Geek of the Week: Benjamin Skinner, Sophomore, Chemical

Beginning his second semester at the Colorado School of Mines, Benjamin Skinner is a chemical engineer, amateur programmer, and an inspiring intellectual scholar. Skinner likes to display his chemistry knowledge by designing chemistry T-shirts featuring chemicals like capsaicin, the molecule that makes food taste spicy. Hailing from Loveland, Colorado, Ben has excelled during his short time at the Colorado School of Mines by making good grades and still managing to have a social life. So with what little free time he had, Skinner took time for this interview.

What do you think classifies a geek, and are you a geek by your definition?
In my book, a geek has to know enough about science and math so that the people feel stupid. You also have to be socially awkward. I do consider myself to be a geek because of the previously stated reasons, but I feel a geek in normal society is not considered a geek at Mines.

What do you do in your free time?
I am currently designing a Mines-based video game that spans one full year at Mines, beginning with the M-climb and it end with you hopefully passing all your classes.

What programming classes have you taken at Mines?
I have not taken any programming classes at Mines, but I am self-learning to program for my own purposes.

Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Wars, hands down, there is just something about those light sabers.

Why did you choose chemical engineering?
I chose chemical engineering because I want to use genetic engineering to find cures for diseases.

If you could add any class at Mines, what class would you add?
I would add a class called “the science behind sci-fi.” This class would include analyzing science in movies and figuring out if that science is possible. This class would also discuss if such sciences would ever be possible.

What would you change about Mines?
If I could change anything, I would change BELS to be a major. Biology is a science too.

If you could meet anyone at anyplace in time, where and who would you meet?
I would meet Socrates in the Jurassic period. I think the conversation would be awesome and since dinosaurs are awesome I just combined the two.

If you could have any robotic enhancement on yourself what would you add?
I would add a memory augmentation which would store and/or download information from/to my brain via memory sticks that I could buy.

What is your favorite movie?
Right now my favorite movie is “Get Smart” because Steve Carell is funny, in fact I am going to watch that movie tonight.

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