Xiang Wu

Education and Work Experience:

  • Fudan University, Material Physics, B.S. (2018)

Research Interests:

  • Optical materials for neuroengineering

About me:

I always thought of scientist as a noble but unrealistic career for me when I was a child. I loved watching scientific documentaries, which talked about things from a tiny star in the sky to the origin of the universe, from the life of a single cell to the evolution of human-being. I also enjoyed reading stories about scientists, especially the part describing how they explored the unknowns and how they could always come up with brilliant ideas to solve the mysteries at their times. That however, also led me to think that it takes extreme brilliance and intelligence to be a scientist, which I don’t think I have. Things began to change when I got into college, where I had a chance to immerse in physical science and start doing research. Although tough at first, I felt it was pretty interesting to spend 4~5 hours reading a 3-page paper and understand it (at least I thought I did). I also found myself enjoy watching the little small peak above the baseline fluctuation in the dark room after countless failures. Playing with the optics to guide the propagation of light and getting the exact same diffraction pattern as predicted by the theory became a fun stuff to do in the lab after the serious experiments. Most importantly, I found that by reading, thinking and asking, I was able to build some new setups and solve some small problems. Getting into Stanford, I was first attracted by some cool ideas from Guosong about applying the physical science in reading and manipulating the brain. Brain is fascinating but also complex, and I felt that my brain wanted to understand itself better. Later on, I realized that the techniques allowing us to communicate better with the brain do not only benefit fundamental research, but can also help people fight diseases and get a better life. Guosong is a great advisor that shows me how to think and how to get things done. He has also been working so hard, which has always inspired me to devote more efforts in the exciting sciences that we are currently working on and will be working on in the future.

For the time outside the lab (though not too much), I enjoy reading mystery fictions and scientific fictions. I am a big fan of Ellery Queen (“The Tragedy of X/Y/Z”) and Isaac Asimov (Foundation series). During undergrad I was the president of a student club for mystery fictions and we sometime compiled club journals with short detective stories that we wrote. I have also tried to submit some of my stories to a publisher, but they all got rejected (without any reviewer’s comments, which I would have appreciated). Besides that I also enjoyed reading some history. Playing with 3D modeling and rendering software is also fun and it can be very rewarding to make some amazing pictures, but sometimes it can also drive me crazy when things do not work properly…