The star-studded scientific community has never lacked female role models who bravely seek the truth of science, such as winner of the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science Awards Chang Meemann, Nobel Laureate in Physiology Tu Youyou, and foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences Yan Nieng. On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, we invited six female science professionals from Zhejiang Lab to talk about their science careers, personal development, and role models.
Associate Research Fellow, Research Center for Artificial Intelligence Algorithm and Platform
PhD in Biomedical Engineering, Zhejiang University
Associate Research Fellow, Research Center for Quantum Sensing
PhD in Earth and Space Exploration, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
Project Management Specialist, Department of Research Development
PhD in Astrophysics, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
Associate Research Fellow, Research Center for Connected Healthcare Data
PhD in Computer Engineering, Oakland University, U.S.
Associate Research Fellow, Research Center for New Intelligent Computing System
PhD in Precision Instruments and Machinery, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Senior Engineer, Research Center for Artificial Intelligence Algorithm and Platform
Master of Communication and Information Systems, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China
Science and Life Balance
I am currently a member of the video analysis team at the AI Research Institute. As the team mainly works on the extraction and analysis of physiological signals, I am leading a mini project on the acquisition of physiological signals by camera. Like other research professionals, my daily routine also includes writing papers and patent applications. In addition, I also participate in some general services. For example, last year, I provided technical support to the 2019 Zhejiang Lab Cup Global AI Competition with my team members.
Since I started working, there has been much less time for me to spend in recreational activities. Looking back at my college years, I had a really wide range of interests and hobbies, such as hiking, climbing, going to concerts, watching stage plays, and playing guitar. Even though I did not intend to become a professional guitar player, I was certified by the Zhejiang Associations of Musicians as a Level-4 classical guitar player.
I am currently engaged in a project called “Quantum and Magnetic Sensing Based on Atomic Spins”. As an experimental science professional, my daily routine is to constantly try out ideas. I need to design simulation experiments, write programs, set up optical circuits, debug systems, process samples, and even solder circuit boards by myself. As a fun-loving woman, I am deeply fascinated by the natural world. In my free time, I invite my friends on outdoor trips with me, riding horses or driving cars. I am also a frequent participant in activities organized by community groups such as the badminton and table tennis associations. There are certainly times when I want to be alone, when I spend a whole day reading books in the corner of a bookstore or quietly experiencing the stories of others in a movie theater.
Aspirations and the Power of Role Models
During my high school years, I once followed the school’s Astronomical Society to Tianhuangping to observe stars. Looking at the starry sky, I pondered the infinite mysteries of the vast universe. This experience planted a seed in my heart. The sudden feeling bursting out at that moment triggered the idea of studying astrophysics.
My favorite female scientist is Jane Goodall, the eminent primatologist. I once saw her on TV by accident and was impressed by her passion and dedication to her career. Her earnestness makes her so attractive!
As an emerging industry in China, the medical imaging industry has been expanding in the country. I hope that I can try my utmost to be helpful. Therefore, after graduating with my PhD degree, I decided to come back and work in China. Facing the choice between industrial and academic sectors, I was a little hesitant. After I learned about Zhejiang Lab’s vision and the research team led by Doctor Zhu Wentao at the Research Center for Connected Healthcare Data, I found that my research topic matched the research goals of the team, so I decided to join Zhejiang Lab.
My reason for choosing science as my profession comes down to my strong curiosity. Brain-like intelligence is a cross-disciplinary research area, which is very interesting for me. I like two female scientists. One is Yan Nieng, who works in Princeton and Tsinghua as a professor. She is not only good looking, but also a very capable science professional. The other one is Hedy Lamarr, a movie actress selected as a member of the US National Inventors Hall of Fame, known as the Inventor of CDMA.
A Brave Life against Limits and Prejudices
I think everyone has the right to chase dreams, and everyone is an independent individual. We should not succumb to those peculiar judgements made towards women. However, there is no turning back in life, and no matter what you might gain, it all comes at a price. Regardless of the outcomes, as long as you are mentally prepared for all consequences, your gender should have nothing to do with what you want to do.
Women at work are more independent-minded, which can benefit the development of their families. I hope that I can become a good example of achieving work-family balance for my children. Girls, what are you waiting for? Let’s swim in the ocean of knowledge and fulfill our aspirations on the road of science.
The Power of Technology in the Fight against the New Coronavirus
Artificial Intelligence has played a significant role in aspects such as case screening, transmission analysis, and epidemic prevention and treatment. Such applications of AI are supported by the dedication and endeavors of science professionals. This war against the new coronavirus makes me feel the great responsibility of a science professional. For us, exploring forefront scientific issues and technologies is not only our pursuit, but also our duty and obligation.
To face the sudden challenge brought by this epidemic, the Health Code System launched in Zhejiang is a direct outcome of the influence brought by information technology and big data. A health code is not only a “traffic permit”. Its application needs the support of a series of effective measures that can be copied by other provinces and cities. Zhejiang Lab has planned to carry out many cutting-edge research projects in the fields of intelligent perception and intelligent computing. We expect to see some outcomes in the near future, which will play important roles in improving our long-term ability to prevent and control epidemics.