(Jan. 7, 2019) -- Ariana Moncada is a senior double majoring in math and statistics at UTSA. This coming spring, she will be only one of 20 students from across the U.S. to participate in a mini-semester program at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This exclusive research facility is a government hub that develops the latest breakthroughs in new clean technologies.
The UTSA student fought hard and won admission thanks in part to her work in developing UTSA’s Sky-Imager, a solar forecasting technology that uses machine learning to help the City of San Antonio determine how much solar energy to expect from local solar panels.
We spoke to Ariana about this incredible internship opportunity.
Can you describe your work with the Sky-Imager?
I analyze images and weather data captured by the UTSA Sky-Imager, and I create machine learning models to forecast solar irradiance. The solar irradiance then can be used to predict how much power solar panels can produce.
How did you feel when you were notified about your acceptance to the NREL program?
I was ecstatic! I’ll get to see with my very own eyes research at “THE” renewable energy lab. Although, I’ll admit, reality still hasn’t set in yet. I still can’t believe I’ll be visiting soon.
Why do you like to work in the energy field?
Everyday, for everything, we all need electricity and behind electricity are energy sources like solar. That’s my drive, knowing that the work I do really does matter and affects us all.
What would you tell other women and minorities about applying to top internships in the country?
I would tell them apply, apply, APPLY! You may surprise yourself at what you are capable of and what other people see that you are capable and deserving of. You lose nothing by applying and just getting your name out there is very important. The sky is the limit.
What is the one class at UTSA that has been the turning point in your educational career?
It actually wasn’t a particular class. Going to Professor [Walter] Richardson’s (my faculty mentor’s) office hours and asking him about his research was what changed everything for me. He took a chance and believed in me, and working with him has opened up many opportunities.
You are the first Hispanic female student from UTSA to be admitted to the NREL mini semester program. What does that mean to you?
Personally, it means that all my hard work really does pay off. Most importantly, I hope I empower others just like me to push past the difficulties—that being Hispanic and female doesn’t define all of who you are and have to offer. You have abilities, passions, motivations and qualifications just like any other, so you can do great things too.
Learn more about at the UTSA Department of Mathematics.
Learn more about at the UTSA Department of Management Science and Statistics.
In honor of UTSA's 50th Anniversary in 2019, the university is hosting Roadrunner Days Spring Edition - two weeks of semester-launching activities built around our deeply held values of student success, student involvement, community service and fun!Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
All UTSA students, faculty, staff, alums & families are invited to march as a unified community. Register here: bit.ly/2TYbHbR. Shuttles will be provided from the Main and Downtown Campuses.Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy, 3501 MLK Dr., San Antonio
UTSA's John Nix invites the community to sing "Amazing Grace" and “We Shall Overcome” at 11 a.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The intent of this nationwide effort is to honor Dr. King's legacy and to spread a sense of community in the United States.Locations throughout the United States
Opening Reception got exhibit featuring artists Miguel Aragon, Aaron Coleman, Sandra Fernandez, Annalise Gratovich, Marco Hernandez, Kristen Powers Nowlin, & Patricia Villalobos EcheverriaMain Art Gallery, Arts Building (ART 2.03.04), Main Campus
Tracy Cowden, Roland K. Blumberg Endowed Professor in Music and chair of the UTSA Department of Music launches the UTSA 50th Anniversary Scholars Speaker Series with Music as Medicine: The Power and Influence of Music on our Health.Radius Center, 106 Auditorium Cir. #120, San Antonio
UTSA African American Studies Program presents this series featuring Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University.Student Union Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus)
Join fellow Runners to walk for 10 minutes on the Main Campus. The event reminds us of the importance of exercise, diet and healthy habits in protecting our hearts.Outside the North Paseo Building, Main Campus
The annual event features authentic foods, music, dance, martial arts, shopping, games and entertainment from China, to the Indian Sub-continent, and the island nations of the Pacific. The Festival features two stages, a martial arts demonstration area, children’s hands on crafting area, anime activities, bonsai and ikebana displays, mahjong table and more.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.