The Ground Beneath Her Feet

Alison Malcolm is an Assistant Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at MIT. In this interview, she talks about her seismic imaging research, her path to MIT, and the challenge of "seeing inside the solid Earth".

Alison Malcolm received her BSc in Geophysics from the University of British Columbia in 2000. She then went on to the Colorado School of Mines, where she received her PhD, also in Geophysics, with a mathematics minor in 2005.

While at Mines, she worked in the Center for Wave Phenomena, an industrially sponsored consortium run by a group of faculty interested primarily in seismic imaging, but also in more general aspects of wave propagation. After completing her PhD, she spent two years as a postdoc.

During 2005/2006, she was at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications at the University of Minnesota, where she worked with Fernando Reitich on modeling a nonlinear medical imaging modality. Following that, in 2006/2007, she worked with Jeannot Trampert at Utrecht University on understanding the interaction of different wave types and the effects of this interaction on the measured travel times. She joined the faculty at MIT in Jan. 2008.

Read more about Alison's current research at her website

Video by Helen Hill