A Postcard From: Wenqi Wang ’18

Name: Wenqi Wang
Class Year: 2018
Major: Mathematics
Hometown: Wuzhou, China

Internship Placement: Summer Science Research
Job Title: Student researcher
Location: Bryn Mawr College

What’s happening at your internship?

I am doing research about data analysis using nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF) under the supervision of Professor Dianna Xu in the Computer Science Department at Bryn Mawr College. For the past several weeks, I have been reading academic literature on NMF, learning about statistical methods, and working on a chemistry dataset to try to uncover patterns that govern the success and failure of crystallization.

Why did you apply for this internship?

One reason is that I want to experience what research is like, which will be helpful as I am applying to grad schools in the coming fall. This experience will also better prepare me for more advanced studies after graduation. Another reason is that I want to explore something that combines both math and computer science, which is what I am interested in doing in the future.

Was there anything special about how you found this internship?

I learned about this research opportunity in an email sent out by a Computer Science professor at Bryn Mawr. Although I was only a minor in CS and I have never taken classes with this professor, I decided to ask about this opportunity and express my interest. I did not have much hope as I applied but luckily ended up receiving an offer in the program.


Can you talk about the skills you are learning and why they are important to you?

I have worked on my self-teaching skills, as I needed to plod through academic papers and textbooks on areas that I was not familiar with. My problem solving skills have also improved as I learned to code in a new language and as I tackled the dataset from scratch.