It was such a valuable and inspiring experience to work with Prof. Peter Ramadge’s group for eight weeks in Princeton. As an undergraduate student from the Electrical Engineering Department, I am very interested in using technology to study the human perception and behavior. With the help of the group, I got the chance to implement several clustering algorithms and analyze the functional MRI dataset in order to classify the brain patterns of different cognitive states and identify the fusiform face area (FFA) in the brain. The academic life in Princeton and theoretical attitude of the professors really impressed me a lot. Additionally, various extra activities were organized by the Keller Center, such as seminars in REU programs, kayaking with student host and lunch with graduate student mentor. I had great fun in all these activities and got to know many new friends.
During the two months in Princeton, the REACH program helped me a lot to develop my ability in doing research. As an undergraduate student, there are few opportunities of doing a real project. To work with Professor Kornhauser on the project of analyzing the performance of the current train schedule for Dinky service at Princeton and making some recommendations on changing the schedules, I have learned how to do a whole project on my own. The project was not difficult but it has helped me to have a better understanding on how a project is developed and it has broadened my thoughts of how solutions to the projects can be built. I also had a great time meeting the other students in the program. We shared our experience in research and life with each other.
The research project carried out at the Imaging and Analysis Center was on the characterization of nickel nanowires, which involved the use of SEM, TEM, FIB, and XRD to characterize the physical dimensions, crystal structure, resistivity and chemical composition of nickel nanowires. From a technical perspective, I learned to use sophisticated instruments for characterization through basic training and frequent operation. The systematic research methodology that I acquired in the project, including literature reading and summary, experimental design, results analysis and technical writing, are of absolute significance to my future career. Also important is the experience of dynamic laboratory works, which undoubtedly enhanced my effective communication, cooperation and project management skills. I particularly value the strong ties I developed with my supervisors, who have given me so much valuable support and instructions for the successful implementation of my project. Besides the enriching research experience, I also cherish the cross-culture blending with my friends from Germany and the States, who brought a lot of fun and laughter to the life at Princeton. I especially want to thank the Keller Center for this great opportunity. More information can be found at my personal website.