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Babak Vint

Babak Vint

Heritage Intern: May 2008 - present

I have lived in Maryland since the age of one, so I suppose I am one of the locals. It was through my deep interest of astronomy and all things related to science and art that I wound up at STScI. This is by far the most exciting position Iíve held to date. I am surrounded by bright people, and get to work on some really fantastic projects.

Astronomy has always fascinated me. I remember seventh grade when Comet Hale-Bopp was making its pass. I stayed up late staring at it, trying to make out its tail. The next day, our science teacher, Mr. Beam, would amaze and astound the class with stories about Hale-Bopp. Unfortunately, astronomy is not standard curriculum in Maryland public education, so the next time I had the privilege of having astronomy in the classroom was in college.

After high school, I attended a community college and obtained three associate degrees in the fields of General Studies, Multimedia Technology, and Simulation and Digital Entertainment. I am now attending University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), majoring in Mechanical Engineering. This is a turn in a completely different direction for me, which is a bit of a step backward, but I donít mind. I enjoy learning, and I believe the computer knowledge I have gained will be useful in any field.

Still indecisive about my lifelong career, for now I am content with studying what I am drawn to most. For the last few years, the top two careers I have been considering are extraterrestrial architecture (architecture for human-inhabited structures not on Earth), and biomechanical engineering. However, until I find myself doing one of these things for the rest of my life, I must play music. My favorite instruments to play are piano and classical guitar, and one instrument that I would love to learn is the Persian santur. I have an affinity for stringed instruments.

Having only taken two astronomy classes in college, I am hardly an expert, but when studying the cosmos, it feels more like fun than work. I believe that astronomy is part of the human experience, and it makes for a spectacular show. Even if Iím just an intern working on the computer-end of things, I find it a thrill to be able to contribute just a little to such a significant realm of science.

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