News from Korea – June 28, 2021: Busa

  1. Dr. Moser’s workshop

On Wednesday mornings, we don’t wear pink but we do learn how to dress our communications to impress. Dr. Moser’s workshops have made me realize just how much we should value our interactions and professional communications. 

This week he asked us to answer random open-ended questions on the fly. What I expected to be an easy little activity turned out to be an eye-opening challenge that showcased how we think and how quickly we can put together a comprehensive answer. I was asked “if I could speak to any ghost, who would it be?” which even though we knew it would be random, completely caught me off guard. I struggled to answer the question cohesively, but I thought it was a great learning experience and helped me see where exactly I fall short in my explanations. 

I think one of my favorite parts of his workshops, though,  is getting to listen to the ideas, perspectives, and presentations of the cohort during our discussions.

  1. Interaction with the research lab members

Now that introductions have been made, and I know how to get around my building and campus, working in the lab has been a lot easier.  Also, three more interns joined the lab this week so it feels nice to not be the only newbie working! I also got extra training with our lab’s machines because of them, so that was really helpful.  I now feel a little more confident working with the etcher, sputter, and aligning machines.

Working with nanoelectronics is definitely difficult, but everyone is happy to help reexplain concepts and procedures. One thing I especially struggled with though, was picking up the little silicon wafers we use every day.  Nevertheless Kayla, my mentor, let me keep practicing by having me work on washing the wafers and developing the photoresist patterns in each of our cycles. 


My typical setup working with the silicon wafers

Labels of my name, in Korean, my mentor Kayla gave me for the lab

  1. Excursions 

During the week this week, I spent most nights going out with Elizabeth and our roommate Nadia.  While exploring more of our neighborhood, Elizabeth and I discovered a huge market only 15 minutes away.  They sell all kinds of fresh foods and I am looking forward to going back for grocery shopping.  

The fresh food market found in Gwanak-Gu

For the weekend, I would definitely say we went a little overboard but it was totally worth it.  On Friday night, Elizabeth Nadia and I went to a sheep cafe in Hongdae.  It was the cutest thing ever and they served the best waffles and ice cream I have ever had. 

Petting sheeps at The Nature Cafe

Waffles and Ice Cream served at the cafe

That night we walked all around Hongdae shopping, playing games in the arcade, and just all around sight seeing.  In hindsight, staying out so late may not have been the best idea because at 5am the next day Elizabeth and I got ready to go meet up with the cohort in Daejeon.

After a 2 bus transfer and a 2 hour intercity bus ride, we made it to Daejeon and were warmly welcomed by Matt and Nathan (M&N) into their truly lavish apartments. 

Elizabeth and Matt in the road in front of M&N’s apartment

From there we set off into a weekend full of activities.  It was honestly a great time and I’m so glad that M&N were kind enough to show us around their favorite spots in town. 

Group picture in front of Sum Sing Dang bakery

Half-eaten beef sandwich from the bakery

 (I was so hungry I forgot to take a picture before taking a bite)

Group photo in front of missile displayed

Group photo on the Expo Park Bridge at the National Science Museum

Our weekend ended with a hike I definitely was not prepared for, but was absolutely worth it. We climbed a whopping 775 meters up Gyeryongsan mountain.  It was my first ever hike and making it up there definitely was not easy, but having 5 other great people to go up there with made it a little easier.  The views were breathtaking, and while the views at the peak of the mountain boggled my mind, the time spent on the last leg near the bottom took the cake for me.  I got to spend that time walking on my own near the water rushing from the waterfall at the top of the mountain.  It was so serene and beautiful. I took the time to reflect on my time here in Korea, to pray, and to think about my friends, family, hopes and dreams.  It was a pleasant reminder that no matter where in the world I go, the challenges I’ll face, the overall craziness of the world, the world will keep spinning and the water will keep flowing.  

Panoramic of the views at the peak of Gyeryongsan mountain

Group photo at peak #1: 775 meters up

Stream at the bottom of Gyeryongsan mountain

News from Korea – June 28, 2021: Ryoma


After a week of delays, Ryoma and the rest of his cohort visited Daejeon with the intent to hike across Gyeryongsan, the site of one of the twenty national parks in South Korea. However, such an endeavor could not be done so suddenly, and the cohort spent that Saturday exploring Daejeon, having breakfast at the famous Sungsimdang bakery, then visiting the National Science Museum, and crossing the Expo Bridge to reach the Arboretum.

A bread statue in front of Sungsimdang.

A Naro-1 Rocket on display, alongside other rockets. On the left was an atmospheric reentry simulator for reentry vehicles, and to the right was several of South Korea’s experimental maglev trains.

A (bad) picture of a replica of KOMPSAT-2.

On the third floor of one of the buildings was a collection of displays from medieval Korea. Other displays included a water-powered mechanical diorama of a village, full-scale recreations of medieval houses, blacksmith workshops, and other displays of life in that era.

A rather large map of Korea from the Joseon era.

The first night was spent in what turned out to be a sex motel (the cohort was not aware of this until after they left). An awkward exchange was had between the cohort and the front desk clerk.

The next day, the cohort embarked on their hike.

One of the first landmarks in the trail was Cheongnyangsa Pagoda, which neighbored a cliffside temple.

One view of the trail. It was more impressive in person.

Sambulbong Peak, the first peak the cohort reached. Fortunately, the slopes that would appear later on in the path were much gentler than what came before. On the other hand, there was two-thirds of the trail left to take.

Gwangeulbong Peak marker. Getting here was exhausting.

While the sights of Gyerongsan were indeed worth it, the trip lasted about three hours longer than he expected and had to rush to his bus. Unfortunately, Naver maps lied to him and led him to the wrong bus terminal. In truth, the real bus terminal was an additional 50 minutes away by public transportation and therefore he had no chance of getting there in time to begin with.


Again, Ryoma spent the week learning the tools that he will be using, mainly ROS. He also got the depth camera he will be using to work.

An output from a D435i depth camera. On the left is the 2D RGB image, typical of a conventional camera. On the right is the depth map, where closer points are colored blue and distant points are colored red. The camera obtains these distances by comparing the inputs of two cameras (also called a stereo camera system).

The output of the same camera rendered in 3D Space. The color pixels (from the RGB camera) are placed a certain distance away (as seen in the depth map) to yield a 3D reconstruction of the camera input. The voids are either areas outside the camera’s field of view, or are areas blocked by objects in the foreground.