Thursday, July 31, 2014

Blog 22

Research Project:

The last week of my trip I focused on finishing up my eye model project. I sent the model that was created by the other OSU student to a company in Shanghai to be printed using a flexible material. I also spent time this week making small changes to my model, before sending it to be printed at USTC. This model will be used with a force-sensing resistor (FSR) that can be implanted between the ocular chamber and the cranial chamber. Since the printing machines at USTC were in use most of the weekend, we were not able to send the model to the printer until Monday. Since my advisor, Dr. Si, will be coming to OSU in September, he will be bringing both of these eye models back with him. At that point, I will be gathering the additional materials for the model and testing it to ensure that it is effective for the intended experiments. I will have one last post to give a summary of my eye model project when the model is complete and fully assembled. Below is a photo of the printed model I created.

Farewell dinners:

Since there were a lot of good byes to say this last week, I had a lot of dinner plans. On Wednesday, I had a dinner with Dr. Tong. He will be coming to OSU in January 2015. It has been so nice getting to know him. We also invited him to a farewell dinner for Dr. Si and I with the rest of the lab. This dinner was a hot pot dinner at a nice restaurant. It was great to end my trip with such delicious food. To say thank you to the other members of the dragon boat team, I treated some of my teammates to dinner. I also invited the other American students from Lehigh to this dinner. It was a very interesting cultural exchange experience to have the other Americans at this dinner because there was a wide range of personalities among the group. It was so fun to get to know these people and I enjoyed introducing them to some of my friends at USTC. Below is a photo of the last dinner with the lab.

Lab Retreat:

On Thursday there was a retreat for all the members of the lab. To begin, each member presented his or her goals for the future. My hope is that I start a family, work a stable job as an engineer, and travel the world. I also talked about some more specific goals from my bucket list such as running a marathon with my two sisters. After everyone presented, we played some fun games! I took part in a game in which one person stood with their back facing a smart board and the other partner stood facing the smart board. Words would pop up on the screen and the partner facing the board would describe the word for the other partner to guess. Some of the categories were in English and Chinese so that I could participate in the game. The category we chose was sports, which was pretty easy because I could act out the sports. Though I was proud of my partner and I, we still got second to last place in the competition. Below are some photos of the different games we played.

After the games, I gave a photo sharing presentation to the lab. The night before I created a slideshow with a lot of the photos from my trip. I was so happy I could take the time to thank everyone from the lab for being so welcoming. I was worried about traveling to China on my own, because I thought I would have trouble making friends. I realize now that I am so happy that I traveled on my own, because it forced me to build close relationships with the other students from the lab. The people from the lab were so kind by helping me with my research, showing me around Hefei, and including me by taking me with them to lunch everyday. It was very hard to say goodbye to all the amazing people I met these past 3 months. Below is a photo from my presentation.

After my presentation we had time for lunch before having a group meeting about the business of the lab. Afterwards we all went to play pool before we went to dinner. Overall it was an amazing day!

The rest of my last week I spent preparing for my trip back to the US. I want to say a huge thank you to the OSA and Ms. Bonenfant for this incredible trip to China. I have had such an amazing experience that I will never forget. I have learned so much through my research and by being surrounded by such intelligent students here at USTC. I also was able to see some amazing sights and make friendships that will last a lifetime. Interacting with my friends in HeFei has challenged my perspective about many different topics and therefore made me feel more aware about differences and similarities between the 2 different cultures. I think that meeting these people has changed me and will help me be a better person in the future.  I cannot thank the OSA and Ms. Bonenfant enough for giving me this opportunity.

I also want to say a big thank you to Professor Xu. I think the lab he has built in HeFei is such a special place because the members of the lab have formed a big family. They all joke with each other and are such fun people to be surrounded by every day. I am so thankful to have been welcomed into this MBIT (lab for Multimodal Biomedical Imaging and Therapy) family.

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