Ota Kukral

I grew up in a Mlada Boleslav, a middle-sized city in the Czech Republic that is famous for the Skoda car factory. I learned to read quite early, and ever since, reading books has been among my favorite pastimes. During my early childhood, I played a lot of chess. These hobbies, together with my interest in science and especially physics, led to me being a bit nerdy during elementary school. I only really discovered the beauty of playing football (soccer) at age of 12. Alas, it was just too late to start a real career as a footballer and I had to content myself with playing sports just for fun. Thus, I continued with physics as my main choice. After high school, I attended the Czech Technical University, where I got the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Experimental Nuclear Physics. There I also got to travel a lot to conferences in various parts of the world. That is how I met my current advisor, and how I ended up doing PhD in UC Davis.

In my free time, I like playing sports. Football (soccer) is still my favorite, however I also actively play volleyball and nohejbal, as well as any other sport if an opportunity arises. In winter, I enjoy skiing, even though that has become a bit less frequent while I’m in California. I still partake in more intellectual diversions. Besides those from childhood, playing board games is my preferred sedentary activity.

My current goal is to finish grad school, ideally as soon as possible, and then get a job, either in or out of the field. I’d like to pick up flying small-sized planes somewhere along the way. If that would be too expensive or inaccessible, hang-gliding would work as well.