Elif was born and lived in central Pennsylvania, where she grew up staring at a large number of cow pastures for extended periods of time. She is motivated by learning new things and understanding why, and generally loves that her job allows her to always …. learn new things and understand why. She did her undergrad in Engineering Science and Mechanics and in Applied Math at Penn State, and her graduate work in Materials Science and Engineering at UC Berkeley. She is currently Associate Professor and Director of Mechanics Programs in the Mechanical Science and Engineering Department, an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Physics, and Co-Director of the HDR Institute for Data Driven Dynamical Design. In her spare time she enjoys cats, good food, mixing cocktails, and is currently trying very hard to complete a never-ending kitchen renovation.