Q&A with 2019 REACH Intern Elizabeth Petrov '22

The Keller Center caught up with Elizabeth Petrov ’22 to congratulate her on securing a summer internship position at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)/ Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), a Hong Kong government sponsored research center. The internship is offered through the Keller Center’s International Research Exchange Program (REACH). REACH aims to broaden students' perspectives and enable them to become globally minded researchers and technologists.

Elizabeth is one of nine REACH interns who will receive an eight-week, hands-on research experience, housing, flight stipend, and additional expense stipends. Internships are available at three universities in Germany (Ruhr University Bochum, University of Duisburg-Essen and TU Dortmund), as well as HKUST. She and her cohort will be immersed in a new culture while working on a research project in their field of study.

KC: Hi Elizabeth. Congratulations on your recent acceptance into the REACH program! With all the internship opportunities available at Princeton why REACH?  What drew you to the program?

EP: Thank you! My goals in college are to explore different cultures, gain new experiences, and learn as much as I can. REACH blends these perfectly, and is what ultimately drew me to the program. I get to live in and explore Hong Kong, travel to surrounding cities such as China's tech capital Shenzhen, and learn about the area's history and more about computer science. I am also interested in going to grad school, and the research I will be doing will contribute to this goal.

KC: What research will you be doing?  What are you hoping to learn?

EP: I'll be working in ASTRI's Intelligent Sensing Technology System team. I don't know what project I will be working on just yet, but I know I will learn a lot and push my academic boundaries. I hope to learn more about artificial intelligence and in general how research gets from just being research to being implemented in society. Fun fact: Astri is different from what we usually think of as research organizations in the US - it is not a University, but a company. Its goal is to create a bridge "between academia and the industry, by linking the fruits of science and technology research with the domain of practical applications for our collective commercial successes and economic benefits". I'm excited to be a part of this!

KC: Hong Kong WOW!!  What do you think an international internship will add to your Princeton experience? What are your ‘must sees’ during your stay?

EP: An international internship will definitely add a different point of view from the "Princeton bubble", especially going halfway across the world. It will make me more aware of the global society, and to think beyond the bubble. In Hong Kong, I have a lot of 'must sees' – Selena Chiu ‘22 (also part of REACH) and I have started compiling a bucket list of things to do, places to eat, and destinations to travel to! Some things on our list: hiking monkey mountain, exploring the street markets, biking to Tai Mei Tuk, attending the dragon boat festival, and taking a weekend trip to Singapore.

KC: What are you looking forward to the most and the least?

EP: I'm looking most towards checking stuff off the bucket list and making new friends, both from Princeton and from Hong Kong. As to what I’m looking forward to the least, nothing. I'm excited for the whole experience!

KC: So, do you like dim sum?

EP: YES! I will not be surprised if all my meals are dim sum - Hong Kong is world famous for it! 

KC: Safe travels and don’t forget to send us some photos!!