhogs, deer, raccoons and even the occasional skunk. On a clear night the stars are bright, vast and beautiful to look at.

Q: What are your plans for Spring Break?
A: I have always wanted to go to Europe. I am going to Rome with a few close friends and I am really excited to see the historical sites.

Q: What does “defy convention” mean to you?
A: Defy convention means not to conform - to dream and be bold and try things which have never been done before. It means to be innovative, to go out and make things happen instead of waiting for them to come, and most of all, to bring something new and fresh every time.

Check out more student spotlights here!

Muhammed Yusuf