students studying polymer science at The University of Southern
Mississippi are spending their summers researching in Japanese and
Kirt Page and
Peyton Hopson departed late last month for an eight-week sojourn
to East Asia and the Pacific Rim as part of a three-year, $156,000
program funded by the National Science Foundation. The program is
designed to prepare more engineers and scientists from the United
States to work on international research projects.
Page and Hopson,
who are graduate students under the direction of Dr. Robert Moore,
are in Osaka, Japan, and Melbourne, Australia, respectively.
Hopson is currently
studying at Melbourne's Monash University and Page is at Osaka University.
Also hosting students this summer as part of the NSF program is
and Peyton are truly outstanding scientists and doctoral students,"
Moore said. "They have both taken the initiative to establish
international collaborations with leading scientists in their fields
of study. Furthermore, their applications for funding from the National
Science Foundation were awarded from among a very competitive field
of students at universities all over the nation."
he was very proud to have two of his students recognized by the
national and international community. "I am pleased that they
have been given this opportunity to represent our university overseas."
While in Japan
and Australia, Page and Hopson will work on projects with mentors
and present the results of those projects at an international meeting
this summer. The program allows students to study in a wide spectrum
of scientific fields, including medicine, computers, chemistry and
builds on the NSF's previous efforts to foster collaboration between
U.S. and international researchers. "We are trying to address
the imbalance in the high number of students coming to the United
States, especially in the sciences, compared to the number of American
researchers going overseas," said William Chang, program manager
at NSF. "In today's global marketplace, you want members of
your society to understand what it's like to live and do work in
a much more global environment. We hope these U.S. students will
serve as cyber-ambassadors between (the United States) and East
the extremely competitive grant, which pays for travel and living
expenses, Page had to write a three-page proposal outlining his
research project: "Dielectric and viscoelastic studies of the
chain dynamics of type-A polymers adsorbed onto nanoparticles."
Publications, grade-point average and references were also part
of the selection process.
student (who applied) had to contact a host researcher and develop
a project with that person that could be implemented and achieved
in eight weeks," said Page.
Page, who knows
only "a little Japanese," will work with Dr. Keiichiro
Adachi at Osaka University. "His English is excellent, so that
will make things a little easier," said Page, who is making
his first trip to Japan.
to Osaka, Page will spend a week in Tokyo, where he'll take language
and cultural courses required by the program. "It's a good
experience to see what Japanese home life is like," he said.
While in Japan,
Page, a native of Indiana, is going to take some extra time to see
the sights and soak up the culture. When his eight-week stay is
over, Page plans to spend an extra three weeks backpacking across
the countryside and staying in hostels. He also intends to visit
Mount Koya-San, the home of more than 100 Buddhist temples.
to stay with some Buddhist monks who still make the same dishes
they've been preparing for 500 years," Page said.