Featured video: Fernanda De La Torre’s long journey to MIT

Featured video: Fernanda De La Torre’s long journey to MIT

Fernanda De La Torre went through a long journey before becoming a doctoral student in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS). She grew up in Mexico and crossed the border to the United States by foot at the age of 12, looking to escape an abusive family relationship. For years, De La Torre was unhoused and undocumented, trying to navigate her education and path to citizenship.

She eventually earned a college scholarship and fell in love with science. After participating in a postbac program at MIT she was invited to apply for a doctoral program at the Institute. Today De La Torre is a PhD student working in two different labs in BCS: Josh McDermott’s lab, where she works on multisensory perception, and Robert Yang’s MetaConscious Lab, where she uses neural networks to explore questions about self-awareness.

“One of the things I see my life taking form in,” she says, “is using science and my community work as a way to help people get to that place of understanding, ‘Oh wow, my subjective perspective isn’t the ultimate truth!’”

Video by: Lillie Paquette/Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences | 5 min, 34 sec

The MIT PhD student grew up in Mexico and crossed into the US on foot at age 12. Today she’s working in two different labs in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.



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