People \\ 2008 Program Participant
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Amal El-Ghazaly - NanoJapan 2008
Carnegie Mellon University - Amal's Blog

Hokkaido University
Advisor: Takaaki Koga
Project: Novel Magnetic Properties in AlSb/InAs/AlSb Charged Finite Quantum Wells

Major/s: Electrical and Computer Engineering/ French and Francophone Studies
Anticipated Graduation: May 2011

Alumni Update
Amal has been awarded the Vira I. Heinz Scholarship for Women in Global Leadership for the summer of 2009. Amal will be participating in a program of study in Cairo, Egypt that will include Arabic language study and a continuation of her current research with TechBridgeWorld at Carnegie Mellon University working on the development of an Arabic Braille tutoring device.

NanoJapan Research Overview
My research project dealt with the magnetic properties of electrons within charged finite quantum wells. Working in the Koga Lab, I studied and computed various details relating to the spin-splitting energy and the g-factor. I worked mostly on creating C program files that would produce values from the complicated equations relating to quantum wells and solid state physics. Although this exact research is unlikely to be my final focus within engineering, performing research in nanotechnology was a great experience to have and will hopefully contribute to opening up future opportunities for me.

Since collaboration in engineering is tremendously important. The ability to work with researchers from around the world is a necessary and treasured skill. I hope that my time abroad this summer has improved my own such ability. As I continue my studies in engineering and further my research experience abroad as well as nationally, I hope to call upon these skills when necessary.

Meaning of NanoJapan
Prior to the NanoJapan program, I had been interested in accompanying my engineering studies with Japanese language studies in hopes of collaborating with Japanese researchers in the future. I could have never hoped to find a research opportunity my freshman year or, even better, one that combined both Japanese language study and research. Since this program brings together students from universities across the nation, as participants, we are given the opportunity to build connections not only with our Japanese research hosts but also with top rising engineers throughout the US.

Now that I have both research experience and study abroad experience from this summer, more opportunities will hopefully open up for me. I hope to continue research at my university and to study abroad at least once more.

Daily Life in Japan
While I was in Japan, I took advantage of every second as well as every cent (or yen) I had. I saw as much of Japan as I could and tried as many different foods as I could find. After meeting the Japanese students in Tokyo, I built connections that would later get me in touch with other Japanese students in Sapporo, where I was based for my research the remainder of the summer. In Hokkaido, I bought a bike and used it as my major form of transportation. In the 8 weeks that I spent in Sapporo, I put many, many, many miles on my bike as I travelled cross country and did much of my sightseeing by bike. Some of my best memories of Japan originate from those long bike rides…

My favorite experience in Japan was...
Biking around Hokkaido. I didn’t realized it at the time, but my long bike rides became a major highlight of my summer experience. From the sights I saw to the people I met, everything I encountered on those rides is worth remembering. So, when people as me, “How was Japan?” that is the first thing that comes to mind. I found something I enjoyed there and I used it to get to know as much about Japan as I could.

Before I left for Japan I wish I had ...
Spent more time with my family. As soon as we got to Japan, we were constantly busy. With our busy schedules and the time difference, making calls home was difficult. I barely talked to my family. After my freshman year away from home, an entire summer away was difficult for my parents to accept. I, on the other hand, was fine. I was in Japan!

While I was in Japan I wish I had...
Gotten to see more of Japan and interact more with the Japanese. Although I got quite a lot of both, I always yearned for more. It was never enough…

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