The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Division of Student Services

Beverly A. Lau

Class year: 2006
Major: Physics
Company/organization: Stony Brook University
Job title: Postdoc
Company URL:

I would love to connect with students. In addition or instead of attending the Schmooze, I am available for one:one meetings during the weekend. Drop me an email and we'll arrange a time to meet. I arrive on Friday.

How did you get where you are? (e.g., education, brief work history, mentors)

I started out a math major at Reed, but quickly switched over to physics. I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, but after two REU summer programs, I decided to apply for grad school. Having worked at the reactor, I was interested in nuclear physics. One of my REU programs was about medical physics, and it was enough to convince me to pursue a Ph.D. in Medical Physics at The University of Chicago. I'm now a post-doc doing research on breast cancer imaging.

What lessons have you learned along the way that you'd like to pass on to current Reed students?

Don't make decisions while you're decision fatigued. And, a Ph.D. is not necessary for everybody. (Read the book: "Getting what you came for: The smart student's guide to earning an M.A. or Ph.D.")

In what ways you think you can help Reed students?

I think I give pretty good back massages. I can probably also tell them about academia (but so too could their professors!). I know a very little bit about software engineering, having gone to Hacker School.

What else should students know about you? (e.g., volunteer engagement, avocations, interests)

I like cake.