F&M Stories

Senior Spotlight: Huaizhi Liu

Huaizhi Liu

Photo Credit: Deb Grove

Name: Huaizhi Liu

Major: Computational physics, and biochemistry and molecular biology

Minor: Applied mathematics

What city and state or country do you call home? I call China home. Our family moved from one province to another, so I can’t name a city or a province.

Activities at F&M:

I was involved in many activities at F&M. I served as production manager of Choomies and continue as part of the production team that does music editing, photography and videography during shows. I also did technical work for Asian Music Club, involving mixing and recording.

I volunteered as part of a Catastrophic Relief Alliance group during winter break 2022-23. We set up dry walls and stapled electrical wires for a Lancaster house damaged by fire. I learned a lot about electrical tools!

I have been an admission tour guide since summer 2022, mostly doing weekend tours. I wanted to be a tour guide because I had two campus tours of F&M before enrolling, one by myself and one with my parents. The tour guides were very helpful and informative. I also was the international orientation assistant (IOA) for the last two incoming classes. My own international orientation was great; my IOA did a wonderful job helping me learn about culture shock and how to adjust to it. So I wanted to contribute to others’ international orientation, especially with my knowledge as a tour guide.

Finally, my research in the physics laboratory was with Professors Etienne Gagnon and Ken Krebs. Professor Gagnon and I studied the propagation and interaction between laser beams and simulated how two beams interact with each other. This year, we are using the Michelson interferometer and spatial light modulator to create a beam with the desired shape. Professor Krebs and I studied how rare earth ions are doped into glasses, synthesizing the material in a new way never used in this lab. These are promising photonic materials for industrial applications.

Why did you choose to attend F&M?

The most important reason is class size. I could get the professor’s attention as much as I could from my high school teacher, which dramatically reduced my anxiety about college life.

Another important reason is that F&M encourages students to explore before picking majors. I had a lot of time to make this decision, and my professors were very supportive when I considered double majoring.

I also like our dual-degree engineering programs. Finishing a science major and then an engineering major can be very beneficial; I can have good knowledge of science and great engineering opportunities without compromising one to do more in the other.

What is something that you did for fun at F&M?

I take photographs at F&M. It is a very beautiful campus, especially the buildings and plants.

What did you enjoy most about your time at the College?

I don’t know that I can pick only one thing. I enjoyed everything I have mentioned. 

What are your plans for after graduation?

I plan to go to graduate school to study biomedical imaging. This best utilizes my knowledge: computational physics will answer how to obtain the image, and biochemistry will tell me what I am looking at and why it is important.

What brief advice would you give to incoming students in F&M’s Class of 2028?

First, do not hesitate to try things. College life is so much fun, so don’t miss new opportunities. Also, always plan ahead. Avoiding unforeseen circumstances is necessary, especially when the workload is heavy.

“Do not hesitate to try things. College life is so much fun, so don’t miss new opportunities.”

— Huaizhi Liu '24

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