Laleh Boroujerdi-Rad

1. What is your specific area of research (include the name of your faculty and/or laboratory)?

Professor Grace Lu's Nanoelectronics Research Group.

2. When and how did you first get involved in research?

I took a difficult electronics course taught by Professor Lu, and the wide world of electronics opened my eyes to new possibilities. I enjoyed the challenge, and I fused together my interest in things quantum with electronics, and the idea of nanoelectronics was born in my head (not that I coined the phrase, but conceptually it was there). Fortunately for me, Professor Lu's group specialized in this area and I expressed interest to her about working in her lab. She was glad to give me the opportunity.

3. How has research enhanced your education?

In my experience, college classroom education really teaches students how to think laterally and apply concepts to situations not presented by the instructor. Research goes one step beyond this. It is an intellectual challenge to take concepts learned in the classroom and apply them to real problems that may or may not have solutions or a "right" way of doing them. It is yet another stepping stone into what imagine I will eventually be doing.

4. What has been your favorite experience with research (include any interesting stories or specific events)?

My favorite experience has definitely been when we actually accomplished what we had been trying to do for about three months. We were attempting to "grow" ZnO nanowires in a vertically-aligned, highly-ordered template, grouping our samples in bunches of five, labeled a through e. When we finally grew these wires in the template, we were at sample 68 or something crazy like that. It was a joyous occasion, to say the least.

5. What are your future plans and how has being involved in research helped to prepare you to meet your goals?

My future plans are to continue on into graduate school and work towards my Ph.D. Research has given me a unique view into what graduate school will be like-more emphasis on research and less emphasis on classroom learning. It gave me a practical sense for whether or not I will actually enjoy the life of a graduate student. Apparently, the answer to that question is yes, I will enjoy it!

6. What advice would you give to a student interested in pursuing a faculty-mentored undergraduate research project or creative activity?

My advice would be to get involved soon-the sooner the better. Start taking mental notes on which professors you like, and take a look at what those professors are doing in their lab. UCI has unbelievable opportunities for undergraduates to get started in research-something you will not find at just any university. Take advantage of it, because it is advantageous for your future, it is advantageous for your education, and it is invigorating.

Past Researchers of the Month
Dec. '05 Erin Curtis
Nov. '05 Elizabeth Black
Oct. '05 Chao Li
Sept. '05 Neil Saigal
Aug. '05 Evan Brown
Jul. '05 Dirk Groeneveld
Jun. '05 Alpay Dermenci
May '05 Eva Maria Rodriguez
Apr. '05 Christine Nyholm
Mar. '05 Erin Conn
Feb. '05 Nhu Vuong
Jan. '05 Jennifer Channual
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