It's really astonishing how just 12 days can totally shift the trajectory of your life, but I think I'd be on a very different path if not for NYSF. The program really gave me the confidence to pursue a research career.
NYSF 2015 Alumnus - Matt Goh is testament to the profound impact the NYSF Year 12 Program can have on pursuing fundamental scientific research all over the world.
It's really astonishing how just 12 days can totally shift the trajectory of your life, but I think I'd be on a very different path if not for NYSF. The program really gave me the confidence to pursue a research career. It was the first of many steps to get me where I am now - but that first step truly did open up a new world to me.
In attending the NYSF Year 12 Program in 2015, I forged many lifelong friendships with fellow NYSF alumni and academic researchers associated with the ANU. Following the program, I was selected to attend international summer science programs, undertaking research projects in condensed matter physics, science education, nuclear physics, particle theory, and laser physics at the Weizmann Institute of Science - International Summer Science Institute and Kupcinet-Getz International Summer School.
I completed a Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) with a major in Theoretical Physics in December 2019, at Australian National University. My Honours thesis investigated the viability of a new method of creating ultracold Fermi gases - forming the backbone of quantum simulation technologies. Usually, they are produced by evaporative cooling, a technique in which a large number of atoms are discarded from the trap to carry away excess heat. In hoping to overcome some of its limitations, I investigated a measurement-based active feedback control method, deriving a quantum-mechanical model and ran supercomputer simulations. Since graduation, I have continued my thesis work as a Research Assistant at the ANU, developing more sophisticated quantum models for the feedback cooling techniques.
My academic career has continued with the award of a Rhodes Scholarship at the University of Oxford. Commencing September 2020, I was one of three students to receive the scholarship from the ANU and one of nine Australian students accepted into the program. I'll start my doctorate at Oxford and new research in quantum systems of some kind. It all depends on which research group I join, but likely candidates include quantum materials, first-generation quantum computers, or ultracold-atom quantum simulators.
In reflecting on my academic journey so far, I offer this advice to new student when considering future studies and careers in STEM - cherish your time at university. Follow your passions - you'll always be so much better at things you want to do, than things you feel like you have to do. Don't feel like you need to follow the traditional science and engineering career path - it was right for me, but it isn't for everyone. The world needs scientifically literate people in all career paths, especially business, policy and global leadership.