People \\ 2009 Program Participant
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Stephen Jong - NanoJapan 2009
Rice University

Tohoku University
Advisor: Prof. Yusa, Website

Research Project:
Optical Spectroscopy of Carbon Nanotubes at Ultralow Temperatures
Research Abstract & Poster :
Major/s: Electrical & Computer Engineering
Anticipated Graduation: May 2013

Why NanoJapan?
What does the rest of the world have to offer that the US does not? Lots of things. Infinitely many things. Not countably infinite, but uncountably infinite. Nanotechnology, the epitome of modern innovative research, is no exception. While numerous products and techniques have already been developed in the US, nanotechnology would not have progressed so far without the collaboration of labs around the world. Perhaps the best example of foreign contribution is the discovery of the carbon nanotube structure by Japanese scientist Suomo Iijima.

And up to today, Japan remains a key contributor to forwarding the nanotechnology field. By providing young undergraduate students with the opportunity to conduct research under some of the brightest minds in the field, NanoJapan primarily serves to provide invaluable laboratory experience while also offering a chance to contribute to actual projects. While in Japan, you also get to experience the culture and daily lifestyle in a country renowned for its rich heritage. By living and working in Japan for a summer, you gain new insights on not only nanotechnology, but on the world around you and the importance of global collaboration.

NanoJapan - Nothing like it, nothing close to it, and nothing better. Well, for freshmen and sophomores considering a research position in a physics lab, of course. For them, this opportunity is singular and amazing. The Nano Japan program provides not only a research and travel opportunity, but time to consider your future and also gauge yourself and your current standpoint while in Japan. It’s a polarizing experience and well worth the while.

Research Project Overview - " Optical Spectroscopy of Carbon Nanotubes at Ultralow Temperatures"
Professor Yusa’s lab is small, but growing. He works hard to foster a kind, understanding, and hospitable environment for all of his group members, leading by example and nudging individual members during certain occasions. The focus of the lab group is not only to get some good research done, but to help you grow as both a researcher and person. If you want a small lab group you can call sort of a family/band of brothers (they’re all male), this is the one.

I enjoy research. Of that much I am certain. However, this program showed me that I may be more interested in Electrical Engineering-oriented research rather than the more physics-orientated side of the Rice ECE major. I enjoyed the hospitality of the Japanese lab and the research experience I gained from my internship period there. Working on my project I was hurled headlong into a maze of theory and experimental techniques. I enjoyed the learning part and I found the experimental techniques to be extremely useful. The completion of such a research project leaves one with a feeling of satisfaction and, well, completeness. Definitely one thing to put on your list of things to do before you die.

Stephen Jong Presents at the 2009 RQI Summer Research Colloquium
Stephen Jong gave a poster presentation on Optical Spectroscopy of Carbon Nanotubes at Ultralow Temperatures at the 2009 RQI Summer Research Colloquium on Friday, August 7, 2009.

Daily Life in Japan
No travel, just work. Sorry, but I cannot provide any insight on the amazing sights that Japan has to offer as I spent most of my time in the lab and didn't choose to travel that often. Daily life in Japan is about the same as daily life in the US. You wake up, you eat breakfast, you go to work, you finish work, you go home, you eat dinner, take a shower, then cry yourself to sleep. Rinse and reuse. It’s really not that drab. I’ve just become accustomed to Japan. It’s a pleasant place, free from confrontation and occasional rudeness. Most of the daily conveniences are easily accessible, and homesickness during the short three month stay is only fleeting. Life is life is life is life.

My Favorite Experience in Japan was...
My luxury dining experiences at McDonald’s and KFC.

Before I left for Japan I wish I had...
Saved up some more money.

While I was in Japan I wish I had...
Had more spending money.

Tips for Future NanoJapan Participants

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