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Graduate Student Spotlight: Jack Liu

Categories: Research, Students

Chemistry Graduate Student Jack Liu describes his research and answers 20 random questions as part of the Graduate Student Spotlight series.

Jack Liu comes to MIT from Kun Shan, China, and is a second year graduate student in Professor Keith Nelson’s group, where he works on polariton chemistry. The idea behind Jack’s research is to use the strong light matter coupling inside a optical cavity to create new polariton modes, which would alter reaction’s landscape and ultimately the reaction selectivity and rates. The goal is to be able to drive chemical reactions such as amide esterification efficiently with MIR laser pulses rather than heating the solution.

As the subject of this month’s Graduate Student Spotlight, Jack shares the best vacation he’s taken, the most interesting documentary he’s seen, the most interesting place he’s visited, and more!

  1. What game or movie universe would you most like to live in? What would be the worst to live in?
    The game universe I’d most like to live in is EVE Online, and the worst to live in is CyberPunk 2077.
  2. What’s the most interesting documentary you’ve ever watched?
    The most interesting documentary I ever watched is OCEANS.
  3. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
    More readings.
  4. If you were on a 27 hour flight and could only watch one movie, what would it be?
    The Rock (1996).
  5. What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
    My 2018 winter trip to Istanbul and Cairo.
  6. What is something that a ton of people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of?
  7. If you suddenly became a master at woodworking, what would you make?
    A city model.
  8. What is special about the place you grew up?
    There’s mountain in its name, but actually, the highest place in the city is only a hill about 84 m. high.
  9. What irrational fear do you have?
  10.  If you could have a never-ending candle that smelled like anything you wanted, what fragrance would you want it to be?
    Sweet osmanthus.
  11.  What was your favorite book as a child, and what is your favorite book now?
    When I was young, I really liked Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Now, my favorite book is Feynman’s rainbow.
  12.  If you could pick any career other than the one you’ve chosen, what would it be?
  13.  Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?
  14.  What invention doesn’t get a lot of love, but has greatly improved the world?
    The printing press.
  15.  What movie, picture, or video always makes you laugh no matter how often you watch it?
    “It’s John Cena!”
  16.  If you built a themed hotel, what would the theme be and what would the rooms look like?
  17.  What food do you crave most often?
  18.  What are you most looking forward to in the next decade?
    Space Exploration
  19.  What’s something common from your childhood that will seem strange to future generations?
    Not staring at the screen but reading actual books.
  20.  Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
    Albert Einstein.

Many thanks to Jack for these thoughtful answers! Stay tuned for more Graduate Student Spotlights in the months to come!