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A massive wildfire in Montana

Two months ago, I got a job! In this job, I learn more than I work. You may have figured out I am talking about the First Year Research Experience in Engineering (FYREE) program. 

To give a more formal introduction:

FYREE is a program organized by Dartmouth Engineering that aims to offer first-year undergraduate students and prospective engineering majors an early opportunity for hands-on experience and mentorship. FYREE projects span two consecutive terms, during Winter and Spring terms. Additionally, FYREE interns present a poster at the Wetterhan Symposium, which takes place annually in May, alongside other Dartmouth undergraduates involved in scientific research.

What is my project you are probably asking? 

Before I answer that, let me first tell you who I am working with: Professor Vikrant Vaze. Professor Vaze holds so many awards and has published countless papers that I initially got overwhelmed by the list. That's the unique thing about FYREE: you get to work with the best and brightest minds in the world; they guide you and can help you grow academically. 

I am working on using artificial intelligence to help fire fighters fight wildfires. We are working on using distributed, deep multi-agent reinforcement learning methods to help model the most resource-efficient way to stop a wildfire. The goal is to help firefighters make better tactical decisions. This project is extremely relevant with climate change creating drier conditions worldwide—and here in New Hampshire. We are starting to reach the point where mitigating the impacts of climate change is more complex and more expensive every day. And Professor Vaze and Spencer Bertsch, my mentor, aim to help give firefighters a bit of a leading edge. 

Don't worry; there are so many projects other than climate-related ones. For instance, students can study the effect of oxygen on the alcohol tolerance of E. coli to improve cellulosic biofuel production, data science for optimization of healthcare operations, gastroenterology environmental impact assessment, microstructural evolution of a high-entropy alloy, and many others. 

FYREE has been a demanding yet rewarding experience and an opportunity to contribute to addressing the pressing issue of climate change. FYREE provides a platform to collaborate with brilliant minds and make a real impact in various fields, making it a truly enriching and worthwhile program for any aspiring engineer.

More info can be found here:,

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