by Jensen Lo
Thanks to the support of FUTI and the University of Tokyo, I was able to spend a wonderful summer studying in Professor Yasushi Ono’s lab as part of the UTSIP program. Professor Ono’s research focuses on the fundamental study of magnetic reconnection, an important phenomenon related to a variety of natural processes, from solar flares to certain instabilities found in plasmas. Over the summer, I worked on a type of plasma diagnostic known as a Langmuir Probe, which can measure several parameters of the plasma, like the electron temperature. These diagnostics are used to observe plasmas as they undergo reconnection within the experimental apparatus.
Initially it was quite difficult because most of the papers that I read and the work that I did were mostly in Japanese, and I didn’t know the vocabulary, but I worked hard by making word lists and reading through textbooks to learn the words, and within a couple of days I learned enough to start contributing. I spent most of my time in the lab working with one of the graduate students, who was incredibly kind and patient with me.
I felt very welcomed into the lab and I had a great time while I was there. It was also wonderful meeting my fellow interns, who came from all over the world to participate in the program. Although I plan to remain in the United States for graduate school, this internship reaffirmed my desire to return to Japan for a longer-term commitment, like a one-year research fellowship. I’ve discovered on this trip that the quality of research in Japan in my field of interest, plasma physics, is truly excellent, and I’ve come to understand why my professors at Princeton have so many collaborators in Japan. In plasma physics, especially nuclear fusion, collaboration and partnership isn’t merely a luxury but a necessity, and I can imagine no scientific partners better than the various universities and research institutes focusing on fusion in Japan.
I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to come to Japan, especially to the many individuals that donated to FUTI to create the scholarship fund. I had a great time, and learned so much. I hope that many more students will be able to come and have wonderful experiences, just like I did.
Yasuo Okamoto（岡本康夫）is a partner at the international law firm of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, resident in its New York office. He is also responsible for its Tokyo office and the firm’s Pacific Basin Practice. He is a corporate attorney concentrating on cross border transactions and has counseled Japanese and other foreign clients in M&A, Bankruptcy workouts, Corporate finance and other transactional and regulatory work. He is a graduate of the University of Tokyo, Faculty of Law (Hogakushi 1972) and Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, Canada (LLB 1976). He has been admitted to practice in the New York State and Federal courts since 1977 and is also registered as a registered foreign lawyer（外国法事務弁護士）with the First Tokyo Bar Association in Japan. Prior to Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, he was a member of the firm of Hill, Betts & Nash in New York until 1980. He has spoken and lectured extensively on corporate and finance related topics and has served as a lecturer at the Morin Center for Banking and Financial Law at Boston University.