Face-to-face Experience Exchange Brought by MIT PhD Student
At 10:30 am on September 30th, 2019, PhD student Max Z. Li, from the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics exchanged his experience as an MIT student in the form of a Q&A session under the invitation of Xiaoqian SUN, Vice Dean of the School of General Engineering. Max majored in Air Transportation Systems and minored in Applied Mathematics. In response to the questions raised by SGE students, Max gave a detailed introduction in terms of study and daily life in the U.S.
As for his study, Max shared a lot about how he found his interest in Air Transportation Systems. When he was still a kid, he found himself deeply interested in airplanes when he watched them flew by at the airport in Beijing. Later on, he had the chance to meet Prof. Hamsa Balakrishnan from MIT during an international conference, and thus entered the field of Air Transportation Systems. Through keeping good relationships with these professors, he joined the professor’s research group after a one-month-trial. Max later made great progress from doing simple data analysis to doing research projects, from assisting research projects to becoming an independent researcher. Also, Max suggested that when students apply for foreign universities, they should first do some targeted research to find out whether their future research domains match the programs they are applying for, whether they will be able to contribute to the whole project, and how will their future research integrate with the existing research project. One of the pitfalls when applying for foreign universities is applying randomly, which is simply a waste of time and energy and not worth the loss.
As for his daily life, Max often plays hockey and tennis. For him, doing sports is a good way to relax. To achieve great success, one has to make great efforts. Because of this, self-management is of great importance: Work when you work and play when you play. Furthermore, Max emphasized the importance of embracing your daily life. Doing scientific research, seen from another perspective, is also spending time with your friends, so how big is the difference between doing projects and hanging out with your friends? In his spare time, Max also travels a lot to broaden his horizons. For him, travelling is also a great way to relax.
Max's experience sharing of study and life at MIT has benefited SGE students a lot. After the session, the teachers and students of SGE expressed their heartfelt gratitude and took a photo together.