Good News | Stanford University Full Scholarship for Doctoral Program Granted to an Undergraduate of UM-SJTU Joint Institute Whose Paper Published in Physical Review Letters!

International Affairs Division 2021-09-15 125

What does it feel like to receive full scholarships for PhD programs from many top universities and publish a paper in one of the most authoritative academic weekly journals? The senior student of the UM-SJTU Joint Institute Fei Jiani has the answer. Not only did she receive the notices for a PhD full scholarship offered by 7 top universities in the world, including Stanford University in the US, but her independent scientific research output - Nevanlinna Analytical Continuation - was published in Physical Review Letters, one of the top academic weekly journals in the field of physics, with herself as the first author (Link to the paper), which was put on the homepage of the website of the journal with the Editors’ Suggestion. So what did she do to achieve all of these as an undergraduate? Let’s take a look!

Born in Shanghai (a graduate from Shanghai Senior High School, best of its kind in Shanghai), Fei Jiani is now a senior undergraduate in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the UM-SJTU Joint Institute, and studying in interdisciplinary physics (computational physics) and computer science for a double-degree program in the University of Michigan. She is about to leave for Stanford for a PhD in Physics. She had an outstanding academic performance throughout her 4-year undergraduate period and was among the top 10% among her batchmates in the second year. With her GPA of the professional courses standing at 4.0, she excelled in several postgraduate physics courses when she studied in the University of Michigan. And she was also the winners of various honors, including the SJTU scholarship for outstanding undergraduates, the University Honors conferred by the University of Michigan, and the James B. Angel Scholars.
In addition to the offer for a Stanford PhD program, she has also received Physics PhD full scholarships offered by Columbia University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
She attributes her receiving offers from so many universities to her interdisciplinary studies between science and engineering. She believes there is no dsitinctive line between science and engineering, though. Rather, as she puts it, their thinking and working modalities are complementary to each other. What’s more important, she says, is to remain committed and go deeper rather than just scratch the surface. To have a deeper understanding of the discipline, she would study postgraduate courses and read books about the quantum theory of many-body systems. On top of that, her love for thinking and research also explains why she could achieve more breakthroughs in scientific studies.

Fei Jiani’s paper “Nevanlinna Analytical Continuation” was published in Physical Review Letters with herself as the first author and received the Editors’ Suggestion

Her hard work led her to the discovery of the Nevanlinna structure in the Green’s function. Previous continuation methods would exponentially amplify the uncertainty and could not ensure the timing sequence of causality. Fei’s algorithm provided groundbreaking data accuracy. And this numerical method can be widely applied and contribute to the research in energy band structure, optics, and neutron scattering, which is one of the reason why her paper was published in Physical Review Letters. And she also said it is essential to keep good communication with your professor, so that he or she would know more about you, provide more support to your scientific study and maintain sincere relations with you.

Fei Jiani is studying at home

In addition to her achievement in scientific research, she also benefited a lot from the lectures of the UM-SJTU Joint Institute. She said, “I appreciate the teaching methodology of the UM-SJTU Joint Institute, as I think it’s not about doing exercises but about understanding and exploration. I was very much impressed by the mathematical analysis and engineering introduction courses. In the mathematical analysis course, Professor Horst Hohberger spoke very fast but very logically and presented comprehensive demonstrations of many theories. And the way he talked about the theories looked very charming.” “After class, I would try to derive all the mathematical formula, and during which I found my interest in scientific theories. In the engineering introduction course, every group worked on a project from selecting a topic to finally presented an engineering project,” she said, “So by taking this course, you can soon grasp what engineering really is and get to see your interest in it. Studying at the Joint Institute is competitive but memorable. And it is also fascinating to be able to learn something new.”