Of the 30% of CSM students who are from out-of-state, the majority are from Texas, but Californians are represented well. Junior Roy Bowling is one of these. Roy’s love of physics drew him to Mines, but he now is one of about 30 geophysics geeks in his class. The Oredigger found some time to talk to Roy after his Magnetic Methods exam.
[Oredigger]: Why did you decide to come to Mines?
[Bowling]: I came to Mines because…well first of all, I looked at schools like Stanford, MIT, and CalTech, and I applied to those schools and I wanted to get into them because, you know, they are big, prestigious schools. But I got something one time from the School of Mines, and I told my dad because he was always like, “Roy, you need to be on college applications.” And I was like, “I got this thing from Mines?” And he said, “Oh! I hear that’s a really good school.” So I looked it up and was thinking, “Hmm, this is pretty interesting,” and I realized they had this Engineering Physics thing (Well, originally I wanted to be a physics major), and thought “well that’s cool, that’s awesome,” and then I was like, “You know, well I’d rather live near the mountains and Denver than live in Boston or Pasedena”. So I said, “I’ll apply to Mines.” And the more and more applications went on, I thought it’d be a hard choice if I was accepted to MIT or CalTech and Mines. Luckily I didn’t. I got accepted to Mines and Berkely, and chose Mines.
Why did you choose Geophysics as your major?
Well I first wanted to be a physics major but then my RA in Weaver, Spencer, who’s in the year above me, was talking to me about his classes and stuff. And I asked, “What do geophysicists do?” and he said, “Pretty much whatever you want!” So then I took Earth and Environmental Systems and thought it was pretty cool; I really liked learning about the earth and geology and stuff and like having practical knowledge rather than just like theoretical knowledge I would get if I was a physicist or something. So then I was like, “I wonder what it’s like,” so I looked into some geophysics stuff. And then I said, “You know what, if I don’t have an awesome time in physics, then I’ll just switch.” So I did, and I’ve never looked backed and it was a great decision.
What’s been your favorite class so far? How about professor?
Favorite class would definitely be EPICS II, with Terry. And favorite professor is Terry Young. He is just, I don’t know, he just does a really good job of making sure you understand everything and giving you lots of guidance and advice.
Do you have any future plans?
Well immediately after, I’d like to go to grad school hopefully at Mines. So I guess after after Mines, I’d like to… um, I don’t know, I’ll probably end up going into industry, maybe either oil or mineral exploration because those are kind of the big money-makers, but after I hopefully have some financial security, I’d like to maybe do something more humanitarian, maybe dealing with carbon sequestration or water problems, or something using geophysics to help society as a whole.
What do you do in your free time?
I run…a lot. I’m on the Mines Cross Country team, and if I’m not studying, I am running.
Do you ever study while you run?
Sometimes. I definitely have figured out how to do some programming assignments while running. ‘Cause it really gets in my head, like what’s going on, and I can’t focus on any other homework until I figure out what I’m doing wrong. Most the times when I go run, I end up figuring it out.
If you could be dropped into any fictional setting, what would it be?
I’m really into Doctor Who right now, so if I could be dropped into any Doctor Who timeline, that would be really cool.
Who is your favorite Doctor?
I have not seen any of the old ones, but I guess so far Matt Smith is my favorite, so…Eleven.
If you could give advice to younger Mines students, what would it be?
I don’t know, enjoy being on campus. Like even though how much you think it sucks, enjoy being with your peers all the time, because once you move away or somewhere else and you have to drive to school, it becomes much more of a chore rather than an experience.
What is your favorite thing about Mines?
My favorite thing about Mines is that it’s so powerful yet it’s so small. I have friends who go to big universities and they’ve got so many Nobel Laureates and yada, yada, yada, but they always sit in big lecture halls with like 200-some-odd kids and the professor’s way out in the front and he never has office hours; only the TAs have office hours. So I like that we have such great faculty and lots of opportunities and we’re world-renowned, but we’re also such a small campus.
Do you have a favorite quote?
Yes. It’s from Steve Prefontaine, American running legend who ran in the Munich Olympics: “To do less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”