UT Austin's Opportunities to Collaborate Energize Samantha Santacruz

August 01, 2019
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Samantha Santacruz joined UT Austin in the fall of 2018 as an assistant professor. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley, received her PhD and MS degrees in electrical and computer engineering from Rice University and her bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics with honors from UC Berkeley.

samantha santacruz1000667What drew you to UT Austin?

I was drawn to UT Austin because of its reputation as a top engineering university, but ultimately what made me choose UT Austin was the people. Beyond performing as top researchers in their respective fields, the faculty here have a strong commitment to public higher education that aligns with my own values and priorities.

What are your impressions of campus and living in Austin?

If I had to describe the campus and greater Austin community in one word, it would be energetic. Walking through campus, the student body feels incredibly lively, and in one-on-one interactions with students I can feel how animated and passionate they are about academics and research. That same level of spirit is felt off campus as well, and it’s clear to me that people in Austin are engaged in their community and interests.

How do you like to spend your time outside of work?

I’m a food-lover, and I really enjoy both cooking at home and trying new restaurants. Since I’m new to the area, it’s been a really fun culinary adventure to explore local food options and learn more about Austin cuisine.

What excites you about doing research at UT Austin?

There are so many opportunities for collaboration at UT Austin since it’s such a large institution and excels with such breadth. My area of research, neuroengineering, is by nature multidisciplinary and draws from expertise in biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, neuroscience, psychology, neurology, and so many other fields. The fact that there are amazing faculty members in all of these areas makes UT Austin such an intellectually stimulating environment in which to perform research.