13 Questions – Weiwei Kong
After completing middle school in Shanghai, China, Weiwei Kong, attended high school in Tacoma, Washington. She pursued her undergraduate degree at Case Western University, majoring in Polymer Science and Engineering, with minors in philosophy and dance. Currently, Weiwei is currently engaged in research in Professor Russell Composto’s group, focusing on polymer kinetics within confined spaces and the properties of novel polymer nanocomposites. Weiwei recently wrapped up a summer internship at META and graciously dedicated her time to answer 13 Questions for us.
1. Your name?
2. What motivated you to pursue a PhD, and how has your experience been so far?
I was encouraged by my advisor and research advisor to pursue a PhD. I’m enjoying my PhD career so far. Having the opportunity to look deeply into things I am interested in is really a blessing.
3. What was the last book that you read, or movie that you saw?
The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin
It was a great experience, although I did miss my friends and colleagues at Penn while I was away. I get to know a lot of interesting people from different departments (both interns and FTEs). I enjoy the culture at Meta and my work! It is fascinating to see how my research (polymer physics) could be integrated into the high techs (AR/VR) that could potentially change everyone’s living style!
7. What individual or moment has had the greatest impact on your life?
That would be my high school English teacher Mr. King. He made me realize life has a lot of possibilities and we do not have to stick on the main path, but can instead “take the road not taken”. He lives a legendary life and always teaches his students to follow our hearts and keep learning and experiencing.
8. Your craft crashes/capsizes and you’re stuck on an island with five personal items of your choice. What are they and why?
A high-power industrial flashlight with solar charging — for sending signals
A heavy down jacket — for keeping myself warm at nights
A meaningful, interesting, and extremely long book that I would otherwise not read it at all in my life — to kill time and gain some knowledge
A pair of durable and good quality running shoes — for running from unknown dangers
A water filter system — for drinking water supply
9. You studied Philosophy at Case Western. What is the meaning of life?
It depends on the scale when we consider this problem. From a personal standpoint, I always believe life is about experiencing, making meaningful positive impacts, and spreading love and warmth. However, from a larger scale (such as standing as a universe), I think life may (or may not) have a meaning but we do not know. I live in between absurdism and existentialism.
10. What are the top five songs on your mix tape?
Canon in D, One Summer’s Day, The Path of the Wind, A Huge Tree in the Tsukamori Forest, The Dragon Boy.
11. If you were given two options: The gift of $1,000,000, or the opportunity to go back in time to relive your life, knowing what you know now, which option would you take?
Definitely taking my memory and going back to the past. The reasoning is:
- Time is priceless. I miss the good old days from my childhood
- I can use my future memory to change the past and save people.
- I am very positive I can make much more than $1m if I take my memory to the past.
12. If you were able to have lunch with three people living or dead? Any reason why?
Xueqin Cao (曹雪芹). I want to know what is the real ending of his book “Dream of the Red Chamber” (“红楼梦”). Tiangang Yuan (袁天罡) for the right order of his book “Tui Bei Tu,” and Nikola Tesla for asking about his inventions and research.
13. What is the meal that makes life worthwhile to you?
Durian (it is a type of fruit but I can eat it as meals).
14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The greatest is yet to come.
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