The NanoJapan program contains the perfect mix between my interests and academic pursuits. Japan is a country that never ceases to amaze me. While it originally began as side interest in Japanese animation, my enthusiasm for Japan branched out into a desire to learn its language, culture and everyday lifestyle. Sometimes I wonder how a country such as Japan is able to support bustling advances in technology and still be able to sustain a rich traditional culture. After taking three years of Japanese, I’ve also begun to ask myself why are the Japanese so respectful. The NanoJapan program will show me the answers to these questions and serve as a stepping stone to my ultimate dream of working in Japan.
Participating in the NanoJapan program this summer will also be my first time a foreign laboratory. Over the past four years, I have researched photonic crystals, quantum dots, and terahertz spectroscopy in research laboratories at both Columbia University and Queens College, and this summer I hope to solidify my knowledge of these topics and nanotechnology. Research gives students like me the chance to learn how to think critically and solve real problems that aren’t found in textbooks or have answer keys. For me personally, it has given the feeling of being on the fringe of science and researching through the NanoJapan program will invoke these same feelings and possibly more.
Prof. Kawata’s LaSIE laboratory will give me the opportunity to learn more about nanophotonics, and increase my proficiency in the Japanese language. Beyond research, I am even more excited about all the cultural excursions in Tokyo, and Kyoto that the program will offer. The NanoJapan program is simply a dream come true for me and I am grateful to be a part of it.