My Portfolio

Category: Academics

My Internship in Summer 2014

During this summer, I had my first internship in Portland Oregon. This internship is an engineering-relate job. The company that I interned is called Aptic Semiconductor and the company is a  company specialized in Integrated Circuit design. I was placed in the design department working with about 10 Ph.Ds in the office.My objects were to gain exposure to the working environment in an engineering company, and at the same time I can apply the knowledge that I learned in class to the real life situation. I think I have reached my initial goals because I was able to sit in the office and worked with other colleagues. I asked my field supervisor and colleagues questions whenever I had any problems. So by now I have an idea of what an engineer life is in the office. I also realized that I have not reached the enough depth in the material I learned from school. I need to study harder in the future.


The new project in Microprocessor

After we finished the binary clock project, we moved on to a new project. The name of the project is call Servo Motor control by Pulse-Width-Modulation. So basically, we have to control a servo motor to turn not just simply by giving direct order but by changing an analog input. In out case, we will use a variable resistor’s resistance as input. (Variable resistor is a device that can easily change its resistance) The variable resistor will be connected to an Analog to Digital converter, which will transform the changing analog input value to a digital signal. The digital signal will be read by the 8051 micro-controller, and the micro-controller will base on this information to give orders to motor to turn. LCD is also connected to the controller, the controller will give two pieces of information to the LCD to display. The LCD will display it duty cycle and angular speed. 1.pic

A brief thought on American to foreign countries donation

After reading the article written by Charles Kenny on finding an effective way to help countries struggling under the poverty line, I think monetary support is a big part of the aids, but helping them build infrastructure and supporting local education is even more important.

Whenever we start a campaign or a project, there is always an ultimate goal behind it, so I am wondering what is the ultimate goal for us to keep donating things we do not need to the developing countries. I believe if we are pondering this question from a basic human moral perspective, this answer can be simple: allow the people from developing countries to enjoy a better life.  However, if a kid from Zambia received a jersey from New England Patriot that costs 110 USD, do you think his life will be changed? Please let me guess his psychological reaction upon receiving the jersey.  I think he would be very excited hearing about he will get a football jersey, he would start to imagine if this jersey is from Barcelona or Real Madrid.  His anticipation would break fatally when he sees a weird and heavy jersey with some letters. The next day, the sun will rise again and he still has to struggling with lack of clean water supply while on the other side of the world is dumping water over their head for some campaign. In his country, nothing will be changed because of one sporting jersey that only Uncle Sam knows what the heck NFL is. This example is a little bit exaggerated but it implies most of our aids are not what people from developing country need!

As the article mentioned, the NFL sends clothes that they do not need to charity.  Not only can it be a good advertisement point to show the NFL is a company cares about the world but also gets tax break. Further more shipping all the cloths and toys to the areas need help, the shipping company such as UPS and FEDEX also benefit from it. Therefore donating cloths and toys will never reach the goal from the basic human moral goal we mentioned in the opening of this paragraph. As a human being, I sincerely hope that our ultimate goal is to improve everyone’s life. I hope our policymakers just chose a wrong approach. Fortunately it is not late to change it.

I believe that in order to reach our ultimate goal; we need to improve the local economy. As I said, I am not an economics major, so I cannot guarantee all my theories are 100 percent correct. As the article mentioned, if we just give cloths and food to developing countries, is not it a way to prevent the local manufacturing and local farms? I am certain that we know the concept of local, because whenever I step into whole food market, or turn on the radio shows, the word “supporting local business and local farm” is always repeatedly emerged.  Further more, we are cheering Apple for deciding to move the manufacturing lines from Foxcon back to the States! How come we are not fostering the developing countries manufacturing line? Yes, they may not have the equipment and effective protocols for manufacturing, maybe these are the vital “donations” we as a superpower in the world should be donating. Once the countries have their own factories and farms, along with support toward their education, I believe this is right way to help a country. With the cash donation, there will be more trades than ever. Trades are good things in economy it will boost the GPD growth. With the GDP climbing, the local people’s life will have dramatic changes. This method worked well, because the emerging country like China received the similar help from Soviet Union in 1950s. Soviet Union brought all equipment and techniques to China and laid a solid foundation for the future economy growth.

As the most powerful country in the world, I believe it is our duty to help people who even have trouble finding a clean water to drink rather than involving ourselves in the middle east Asia. I hope one day, Americans will leave machine guns and send experts to the world to help and improve people’s basic life. As a human being, I think a cup of clean water is more important than the word “Democracy”. Or maybe we prefer hypocrisy to anything.

One thing worth to be mentioned during the engineering lab

I have mentioned the stopwatch and timer project in the previous post. Therefore, I would like to talk about some interesting things happened during this project.

First of all, it was not an easy task to finish this project, because we had to first design the schematic of the whole system and then we have to solder the system, in the mean time, we have to program the chip to achieve the functionality. My lab partner and I worked closely in every step.

After we finish soldering our system, we found out that our LED display was not working. We checked our code with other group and it worked in other group’s system but ours. We had to check the signal from every single wire, but we did not find any problem. After we spent a day, we realized the main chip was broken. After we replaced the broken chip with a new chip, the problem solved.

I admit that I wanted to give up at some point, because it was very frustrating when I had no idea what was wrong with the system.  However, my lab partner and I tough it through and made the system to work.

I want to say we have to believe in ourselves, and do not give up.


Majoring in Engineering and working with other people

This is the first post on my portfolio and in this post I will discuss why I want to major in Engineering and I will also post one of my lab report to let people know what is engineering. The lab report that I will be displayed is for Semiconductor class. (I know it is sounds fancy haha) Fun facts: Every one of us is using semiconductor devices if you are reading my post! I also have a lab partner, so it helps me to know how to work with other people. Please enjoy the lab report and let me know if you do not understand anything. I would love to explain it to you.

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