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Alison Sheets’ love of science came from her love of sports. Her gymnastics coach in school, a physicist at the Army Research Laboratory, used his physics knowledge to make training tools and understand how her strength/ speed influenced performance. By high school, Alison had already realized that physics could take her very far – not just on the track, but also in her career. Although biomechanics and bioengineering had not emerged yet as majors in the United States while she was in college, her patience with mechanical engineering during her undergraduate studies paid off. In graduate school, Alison made computer models for gymnasts swinging on uneven parallel bars to understand how their strength and size affected performance. She admits that she is probably better at thinking about sports than playing them, which is why she now works at Nike making amazing products for consumers that are built with her love for science.

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