NanoJapan Research Overview
My project was actually just something that while it sounded interesting to me, did not really relate to what I thought I wanted to do. However, I enjoyed it so much though that I’m thinking of changing my area of focus to this type of research. The international research setting was fun, since we had lots of discussions comparing Japan and the US and what I will take away from this experience is increased maturity and a better understanding of other cultures, both of which will be invaluable to everything I do.
Meaning of NanoJapan
This program was very important to me because the field that I want to work in, Robotics, is closely tied to Japan. I also wanted to learn more about the Japanese culture, and the language and NanoJapan definitely helped with that. I'm not planning on continuing to study Japanese at Rice University.
Daily Life in Japan
My daily life was not all that interesting to hear about, I think. I would wake up, go to work around 10, then work with Rana-san and Layla (my grad mentors) or Takemoto-san and Kaneko-san and the other guys who were working on their masters. We’d typically go to lunch at one of the small restaurants on campus after that. Then back to work till anywhere from 5 pm to 5 am. (depending on what we were working on). What was really interesting was the weekends. Typically, some of the guys from the lab would take me somewhere like Osaka Castle and show me around. It was a lot of fun!
My favorite experience in Japan was...
Akihabara. I like anime and I like electronics, so I was in heaven.
While I was in Japan I wish I had...
Gone to Mt. Fuji. I didn’t have time to go with our group, unfortunately.