MIT student at UTAR

From left: Postgraduate student Hamsalekha, Supervisor Toh Chia Ming, Jacqueline Liao and Prof Ewe

UTAR received an international student named Jacqueline Liao from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to Sungai Long Campus on 6 January 2019. The 21-year-old scholar, who is currently based in Boston, California, came to UTAR as part of an “Externship Programme” offered by MIT. The programme connects current MIT students with alumni in workplaces worldwide during its Independent Activities Period (IAP), a period where students are relieved of their academic duties. Upon learning about the programme, Jacqueline Liao came into contact with UTAR President Ir Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat, who is an MIT alumnus, to enrol in the programme.

Wanting to experience something out of her field of study, the aerospace engineering student was given the opportunity to work on a remote sensing project titled “Temporal Analysis of Oil Palm Backscatter Coefficient” where she used microwave satellite imaging to study and analyse the growth of oil palm and its impact on backscatter coefficient. According to Jacqueline Liao, her primary job was to conduct data analysis besides studying and compiling the given data.

“This is not my first time being here in Malaysia. I have been here before a very long time ago. I have always loved travelling abroad and I basically grew up travelling around places. I find so much joy in travelling and learning about the different cultures and traditions around the world. Coming to Malaysia was one of the good choices I made because it has so much to offer. There are so many different things to experience. Malaysia is indeed a melting pot of cultures,” said Jacqueline Liao.

She added, “I find the students here very friendly and nice. They showed me around the campus and they even took me out for meals. The thing that I probably like the most is seeing them working together. Their “togetherness” portrays a sense of unity.” She said that there was no any sort of discrimination as the students were friendly and well-accepting. She also expressed her affection for Malaysian food.

During her three weeks of stay, she also had the opportunity to visit several places over the weekends. She visited places like Penang, Ipoh, Melacca and Kuala Lumpur. According to Jacqueline Liao, her trip to Kuala Lumpur was her favourite as she had always enjoyed the atmosphere in big cities.

Jacqueline Liao enjoyed tasting street foods in Penang

The interest to experience a new environment led this 21-year-old student to enrol in this programme

Jacqueline Liao during the interview

Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science Dean Ir Prof Dr Goi Bok Min (left) presenting a certificate to Jacqueline Liao

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