Author: Xinyu Shi

My first public seminar

Two weeks ago I had my first PhD public seminar. The purpose of this seminar is to present our research topic at imec to the students in KU Leuven. Therefore, the speech was not quite specialized, but more like a “popular science” talk. About ten PhD pals from imec tagged along, and we posted our poster on the university’s website, crossing our fingers for some KU Leuven students to swing by. I gave a 10 minutes’ small speech about “neural network and AI oriented accelerator”, which is kind of the fundamental knowledge behind my research topic.

Here’s the kicker – our seminar hit the stage right before the final exam week, and it was too close to chrismas holiday. Surprise, surprise, not as many folks as we hoped for showed up. Fortunately some of our friends from the company joined online, so we did have some audiences.

Sure, it might seem like a bit of a dud (only a handful showed up), but for me, it was a good experience. Since it was my debut in the world of popular science presentations, not the usual gig of impressing the brainiacs in my field. Delivering info in a whole new style, I picked up skills that’ll be clutch for my next public show. Watch out, world! 🚀

The thrill of starting the PhD

It’s been more than two months since I started my PhD journey.  Feels good to be back in Europe, and back in Leuven. In 2021 I used to stay in imec Leuven to finish my master thesis, therefore, after one year, this feels like a homecoming. For me, it’s good to start a new challenge in life with a place that I’m familiar with and work with a group of people who are professional, supportive, and warm-hearted.

However, the new PhD life still brings me the thill and freshness. First, for the post-Covid time, the travel limitations are gone. I’ve travelled to more cities in the last two months than I did in an entire year in 2021, whether it’s a business trip or small weekend trip. Below there’s a photo that I took in Amsterdam. Another thill in life is brought by the new topic that I’m working on. We’re doing something that nobody has never done before, which brings me the passion, but also with some confusions and challenges. I guess this is the PhD life, the passion always comes with the frustration sometimes. And I still have a long way to go.

Due to the late join, I’ve already missed three ESR training. Can’t wait to see everyone on September’s 4th training in Germany!

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