My First Trip as an OSA Ambassador

By Rim Cherif, 2017 OSA Ambassador, Tunisia

I arrived in Beijing on 20 April after a 23 hour long trip. While I was tired from the travel, I met with Aixin Zhang, PhD student at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Physics (IOP) and President of the OSA Student Chapter who took me to IOP. I was welcomed by Professor Ling-An Wu, Chapter Advisor, and was impressed by the huge building and hospitality of all the professors and students. I first gave my scientific talk on ‘Supercontinuum Generation in Photonic Crystal Fibers’, which was attended by students and professors from different groups. After my presentation, I had a very constructive discussion with the audience followed by a pizza party. Aixin presented on the activities of the IOP-OSA Student Chapter and the plan for the upcoming activities. This was the perfect transition to my second lecture ‘About OSA and Student Chapter Management’. We discussed various issues namely: how to maintain a chapter in a good standing and how to write chapter grants. Most of the students wanted to learn what makes an event receive grant funding or not and were looking for advice on the overall process. I discussed with them the difference between small and large impact-type events and gave them examples with very specific details such as the number of attendees, program, lecturers, etc.  Following my lectures, I had an interesting discussion with Professor Wei Ding about nonlinear optics followed by a lab tour. I was impressed with the facilities and the equipments especially the new setup for THz devices. After 7 hours spent at IOP, I had the opportunity to share a typical dinner ‘‘Hot pot’‘ with Aixin during which she introduced me to the education system in China, how to get in the PhD program, and the perspectives of jobs after graduating.

Photo credit : Rim Cherif (Left to Right : Professor Ling-An Wi, OSA Ambassador Rim Cherif, and OSA Student President Aixin Zhang)

On the 24th, I traveled to Xi’an to attend the first 2017 IONS – IONS Xi’An. The conference was attended by more than 80 students from 30 different student chapters. My first lecture was on ‘How to Write a Journal Paper’ where we had a great interaction on how to built a strong manuscript. It was a very useful lecture for them since they need to publish three journal papers to get their PhD. It was one of the most interesting talks they attended (according to many of students declarations).

Photo with the IONS Xi'An Organizing Committee

After my lecture, I had the opportunity to discuss with the student representatives from the different chapters about their posters and activities. Most of the attendees were from student chapter in China except for four of them (Saudia Arabia, India, Ireland, and Canada). All of them were very enthousiastic sharing their activities with me and also with each other. During more than two hours, we discussed what was the most interesting activities attracting most of the students. We also highlighted the benefits OSA has to offer to attract more members a student chapter. I learned from the students that professional development activities during conferences were of real interest for them.

On the last day of the IONS, after two presentations from Professor Sune and Professor Katarina Svanberg, I gave my second scientific lecture on ‘Supercontinuum Generation in Photonic Crystal Fibers’ followed by another interactive discussion.
I enjoyed every moment I shared with the many students I met as well as learning about a different culture. It was an amazing experience for me to meet so many students, interact with all of them, share with them discussions in various topics ranging from science, technology to culture, history, food. I would like to thank OSA for giving such opportunity of networking and sharing my experience.



Posted: 8 May 2017 by Rim Cherif, 2017 OSA Ambassador, Tunisia | with 0 comments

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