Alumni Update - March 31, 2009
Daryl has been accepted into the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN) Summer 2009 Research Experience for Undergraduates Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Daryl will be working in the Optoelectronics Research Group under the advisement of Dr. John Bowers on a silicon ring laser device.
NanoJapan Research Overview
My research project under Yusa-sensei was a really great experience. The students that I was working near were all very nice, spoke English very well, and were quite social as well. This allowed me to attend their many social events and become very comfortable working around them. Yusa-sensei and the master’s student I was working with, Takashi-san, were so helpful the entire summer and they were very open about helping me to learn all that I could in all of their projects.
My specific research project, resistively detected NMR, was a project that I had never been introduced to before. Most of my previous knowledge of advanced physics was in materials science, so working on a new project outside of my comfort zone was very rewarding for me. Most of my time in the lab was spent learning and patiently trying to make a good sample (I have a very steady hand now). I even gained my first experiences in a full cleanroom learning nanoscale fabrication techniques. For me, being able to learn all of these new things while working with really great people from another culture were some of the most rewarding experiences of my summer. Yusa-sensei was a very great mentor to me and helped me to learn even the simple ideas that I have never been introduced to. Another really great thing about Yusa-sensei is that he is allowing me to work on my InSb project at the University of Tulsa since we got very exciting results on a project that was new to the lab. I’m really looking forward to keeping my connection with him and all of the students I have worked with.
Meaning of NanoJapan
My summer with the NanoJapan program was an excellent experience for me. This program was at just the right point in my educational career. Before the summer, I had had a year of research experience and just enough classes to really enjoy learning about nanotechnology. Our orientation gave us so much knowledge on general nanotechnology, Japanese culture, and plenty of Japanese language. We were then ready to perform professional research in an international laboratory setting.
Participating in the NanoJapan program has really given me a lot of confidence in what I can achieve. After being accepted into a program filled with talented students and proving to myself that I can and have ventured to a foreign setting to do something I love, I have gained a new insight into what I can become. The NanoJapan program really gives you a great experience as a young undergraduate, and after which, I am ready to continue my studies in the field and work hard to earn the success that I know I can achieve. In the future, I hope to continue my Japanese studies independently and one day return to Japan, perhaps with the NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes program as a graduate student.
Daily Life in Japan
My experience in Sendai was excellent! Everything about the dorm and the town was just a really great setup for us. I was living in an apartment/ dormitory complex with another NanoJapan student; we had meals provided twice a day and could easily travel around Sendai by bike and find somewhere to go. I was very fortunate as well because Takashi-san, the master’s student I was working with, was extremely nice to me and he invited us to take trips all summer to all sorts of places. Almost every weekend, we would go around Sendai with him and his girlfriend; our trips to the onsen, beach, karaoke, his apartment, and his dojo to teach us karate were some of the most fun things I did all summer. Additionally, I sought out the Tohoku University volleyball club and was able to play some competitive volleyball with them for half of the summer! Overall, the best part about the entire summer was meeting so many great Japanese people who really liked to have fun.
My favorite experience in Japan was...
Meeting great Japanese friends and hanging out with them on the weekends. Best ones were probably a) Going out to dinner with my volleyball friends after my last practice, and b) Visiting Takashi-san in his home and staying up too late showcasing our karaoke talents while eating great homemade Japanese food.
Before I left for Japan I wish I had...
Learned more about my research project, but I did just fine for the summer.
While I was in Japan I wish I had...
Been able to travel and see more of the country. Perhaps on my next trip I will visit the other islands of Japan, which I have heard are great to see.