Wei-Lin Tan - NanoJapan 2010
Major/s: Materials Chemistry & Geological Sciences
Anticipated Graduation: May 2011 (3-yr BSc)
NJ Research Lab: University of Tokyo, Prof. Iwasa
The eager young minds of college students crave the unknown - be it the wonders of Science, or the intricacies of a new culture and people. NanoJapan provides us with the unique opportunity, as aspiring scientists and engineers, to explore both these horizons in one summer; invaluable in its ability to make the fullest of our limited time in college. However, what appeals to me most about NanoJapan is in fact the concept of international collaboration which it so strongly promotes.
In middle school, I'd been part of a group of students gathered at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to observe the landing of the 2004 Mars Exploration Rovers, and to sit in on the initial scientific work done by scientists hailing from across the globe. Each member brought with him/her a unique perspective, and the cheerful banter within the group generated many fascinating ideas. Having worked in labs both in the cosmopolitan Asian city of Singapore, as well as in my home university of Brown, I've noticed a subtle yet distinct cultural influence in the working environment and research direction of the labs.
I believe that being able to catch this subtlety and understand how people of different cultures think would open the doors to new ideas and ways of working which we would otherwise not be privy to. I thus greatly look forward to NanoJapan and the opportunity of working in a country that’s culturally very different from anything I've ever experienced. I know that by summer's end, I'll return with new friends, new knowledge, and a new perspective.