In 2015 Spring semester, Yifang Chen is our new lab assistant in MCLab. She is a freshman and shows strong curiosity about how academic research works. We have an interview with her, talking about herself and her thoughts on USC and MCLab.


1. What is your first impression of USC and MCLab?

USC is much better than I expect. Every EE professor here cares much about students, not only in academic aspect but also in professional and personal interest aspects. People here are passionate. Actually it is hard to be depressed in such bright sunshine. This kind of environment always encourages me to try as best as I can.

As for MCLab, I actually was nervous before emailing Professor Kuo and seeing Eddy and Joe. However, after that, I find that everyone is kind and willing to help me. I feel I am lucky and hope I can insist on working in the lab. And I believe working with these intelligent and helpful lab members will definitely benefit me a lot in my future academic endeavor.


2. What makes you want to know more about research?

When I attended IEEE at USC, I listened to some research presentations given by junior students – one was about signal and astronomy. Although I could not understand very well, I felt these researches were really fascinating, so they advised me to contact some professors.

To be honest, it is hard for an international student and freshman to start signal processing related study independently but I do want to challenge myself in this area, so I think maybe I could join a research group and prepare for my graduate study.


3. What do you want to learn from working with MCLab members?

I hope to get some hands-on experience because I know the research skills and the way of thinking I will learn from lab work may be more useful than just theories in the class. In addition, working with graduates, I hope I can find my research interest and motivated by those strong interests, I could challenge myself and learn more than in class.


4. Do you have any expectation in you college life?

Apart from my EE major, I take a minor in game design and I want to design my own game before graduation. Besides academic goals, I also have plans in other aspects. I am one of the co-founders of Association of Chinese Students in Engineering and Science. The organization is still an “infant”, but I believe she will grow after we introduce more members. In addition, I am a member of Shinkendo club, and hope I will become an expert after several years of training. Last, I want to explore California – one of the most fascinating states in US. I am particular interested in tasty Chinese food!