I like physics, and since I wanted to be in a place where I could use physics the most, I picked the Department of Electronic and Physical Systems. I was very attracted by the number of fields that the department covers! The variety of laboratories is very appealing, including labs that delve into solid state physics, the motion of electrons, and quantum mechanics, as well as dealing in fields of engineering that use hardware such as electronic circuits and IC chips.
It’s wonderful being able to do experiments using the facilities in Waseda’s great environment. Sometimes experiments don’t go the way I expect. Actually, things seem to turn out wrong more often than not! (Laughs) But sometimes those failures turn up materials that show unexpected reactions, and part of the fun in such experiments is discovering where I’ve gone wrong on theory.
Maybe it’s just my personality, but when one of my experiments fails, I just become more determined to make it succeed the next time. (Laughs) I really like doing experiments.
My lab assignment was just approved (at time of interview), so I don’t yet fully understand what the lab is doing, but it mainly involves various applications for diamond. Recently, the news has been talking about research into making use of properties of diamond such as high thermal conductivity and high breakdown field strength in high output HF transistors.
The idea of taking a familiar substance such as diamond and doing something useful with it is very appealing. Also, the Kawarada Lab provides lots of opportunities for making conference presentations, which I think will be good training. This opportunity to do research at the university is very precious, and I’d like to get everything I can out of the experience.
While I was in high school, I was mainly focused on passing the entrance exam, and it was hard to avoid taking a passive attitude toward my studies. Now that I’m in the university, I am free to concentrate on things that engage my interest. Since I’m working in a field that I like, whenever my teacher mentions something in passing during class, I go to the library to learn more about it, or actively pursue the matter in other ways such as seeking out students in the department that I can discuss it with. This makes studying so much more fun.
It’s also interesting when I discover links between something that I am studying and some other field, or find that studying a matter in some other field links back to something else that I am studying. Such as, “this ties in to group theory in mathematics!”.
The School lets you choose a minor subject in addition to the one you are studying as your major field. When I was in my second year, I studied mathematics as a minor. I’ve now dropped that because I’m so busy with experiments and because of schedule problems, but I like the way the School helps fulfill students’ desire to study.
And it’s not just the school system. I think many of the teachers take a very flexible approach that takes students into account. Since there are separate entrance exams for each scholastic track, students have a great deal of leeway regarding paths of advancement. Of those paths, the Department of Electronic and Physical Systems offers a particularly wide range of options, so I recommend it for people who are not sure where they want to specialize.
Lately, I’ve taken up golf. I haven’t been on a course yet, just to a driving range, but it’s a great change of pace. I think I wasn’t getting enough exercise, but I wanted some activity that wasn’t too demanding, and since people say you can do golf all life long, I thought I’d give it a try.
I should be ready for my course debut soon! (Laughs)