Sharang Biswas is in his sophomore year in Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering. He spent his summer supporting multiple Dartmouth SRP projects by working in the Trace Elements Analysis (TEA) Core with Dr. Brian Jackson. Under Dr. Jackson's guidance, Sharang analyzed sample dilutions of various liquids using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). He also witnessed first hand the different factors that come into play in the lab. "I've learned skills and techniques that I'd never performed before on my own," Sharang says, which includes the use of a mass spectrometer, centrifugation, acid digestion, and thorough cleaning of equipment for trace-metal analysis.
The TEA Core provides invaluable support to the Dartmouth SRP by providing state-of-the-art analytical services to the SRP individual projects. They also strive to improve their analytic services by developing methods that provide lower detection limits, quantification of as-yet unmeasured species, and novel applications of analytical methodology. Sharang benefits from the TEA's work by learning methods for analyzing total metal concentrations and metal speciation in a variety of samples. He also learned hyphenated ICP-MS techniques involving gas and liquid chromatography and LASER ablation ICP-MS.
Sharang's work with the TEA Core is one of two research positions he held over the summer. He also conducted an independent research project under the guidance of Dr. Debroah Nichols in the Anthropology department at Dartmouth, on pottery from the basin of Mexico.
Beyond the lab, Sharang has a vivid background. He was born in India and grew up in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, before coming to the United States to attend Dartmouth. During his time outside of the lab, Sharang enjoys acting, and has participated in a number of productions and theater festivals. His favorite performances are the festivals where the shows are student-written and directed.