Specialty: Electrical Engineering and Electronics. Internship: NanoComputing Research Lab, USA.
1. Why did you choose this specialty at the University?
When I finished the foundation year at Nazarbayev University, I decided to pursue a degree in electrical engineering and electronics at the engineering department. I wanted to obtain a job qualification that required knowing programming. Another reason for the choice was that part of the specialty is energy. In our country, as you probably know this is one of the key areas. But here’s the interesting thing: both reasons have lost its relevance. I simply fell in love with this specialty and without any reason. It just happened. The specialty gave me the opportunity to delve into the smallest details of electronic circuits, to understand how to design and connect them with unrelated fields as biology, for example. In fact, my current work involves the design of electrical circuits based on principles of brain’s neurons.
2. What was most difficult in the competition for the internship?
Perhaps the most difficult in the competition was to make a choice of a placement for internship. The opportunity given to me by the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation, offers an incredible range in selection of labs. I focused on balancing between university’s reputation, its professors and the possibility of obtaining a specific result in the form of publications or reports with which to participate in a conference. In the end, I chose the Rochester Institute of Technology and it was worth it. I wrote a scientific paper that I presented at a conference on a subject I worked on both in the States and Kazakhstan. I am continuing working on the subject even after this internship.
3. What interesting happened during the internships in the US?
The most interesting was certainly meeting new people, and I mean my peers at the lab. Listening to the people who are on the same page with you is not only always pleasant but useful too. Besides the fact that they aid you in your scientific work, they are there to share and teach you their invaluable experience. I have learned from my colleagues more about the opportunities of postgraduate programs in the United States and companies that are happy to take on internship students in my specialty. The latter, by the way include IBM, Apple, Samsung, Intel, etc. Plus, I was able to dispel my doubts about doctoral studies: it is considered that after completing Ph.D it is much more difficult to get a job. But it’s not. The truth is simple, an expert remains an expert anyplace.
4. What have you gained personally from the internship? How did the internship help you?
My main task at the lab was designing electrical circuits, which emulate the work of brain neurons responsible for recognition of faces and speech. And the result of the internship was my research work I presented at one of the largest ISCAS electrical engineers conference in May (2016) in Montreal, Canada. My research continued and eventually it turned into a full research paper published in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems. I wrote a couple more papers and works, which are being reviewed right now. I believe that the research experience I had thanks to the grant I had won from the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation has become a key factor in stepping up in my carrier and the plans I have. I have been accepted to Purdue University’s fully funded Ph.D program. Additionally I got a position of a Research Assistant there. My academic year starts this August and I expect that both my study and work will be at the intersection of electronics and neuroscience. I am graduating this May from the Nazarbayev University and preparing documents to move to my new destination.
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