It’s surprising how time flies, and a month just sneaked away although I’ve tried so hard to grab it. After a month’s studying here in America, I’ve broaden my horizon and learned a lot.
As for studying in campus, our mentor assigned me and another student with a series of tasks to learn about the resistive switching phenomena and memristors. I started with Rainer Waser’s review concerning mechanisms underneath this behavior, following by another review article about the status of organic materials for resistive switching. It turns out that the development of resistive switching devices is intended for a brand new style of computing-neuromorphic computing. It was the very attributes of memristors that they alter their resistance according to the input signals and their capacity of maintaining the resistance for a long time that enabled them to be the basic building blocks in neuromorphic networks. We all know that quantum computing has been popular recently, since the employment of quantum entanglement would give rise to novel communication methods, while the intrinsic characteristic of electrons or photons that their spin orientation can be regarded as a storage of information predicts a more efficient way of data processing, yet the condition for quantum computing is too strict to be carried out. That’s why neuromorphic computing came into sight. Inspired by the parallel style of human brains and the in situ computing signature, neuromorphic computing aims to emulate biological neural network on a hardware dimension, so that the efficiency of brain could be taken advantage of. I began to find this topic interesting, since this could be an alternative option to transcend the dilemma posed by conventional von Neumann structured system. Moreover, by mimicking the behaviors of biological neurons, the origin of our neuronal behaviors might also be simulated, which is an effective path for understanding ourselves. On my way to develop the aforementioned comprehensions, I addressed three presentations in front of all the members in the physics group. I came to learn that understanding a topic yourself doesn’t necessarily mean the message you convey could be explicit enough. But this is one of the most important ability that a researcher ought to own. Our mentor took the TED talk As an example, where all the speech delivers were experts while the content Of their speeches were amazingly concise, clear and attractive. He also told us that there were times that researchers like her were demanded to complete a 60-seconds’ introduction of their work. Besides the presentations were usually on the basis of a single picture. It required that the investigator was highly familiar with and own the ability to summarize his projects. We were also tested upon the ability to introduce our research interests to other group members using a single picture.
至于美国大学的学习，我们的导师指派我和另一名学生完成一系列任务，以了解电阻切换现象和忆阻器。我从Rainer Waser关于此行为背后的机制的评论开始，接下来是关于电阻切换的有机材料状态的另一篇评论文章。事实证明，电阻式开关设备的开发旨在用于全新的计算 – 神经形态计算。忆阻器的特性是它们根据输入信号及其长时间保持电阻的能力改变其电阻，使其成为神经形态网络的基本构建模块。我们都知道量子计算最近很流行，因为量子纠缠的使用会产生新颖的通信方法，而电子或光子的固有特性，它们的自旋方向可以被视为信息的存储，预测一种更有效的方式数据处理，但量子计算的条件太严格，无法进行。这就是神经形态计算出现的原因。受人类大脑的平行风格和原位计算特征的启发，神经形态计算旨在模拟硬件维度上的生物神经网络，从而可以利用大脑的效率。我开始觉得这个话题很有意思，因为这可能是超越传统冯·诺依曼结构系统所带来的困境的另一种选择。此外，通过模仿生物神经元的行为，我们的神经元行为的起源也可能被模拟，这是了解自己的有效途径。在我开发上述理解的过程中，我在物理小组的所有成员面前发表了三个演讲。我开始了解自己理解一个主题并不一定意味着你传达的信息可能足够明确。但这是研究人员应该拥有的最重要的能力之一。我们的导师参加了TED演讲作为一个例子，所有演讲都是专家，而他们演讲的内容非常简洁，清晰和有吸引力。它还告诉我们，有时候像他这样的研究人员需要完成60秒的工作介绍。此外，演示文稿通常基于单一图片。它要求调查员非常熟悉并拥有总结其项目的能力。我们还测试了使用单一图片将我们的研究兴趣介绍给其他小组成员的能力。
After I’ve had a comprehensive view of the purpose for resistive switching, I began to work intimately with the other member with the same field of interest and started writing a review related with the application of 2D materials in resistive switching devices. We explored the structure of our article in the process of writing, and finally decided that our tasks would be me focusing on neuromorphic devices while his priority was about resistive switching devices used as memory, meanwhile some meaningful discussion and information sharing is also playing an important role. I came to realize that a division of work is very efficient, and the understanding could be promoted when mutual exchange of ideas is included. What’s more, the discussion among us and our professor were inspiring, as he encouraged us to find out the flaws of the current research methods, and try to build up a set of evaluation standards. Any question we raised was not stupid, every idea put forward will be weighed seriously. We also listened to others’ presentation of different directions, which enabled us to learn about the latest cutting-edge fields of interests. My group mate and I are still working on the writing, and self-learning is indispensable since the references we are about to quote contains a lot of unfamiliar concepts and phenomena. This writing is really a challenging task, but we are confident that it would be completed with good quality.
American University really provides an open atmosphere for studying and all kinds of activities for all people. Barker’s library, where I often go and study, offers a reading room for anyone there for long hours. Some classrooms are often occupied for seminar or summer programs for youngsters, while other classrooms are available for anyone who’s looking for a quiet place. The infinity corridor is decorated with exhibition for all kinds of latest news and outcome of cutting-edge research domains. The bulletin boards were filled with all kinds of club information, activity propagation and advertisements for part-time job, etc. My mentor told me that during summer vacation, the school is often crowded with students outside of school, while students are usually attending exchange programs or working on their own startups. Due to the open atmosphere and the university’s tight cooperation with companies all over the world, along with the prominent attributes of the students and the novelty of their programs, American University students often started their own companies or projects at during undergraduate and instead of getting a higher degree they would continue working on their own corporation. It’s exactly this atmosphere that has resulted in the free academic atmosphere of this school. I’ve also noticed that students on campus are always in a hurry, maybe it’s that their work or projects are so crucial and riveting that they don’t really have much time for eating or relaxation. I think this is the very status of leading a meaningful life and the ultimate way to self-realization.
Apart from all the studying and discussion on campus, the sights out of campus is also worth a closer observation. You’ll find people jogging around every time you pass the river. You’ll see street artists singing and selling paintings in the aisles of the subway station. From time to time you’ll encounter a group of Korean or Chinese tourists that are curious of every corner of the city. Life was peaceful enough for you to be immersed into it totally.
This month’s experience has influenced and changed me a lot, as I’ve enhanced my abilities in searching for literature, taking notes, writing academic articles and reports as well as cultivated my team work spirit and definitely broadened my horizon, showing me the latest trend of science and technology development. This experience has really brought me a lot of unforgettable things. It’s my pleasure to be able to meet every one in the group and enjoy all their companions!
So happy to have everyone around these days. Learned a lot during this time. Never forget.
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