Dr. Zhong Lin Wang, Georgia Institute of Technology (Podcast and Interview Transcript)

The second thing they can do is that get a global experience, send our students to other countries, to Europe to Asia, to even Africa for them to have a summer research experience, to engage in other cultures so then they can build really international connections as well as learn the culture and due to the friendship I think then they can be better prepared for this new challenge. The third challenge I think they face is today’s business, science moves really fast, this information highway immediately if you have some news, the world knows instantaneously. So this means what? We have to do things very efficiently and gather information, absorb the information and act fast so that’s what the challenge has been, the efficiency to meet the needs. And I think that our last challenge for our students is that they have to really work hard because there are so many outstanding students and people around the world, just smart is not enough, we have to be prepared, hardworking, dedicated and persistent and consistent. That’s the important thing in the character, we have to maintain our leadership, maintain our creativity. So I think hardworking plus talented mind will make a winning team.

Lisa Padilla: And I would agree. It’s nice to hear how you see your students and how you are very nurturing that way. How long have you been in Atlanta, out of curiosity?

Dr. Wang: 14 years and as I just told you that I learned to be a teacher, I learned to be a professor and I have very close relationship with my students and I tell them your success is my success, I want to see who is the best in the future. If he succeeds that means I did a good job as a teacher.

Lisa Padilla: That is true. Are there any other questions that you wanted to answer from our list before I let you go? I don’t want to keep you too long.

Dr. Wang: My basically time is open.

Lisa Padilla: Okay.

Dr. Wang: If you can just keep asking no problem.

Lisa Padilla: So let’s see. Do you want to talk specifically about some global projects going on, some collaborations just to sort of highlight any good work that you think that we could model in terms of global collaboration on research?

Dr. Wang: I had to devote a lot of energy for international collaborations. My own lab, I have students from China, from Korea, from Taiwan, from Germany, from France, from Sweden, from Greece, from Italy; we have a lot of collaborations. Why is this important? The number 1 reason is that we utilize our knowledge and train a lot of young people. Number 2 is that it can really broaden our ideas. If we have some idea, have a great thing going on, we want the world to know, we want to train other people to do the same thing. So I have enjoyed for globalization and collaboration. Let me tell one thing, I devoted last 4 years to do it; it’s a joint degree between a Chinese university, Peking University and Geogia Tech and I on behalf of Georgia Tech have been doing this joint degree for last 4 years. Why do we do it is that we want to send our US students to China for a semester or a year for them to learn the culture on the other side and for them to know the other country better and at the same time the Chinese students come here to learn American culture and to do research. So in such a case, the two campuses have a joint degree that means this student’s co-supervised by two advisors, one is a Georgia Tech professor and the other one is a Chinese professor in Beijing. This provides a unique opportunity for our educational globalization. So I think through this program we can really prepare our students for the global range challenge and prepare themselves to meet the future collaborators, counter-partner or even challengers. So I think last 4 years I have spent a lot of time doing this and the results will show in a few years.

(Informal Talk)

Lisa Padilla: That’ great. How about something a little bit off topic and I will jump around a little. What about robotics? You know colleagues, anything you are reading about robotics and where they are headed, where the future of robots is? There is quite a bit of talk about that, and any thoughts on robots?

Dr. Wang: Yes. Robot is a revolutionary discovery in technology for a lot of applications for space technology, for deep sea operations, for anything involved in dangerous environment that human is unable to get access to. So robotic has a lot of applications. I mostly work on this nanorobotic, something that you can for example in future put in a blood stream for cleaning up cholesterol, something that can do local area surgery for us in the future. The reason I work on that is that I worry about what power I can use to power this nanorobotics and if you see one of this little pictures, if you are able to see, do you see the robot here? At least that’s one of my future applications to use our nanogenerator to power this nanorobotics. So we do have a lot of interest in nanorobotics and I think this can offer a lot of things more than we can think today.

Lisa Padilla: Nanorobotics, as small as I can imagine is that little spider robot saying in Spykids 3, I have a very PG rated sort of frame of mind but personally I don’t actually watch too much TV, I like the movies though. What about you Dr. Wang, do you watch much TV? How old are your kids?

Dr. Wang: My eldest daughter she is 20, the second daughter she is 17 going to college next year and third daughter is close to 8.

Lisa Padilla: Okay. I have new found respect for you.

3 thoughts on “Dr. Zhong Lin Wang, Georgia Institute of Technology (Podcast and Interview Transcript)

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