Sabrina Hetzel

Ph.D. candidate, Department of Mathematics


Sabrina studies a special class of optical solitons that arise from the interplay of quartic (fourth-order) dispersion and the self-phase modulation due to the nonlinear Kerr effect. These studies are compared with conventional solitons, that is, second-order dispersion engineered solitons. She looks at the effect of noise on the inputs to these laser systems, the generation and interaction of a variety of localized states and the overall robustness of the system. Sabrina’s research shows the potential for the generation of high-energy, ultrashort optical pulses, which has applications in applied mathematics, engineering, communications and frequency combs.


Before coming to SMU, Sabrina did a double major at Tarleton State University where she earned her B.S. in mathematics and a B.S. in economics. She then went on to earn her M.S. in applied and computational mathematics at SMU. She is now currently working on finishing her Ph.D. in applied and computational mathematics. For the previous three years, she was awarded the National Science Foundation–Research Training Group (NSF-RTG) fellowship for mathematical modeling of complex systems in nonlinear optics. When not working on her research, she enjoys hanging out with her cats, traveling, cooking and playing games with her friends.