Jingyi Ran

MScR Chemistry 2017

Your Time at the University

I chose the chemistry MScR program at the University of Edinburgh because my undergraduate advisor at Tohoku University highly recommended the city and the program to me. I was a bit nervous about the decision in the beginning as I had never been so far away from home. However, after moving to Edinburgh, I knew I was lucky because Edinburgh was such a nice city – it was beautiful, the culture was vibrant; it was so inclusive and I had a great time!

I'm also grateful that my co-workers and my advisor (Professor Paul Attfield) were very friendly, helpful and supportive. I was provided various research opportunities outside of the lab as well – fun seminars, national lab visits, conferences and workshops.

When I wasn’t working on chemistry, I enjoyed hanging out with my co-workers and friends – we drove all around Scotland – the Pentland Hills, Loch Ness, etc. during the weekends and enjoyed the beautiful scenery, the fresh air and great times. I do miss the coffee shops in Edinburgh too – there is always a cup of guaranteed delicious tea for you.

Your Experiences Since Leaving the University

My MScR degree at the University of Edinburgh was designed for a transition between an undergraduate and a PhD degree, so it helped me gain a lot of experience in doing research, writing scientific articles, dealing with a research group, etc. I specialized in the solid-state chemistry study at Edinburgh, which is also my focus right now in the PhD program.

After graduation, I came to the University of Southern California, which is in Los Angeles, to pursue a PhD degree in chemistry. Right now I am a chemistry PhD candidate working on the heterogeneous catalytic CO2 conversions using solid-state phyllosilicate materials.

In the meantime, I started to become very interested in data science and machine learning from March 2020, when everywhere shut down because of Covid-19. Thus, I’ve been exploring the use of machine learning in the field of materials chemistry. For example, using machine learning to discover piezoelectric materials, etc.

My goal is to incorporate my knowledge of chemistry, data science, and my passion for AI to create a more sustainable environment and a more positive society.

Alumni Wisdom

Enjoy your time in Edinburgh! Explore around – go to seminars, talk to different people on the program, and go to museums, the Fringe festival and take as many walks as possible. You’ll miss the city and the School so much when you leave, so make the most of your time when you’re still there!