Message from Former JSPS Fellow (5)
My experiences as a JSPS Fellow
Today's digital world with a myriad of electronic products around us, ranging from audio-visual gadgets and telecommunication devices including internet-based systems, is based on semiconductor technology. As a graduate student in semiconductor physics, state-of-the-art electronic products from Japan, which are universally trendy among all segments of society around the world, had always attracted me. My inquisitiveness to explore deeper into the amazing world of Japanese semiconductor technology research was facilitated by a JSPS postdoctoral fellowship awarded to me to work in collaboration with Prof. Hitoshi Kawaguchi at Yamagata University in 1994. Prof. Kawaguchi is a leading expert in the field of semiconductor lasers and ultrafast optoelectronics.
The JSPS fellowship not only enabled me to advance my professional career in semiconductor technology, but also provided me rich insights into traditional and modern Japanese culture that has evolved over several centuries. I feel fortuitous to have spent two years in an advanced optoelectronics research laboratory situated in the Yonezawa Valley, amidst the spellbinding beauty of the snow-clad mountains of northern Japan. The local and friendly city officials made sure that I was inducted fully into life in Japan outside the university, inviting me to stay with a family during New Years or the Obon festival in the summer, and sharing with me their social friends from outside the academic world. Besides the amazingly diverse cuisines from various provinces, I am attracted to the ski slopes and hot springs, which still bring me to Japan almost every year.
My professional experience as a JSPS fellow opened up an opportunity for me to be associated with a government-funded industrial research project at Tsukuba, where we developed the fastest all-optical switch (1 Tb/s) using next generation semiconductor technology. After working in Japan for 6 years, I relocated to Duke University in North Carolina of the United States. In 2002, I was invited to initiate a nanophotonics research program at the University of North Texas, one of the largest academic institutions in Texas. During all this time in the United States, I have always had active collaborations with my former colleagues in Japan.
Based on experiences as a JSPS fellow, I have formed strong links with Japan and JSPS. I enjoy bilateral research collaborations with several universities in Japan in the area of nanotechnology. In 2006, with the support of JSPS, I organized the first international conference on "Nanomaterials for Optoelectronics and Biotechnology" at the University of North Texas in Denton. In 2006, JSPS also awarded me a short-term invitational fellowship to initiate a bilateral nanotechnology research program with the University of Tsukuba. I greatly appreciate the significant role of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science in shaping up my career as an international researcher in the field semiconductor nanotechnology.
Despite common misconceptions about the language barrier in Japan, the congenial, hospitable and affable nature of Japanese people towards foreigners makes it easier to live and work in this country as compared to many other nations. The present state of research funding in most contemporary areas of science and technology makes Japan an ideal place not only to initiate a research career but also to advance research in collaboration with some of the leading experts in the world. Japan offers a very rich experience of 21st century science and technology, a heritage of traditional culture, exotic natural landscapes, and very cordial hosts for foreign scholars. For its part, JSPS plays a role unparalleled within the scientific community in fostering young researchers from an early stage of their careers and in encouraging international research and development activities among Japanese researchers and their colleagues of other countries.
To Past and Present JSPS Fellows:
We are in the process of updating our mailing list. If you have changed your address or would like to add your name to the JSPS Quarterly mailing list, please mail your full name and address (including country) to JSPS Fellows Plaza, 6 Ichibancho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8471 or fax it to us at +81-3-3263-1854. Please indicate whether you are a current or former JSPS fellow.