One of the key elements of holistic learning is gaining deep and wide exposure at an early stage. This helps students to gain both depth and breadth of knowledge, especially when it comes to international opportunities. SRM University, AP through its tie-ups with international universities of repute provides students with such exposure and also encourage its students to participate in events, conferences, competitions, and internships. One such internship is the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) Minor Research Project / Internship. JAIST is an intensive research institute and was established in 1990. The internship itself is funded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), a government agency. Through this internship, JAIST works to create leaders capable of contributing to the making of a future world by contributing valuable in science and technology, through its most advanced education and research in an ideal academic environment.
Bennet Benny, a B.Sc. Physics, 2nd Year student at SRM University, AP won the Sakura Internship Program 2019 at JAIST recently. Under the guidance of Prof. Ranjit Thapa, Bennet had applied for the internship in March 2019 and his internship period was between 16th December and 24th December, 2019. Bennet’s focus under the supervision of Prof. Ryo Maezono of JAIST was on electronic structure calculations using DFT and QMC computational methods on one of the supercomputers located at JAIST. Before proceeding to Japan, Bennet was supported by SRM University, AP faculty who recommended books and reading material to familiarise himself with the complex topics that he was going to work on at JAIST.
For Bennet, the internship was an excellent opportunity to learn more deeply about quantum mechanics, which analyses properties of materials at the atomic and subatomic levels. At JAIST, he was joined by five other students from Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia and each of the interns was assigned a workplace with a PC at their disposal. For starters, they were then taught the basics of Linux commands and about parallel computing. These skills were later used to run the simulations of Density-functional Theory and Quantum Monte Carlo. The internship helped Bennet to get aware of computational physics, its advantages, uses and the latest research around it. He was especially thrilled about the opportunity to see and be given access to the supercomputers that are housed at JAIST.
More importantly, Bennet counts the opportunity to experience a new and unique culture and to meet and work with people from different nations as a huge source of learning. He got a chance to meet people from different nationalities such as Japan, Indonesia, and China through the course of his internship, which was also his first experience of travelling to a foreign country. Experiencing a new culture and gaining a new perception of education in Japan, he was able to gain the motivation and inspiration to work hard to pursue his higher education and research. Outside of the rigorous internship work, the students were given a guided tour of the beautiful city of Kanazawa, where they visited the Kanazawa castle and the Kenroku-en Gardens, which is known as one of the three perfect gardens of Japan.
Bennet feels the combined experience will be beneficial for his budding career. The opportunity has provided him with the chance to develop many skills that could help him to work in one of the research laboratories at SRM University, AP and also to start the pursuit of his research work. The internship allowed him to gain exposure in a new field and he now intends to implement this learning to his original goal of pursuing a Masters in High Energy Physics. He feels every student should grab all the opportunities that SRM University, AP presents and utilise it rather than dither at the thought of the challenges that come with it.