Academic Research Experiences Lead Triple Major to Graduate School

Brandon Bauer participated in esports and will graduate as a triple major

Brandon Bauer ’24 plans to attend a doctorate program in quantum science and engineering when he graduates from Lebanon Valley College in May. Through taking advantage of every opportunity offered to him, he has built the necessary knowledge and skills for postgraduate success.

Bauer, who is majoring in Physics, Mathematics, and Computer and Data Science, specifically cites his research in the field of quantum chromodynamics with Dr. Dan Pitonyak, Co-Chair of Physics and Chemistry and Assistant Professor of Physics.

“My research with Dr. Pitonyak allowed me to experience what research in the field of physics can be like, coauthor a research paper, and attend and present at professional conferences. This gave me insight into the research I might do in graduate school, while bolstering my graduate applications, and refining my communication skills,” said Bauer.

Bauer’s research with Pitonyak and Cody Shay was published in Physical Review D, a leading journal in elementary particle physics research. The collaboration also prepared Bauer for a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in the field of electrical engineering that he completed this past summer at the University of Delaware.

Bauer worked with an advisor and graduate student on cybersecurity research focused on side channel attacks and designing the 2023 Cyber Security Awareness Worldwide (CSAW) Embedded Security Challenge, the oldest hardware security challenge in the world.

“I designed the platform for the challenges, including selecting the microcontroller to be used, sensors, modules, and printed circuit board (PCB) to make everything talk to each other,” he said. “I also wrote the code for challenges that runs on the microcontroller and documentation for the challenges. I thoroughly enjoyed this because I learned several new skills such as PCB design and computer aided design (CAD).”

Beyond the classroom and academic experiences, Bauer competed on the LVC eSports team, served as a physics teaching assistant, and worked as a peer tutor. Through these activities, he made connections with more people and discovered additional aspects of the LVC community.

“The important thing to acknowledge is how LVC has allowed me to grow as an individual,” said Bauer. “I pursued the knowledge to understand those ‘magic black boxes’ that fascinated me when I was younger and discovered new interests like quantum mechanics. The ability to meet with professors one-on-one and talk provided me with insight about classes, future plans, and life in general that was invaluable.”

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