The MIT Experience

By Guo Qiang

(AMM&NS 2005 Intake, Masters-PhD Student)

Guo Qiang Thanks to SMA’s generous financial support, I visited MIT twice during my PhD candidature and stayed there for a total of one and half years, during which I worked closely with my MIT thesis supervisor, Prof Carl Thompson, and received his inspiring guidance. During my stay, I was very impressed by the highly liberal and collaborative research environment in MIT, and had a lot of useful discussions with the faculty members and fellow students in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. These interactions have greatly benefitted my research and broadened my scientific perspective.

Besides studying, I also enjoyed my life in the city of Boston. As one of the most liberal, progressive and culturally-rich cities in the US, Boston provided countless opportunities for me to enjoy the arts and culture. I listened to concerts performed by the world-famous Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Chamber Music Orchestra, and also watched a few Broadway shows in the local theatre district. Beyond Boston, I also travelled to places such as New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Buffalo Niagara, and these trips have left me with unforgettable memories.

Put simply, my stay in MIT was not only helpful for my academic career, but was also a memorable life experience.

By Rajeeb Kumar Jena

(MST 2007 Intake, PhD Student)

Rajeeb Kumar Jena My MIT experience was really amazing. I was fortunate to spend one semester in MIT, where I did both coursework as well as research work. I found that lessons in MIT were immensely relevant towards my PhD. One unique feature of MIT is the fact that the professors there provide students with lots of assignments in order to find out whether students have developed an in-depth understanding of the material. Notably, these professors are also very friendly and supportive if approached with any questions.

In terms of research, I was lucky to work in Prof Lalit Anand’s group. Once a week, I had to present research updates where we discussed issues related to my research. He also gave comments and suggestions for improvement if he found that I had done something wrong. The students in his group were also very helpful. I really enjoyed the working environment in MIT despite the sleepless nights that I spent working in Prof Anand’s lab.

Although my stay in MIT is now over, memories of that semester will always remain with me, and the friendships that I have forged with the MIT students as well as the knowledge that I have acquired during my stay will accompany me throughout my life.