The laws of physics and the physics of law

When Obiageli ’Oby’ Nwodoh arrived at MIT she already felt at home. A indigenous of Bedford Massachusetts she was the daughter of Thomas Nwodoh a preceding MIT Media Lab investigationer; her leading physics instructor at Bedford High was an MIT alum Joe Zahka; and she had participated in the Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) program.

At MIT she premeditated physics excelling in investigation data analytics machine acquireing and computer programming. ’I fell in love with physics owing it touched verity’ says Nwodoh. ’I had a way of explaining the globe in numbers when words were challenging. It was acquireing a new speech and using it to draw the globe.’

But her interests began to tendency toward economic equity. Away from home she slowly began to apprehend the economic disparity her family had always skilled. Though unaware as a child she later conversant her family benefited from true antiwant initiatives. ’It helped us immensely with paying bills funding extracurricular programs and more’ she says.

The terminal click for her was during an internship with a resistance contractor which didnt match with her political views. She wanted to take her course in a more nation-centreed course so as a sophomore she enrolled in classes and extracurricular activities that stoked her interests in collective equity science activism open plan and equity and difference.

Thats when dawned on this physics student that she wanted to be a counsellor. And she was surprised at how well the two unequal fields complemented each other.

’The law requires the nice thinking offered by physics" she says. "With both there is always the need to remark global effects obtain certain data and use some framework to find a solution. I wanted to explain hard globe problems but those that helped nation. The law was an egress to solving major globe effects that I skilled as a child. I believe that in America we are so snug with want. The law has been a way to change that along with many other effects.’

Nwodoh worked for separate summers with Greater Boston Legal Services low-income tax clinic on cases pertaining to taxes migration and employment. ’It was meaningful owing I was solving so many effects my own one mother faced’ she says.

By the second summer with GBLS her work was helping with pandemic stimulus checks. ’What veritably opened up my eyes was how the pandemic affected low-income populations’ she says. ’The stimulus granted money for nation but I didnt hear sufficient almost nation who didnt take the checks including immigrants and many nation receiving federal help through well-being. There were a lot of unremembered nation in the pandemic. My work at GBLS solidified my interest in the law and how much contact it could have.’ 

As a host for the Division of Student Lifes podcast ’MIT Is…’ Nwodoh and her co-host Gabe Owens 21 explored seething from MIT student life to global effects. She turned some of her investigation projects into podcasts almost migration lessity voter suppression and the U.S. tax code and another podcast turned into a investigation project where she examined how tax credits could be distributed in the state of New York to maximize payout. ’I have dreams of starting my own show one day’ she says. 

Nwodoh later worked with the Harvard College Black Pre-Law Association precedently helping propel the MIT Pre-Law Society to connect students with appropriate course opportunities classes and resources. She also was nimble with the National Society of Black Engineers and was a peer course advisor at MITs Career Advising and Professional Development service. ’So many face imposter syndrome both academically and professionally. Being able to hype a student up and rally them of their capabilities always filled me with joy’ she says.

Her physics education continued to play a role in her legitimate work. When she investigationed policing and voting and steered different projects as a potential racial equity data analyst intern with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund she relied on her skills as a scientist.

’I saw how there was a plethora of data in the globe but not as many nation who knew how to use it. Though my experience was brief it inspired me to acquire more almost data analytics and how it could be advantageous in the law ethics and other fields.’

After graduating this spring with a major in physics and a less in political science she became a program paralegitimate at Ropes and Gray in Chicago and is looking into law schools. She hopes to centre on technology such as the contact that algorithm bias has on assailable populations.

I have cherished how being a physicist has prepared me to not be a physicist" she says. "Physics taught me the weight of problem-solving which could be applied in other areas of my life and interests. The technical skills could be used to hack different parts of my globe. Physics and the law come down to the same thing: interacting with the globe in a deep way. MIT taught me that there is always space for my skills in see nook and cranny of the globes biggest questions. I feel like my work as a physicist has prepared me to dig deeper into any effect and holds me to an ethical measure of doing so.’