I would like to pursue a Ph.D. program in Electrical Engineering (EE) at Yale University,because I am passionate about learning more concepts in EE as well as working on a researchproject. As describe below, my positive research and academic experiences at Lafayette Collegesparked my desire for graduate study.I worked with Professor Jon Wallace at Lafayette College on indoor MIMO (multiple-inputmultiple-output) channel characterization at 2.55GHz and 24GHz during the summer of mysophomore year. The project aimed to test the capability of near mm-wave bands to be used forwireless communications in the indoor scenario. My responsibility in this project was to performdetailed ray-tracing simulations of the same environments where actual propagationmeasurements were taken.
I began my research by learning to use several state-of-the-art ray-tracing tools to understandtheir capabilities and limitations. After focusing on the most appropriate tool for our studies, Icaptured several hallway and room environments into the tool and executed ray-tracingsimulations for those environments. Data from the software needed to be processed in MATLABto analyze channel characteristics such as path loss, fading, and MIMO channel capacity. Onedifficulty we found was that in obstructed non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments, the fit ofmeasured and simulated results was not acceptable at near mm-wave frequencies. I experimentedwith changing the parameters of the simulation tool (such as number of paths simulated) andmodifying the properties of the simulated building materials (such as increasing loss). My resultsled to the conclusion that ray-tracing can be used for near mm-wave, but new studies are neededto carefully measure material properties in near mm-wave bands.
The entire summer was challenging and exciting to me. I learned several important aspects ofresearch during this experience, such as searching the literature and reading articles to explore anew research area, formulating and trying different approaches to overcome setbacks, andcollaborating with other students and research groups on a project. My results were included inan article in IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation as well as a conference paper at the2017 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Symposium. This provided me an opportunity to learnhow to integrate my research contribution into a larger project and present my results to others.
Not only was I proud of what I learned, but also I developed a strong interest in further study inElectrical and Computer Engineering.Besides the research on MIMO channel characterization, I had worked on several differentprojects. Last summer, I worked with Professor John Nestor at Lafayette College on avisualization of FPGA (A field-programmable gate array) PathFinder routing algorithm.PathFinder is a router to solve circuit routing problem on FPGA.
My responsibilities were tostudy the algorithm and to implement a Java applet. The applet is for people to visualize costchange of resource nodes when routing a simplified FPGA architecture with the algorithm. Theresearch provided me a great opportunity to combine my programming skills together with studyon routing efficiency in hardware. Currently, I am working on a thesis project to implement and compare performance of floating point arithmetic on FPGA as well as a design project of asimple wireless network on FPGA. They both provide me valuable practice on digital systemdesign and deepen my knowledge in specific topics.As an Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) student, I have taken ECE courses in diverseareas, including solid state circuits, embedded systems, and communications systems, each ofwhich has a significant laboratory component. I am also looking forward to taking a course indigital signal processing offered in the Spring to prepare for graduate study. In addition to myECE degree, I am working on a computer science minor, providing a more in-depth treatmentand new applications on the software and algorithmic side of computing.
Not only have theseundergraduate experiences encouraged me to extend my knowledge continuously, they have alsoinspired me to solve problems from various perspectives.My undergraduate experiences in ECE have guided me to my long-term career plan of workingin a research laboratory. The world of electrical engineering still holds innumerable secrets, and Iam excited at the prospect of devoting five years or more to learn advanced concepts andexploring those unknown possibilities. Continuing EE study in the graduate school is a greatpreparation to achieve my goals.Although I have a wide range of interests in ECE, I have developed an interest in studyingwireless communications and networks after my research in mm-wave communication in mysophomore year.
I am fortunate to live in an era of wireless communication, and I want toinvolve in future development of it. Besides that, my interest also lies in information theory andits applications. Therefore, I would like to learn more concepts of communications andnetworking in graduate school, and to have research experience in the area.The reason I strongly desire to study Electrical Engineering at Yale University is not only thehigh reputation of the Electrical Engineering department, but also the excellent facilities andlabs. EE department at Yale University provides outstanding graduate courses and researchopportunities in the area of Systems, which would be a good fit to my study interest. I wish that Icould have the chance to work in Professor Wenjun Hu’s group for research in networkedsystems.
Moreover, as an international student and a women engineer, I am attracted by thediverse learning community and powerful networking at Yale University.From my own perspective, the Ph.D.
program in Electrical Engineering at Yale University wouldprovide me a best opportunity to accomplish my study in EE and to achieve my own careergoals. I believe that my previous undergraduate experience coupled with my passion in exploringfuture EE has prepared me to engage in graduate study and to solve challenging new problems. Isincerely wish that I could have this opportunity to continue EE study and contribute to yourcommunity.