Guanghao (Jackey) Liu, 2018, Operations Research and Financial Engineering

This summer I worked as an intern at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) on a computational project for the Clean Small Fusion Reactor project under Dr. Sam Cohen, which involved simulating the fusion reactor and experimenting with the simulation. The goal of my project was to implement and observe a new type of heating called “autoresonant heating” which Dr. Cohen predicts could be developed as an alternative or supplemental heating source. Through this internship, I gained valuable experience working with and coding very technical physics simulations, which allowed me to apply a lot of what I learned in computer science, math, and physics courses at Princeton to a project outside of the classroom. Unlike working on projects for a class, however, this internship gave me the opportunity to understand how real, open-ended research is carried out. I learned that in the real world, it’s just as important to be able to frame problems as it is to solve them. This internship has prompted me to consider pursuing more computational-type internships in the future, and also to consider programming as a career choice.