Ofer Kimchi

Physics Major
Certificates in Biophysics, Quantitative and Computational Biology, and the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics

Why did you enroll in the Integrated Science course?

I received an email the summer before college advertising the program. At the time, I knew I was interested in the sciences, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to study. I was drawn in by the promise of a challenge and of working together with a tight-knit group of peers.

What has it been like?

The program has influenced me more than any other course I’ve taken. The course is intended to teach you more about the spirit of science and solving scientific problems than to teach facts you need to memorize for a test. The problem sets especially were very well developed: extremely challenging and surprisingly fun.

How has the course benefited you academically, and has it made you think about what to do after you graduate?

Because Integrated Science (ISC) covers material unconventional for Princeton freshmen, I know that I had a much easier time sophomore year, having been introduced to many of the topics covered in my sophomore classes the previous year. Perhaps more importantly, Integrated Science gave me the skills to get, and fully take advantage of, internships over the summers after my freshman and sophomore years. The program also changed the kind of science I was interested in: before taking ISC, I wasn’t aware of how many interesting questions in biology required computational and mathematical tools — and how many interesting questions in physics and computer science have biological applications — and I'm currently planning on attending graduate school in biophysics or a similar field.

How do you like working with the various Integrated Science faculty?

The course has a huge teaching faculty because there are so many diverse subjects taught. The lectures are well organized, and at times, truly inspirational. Because the course was created by professors here, they're really invested in helping you succeed. I've found time and again that the faculty that teaches Integrated Science is especially willing to meet outside of class and to offer help and advice on anything from coursework to career paths.

What is it like going through the Integrated Science curriculum with a close cohort of student peers?

I met many of my very close friends in college through ISC. There’s something about working long hours and puzzling through difficult concepts and seemingly impossible questions together that really breeds close friendships. Sharing the rush of success that comes with a breakthrough in the problem sets, or with understanding a challenging concept, with a close group of friends makes the Integrated Science program that much more than what is on paper.