Wenrui Xu: 'Don't be too determined about what you want to do in the future before you try a few different things in college.'

April 26, 2017

Wenrui Xu

Physics & Mathematics

Beijing, China

What was your most profound turning point while at Cornell?

In my sophomore year, I met Professor Dong Lai at a dinner and began my research on astrophysics with him soon after. It turned out that astrophysics, with its broad range of topics and vast variety of methods, is much more interesting than I could ever have imagined. Since then, I have been determined to pursue a career in astrophysical research.

Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?

I think it's my research experience. It gave me a lot of knowledge that I can never learn from taking classes, such as how to work together with others and how to independently identify problems worth working on. More importantly, it lets me know that I will enjoy a career as a researcher.

If you were to offer advice to an incoming first year student, what would you say?

Don't be too determined about what you want to do in the future before you try a few different things in college.

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