David Rivera

David Rivera
  • Hometown: Weslaco, Texas
  • Applied and Engineering Physics

David Rivera, a 6th year grad student in the Xu research group, is currently focusing on the engineering of a new kind of real-time, cellular level imaging called Multiphoton Endoscopy, which ultimately could be used in doctors’ offices and hospitals for instant medical diagnoses, called “optical biopsies.” This project began in 2008 in the Webb lab and continues now in the Xu lab. David comes from the deep south of Texas, a town near the Mexican coast called Weslaco, Texas. With no hint of a southern drawl, he explained that the “deep” south doesn’t have that. But they do still have the hot weather with the typical laid back life style.

Sports are a big part of Texas living, and David grew up playing baseball and basketball in high school. Now he is a huge NFL/NBA fan but is more into fantasy sports. This is a relaxing outlet for David, and he likes the statistical challenge, which allows him to utilize his math skills.

David grew up in a family of K-12 educators, so he always had a craving to teach. He found physics especially interesting in high-school and went to the University of Texas-Pan American for a BS in Physics. From there he went back home to teach high-school physics but still wanted to teach at the college level or possibly take the research route.

He always thought highly of the physics program at Cornell, so he applied here and to several other schools, with Cornell being his first choice.  After 6 years, he has become quite the central New Yorker. When he got accepted at Cornell, he brought his high-school sweetheart and since then, they were married in Sage Chapel.

They both like to do some photography and videography, and when there is a little spare time you might just hear David playing the guitar or the piano, maybe even the drums. He writes music, too.

David will be defending his Ph.D. thesis soon and then applying for Liberal Arts teaching positions in the Northeast and Texas. He says he would be okay applying in the Industry field also.  

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