Project Report

The 2011 EAPSI program had two main purposes: 1) To further an understanding of diverse cultures and expand the possibilities of collaboration, and 2) To complete a research project in a east asian laboratory. The program was an overwhelming success and has allowed me to achieve both of those goals fully. Through the program I have gained an immense appreciation for both Korea and it's people. The country's astonishing beauty parallels the complex nuances of it's culture and helped to make an amazing imersive experience. Living and working in Korea for over 10 weeks has allowed me to really experience it, wheras simply visiting would note have allowed me to really appreciate all that it has to offer. I worked in the Smart Materials Research Lab with Dr. Woong-Ryeol Yu and his graduate students. The project aimed to improve understanding of smart materials through solving the complicated equations that are involved using computer simulations. The project was a great success -- I learned so much from the expertise of Dr. Yu and his students, who had been working in that field for much longer than I had. However, the learning did not end with the simulation. I learned not only how to operate, but how to enjoy operating in the Korean laboratory setting. It is a bit different from America -- we would start work at 10am and continue well into the night, oftentimes as late as 11pm or midnight; however in between there would be breaks, for meals, for sports, or for getting together and playing music on their collection of guitars. I found this environment extremely efficient and made an impressive amount of progress on my project. The cultural experience outside of the lab was also incredibly important. With the help of the lab group, and the other 19 EAPSI-Korea participants, I was able to see and experience a lot of what the country had to offer -- everything from the massive urban expanse of Seoul, to the stunning beauty of Seoraksan and the laid-back summer beach atmosphere of Busan. The EAPSI program was an enormous success on both fronts -- before I left I had built relationships so strong with some fellow lab mates that we started to call each other brothers. I will definitely be pursuing collaboration with Korea as my career progresses; and I have become more adaptable to other cultures and environments through this amazing experience. I will be eternally grateful to the EAPSI program for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Office of International and Integrative Activities (IIA)
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Program Officer
Carter Kimsey
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Jacob Cedric A
United States
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