Home away from home

Author: Joseph Fowler
We drop in on Henry Zhang, a biomedical engineering senior from Mishawaka, Indiana, who is getting ready to meet with his advisor to schedule spring semester classes.

Henry ZhangHow long have you been preparing for the meeting?

Zhang (laughs): About two minutes.

Are you going to discuss anything else with your advisor?

Zhang: I’m going to stay an extra year so I can get a minor in economics, and I want to get my schedule figured out.

How many classes are you taking fall semester?

Zhang: Four, including senior design.

What are the other ones?

Zhang: Econ 251, Non-Linear Dynamics and Chaos, and Semi-Conductor Devices.

Which class is the most interesting?

Zhang: Senior design, because I get to do hands-on work … at least four hours of research every Tuesday and Thursday.

Why biomedical engineering?

Zhang: I came to Purdue to study chemical engineering because I did so well in chemistry in high school. I discovered biomedical engineering and felt it was the closest I could get to studying medical sciences in engineering.

Why are you getting a minor in economics?

Zhang: I felt the need to learn about how the world operates in a business or economics sense, especially during this economic crisis. I would like to be more well rounded, and I enjoyed high school economics.

Favorite course?

Zhang: BME 295E Physiology for Engineers. The professors were intelligent and enthusiastic, the content was what I expected of biomedical engineering, and I had fun learning the material. If there were a direct follow-up course, I would definitely take it.

What do you want to do in life?

Zhang: Get a master’s degree in network and industry, and work in cardiology and miniature devices.

How often can you be found in this spot?

Zhang: Between classes, at least four hours a day, not including weekends.

Do you have any relatives at Purdue?

Zhang: My brother is in First-Year Engineering. He’s also going to go for biomed.

Do you have time to do anything else?

Zhang: I’m president of the billiards club. I’ve been a member for two years; it’s what I do as a stress reliever. I am also part of BMES (BioMedical Engineering Society) and EWH (Engineering World Health). I’m going to Pittsburgh to present my summer research project at the 2009 BMES conference.

Do you Tweet? Does your mother?

Zhang: I do not Tweet. My mother does not either. I have Facebook, but I don’t go on as much as I used to.

What’s your favorite food?

Zhang: Honey BBQ chicken or fried dumplings. So good!

Favorite movie? Musician?

Zhang: “The Prestige,” “The Recruit,” and the recent 007 movies are some of my favorites. “Friends,” “Scrubs,” “Family Guy,” “Mythbusters,” “Heroes,” and “The Big Bang Theory” are a few of my favorite TV shows. I cannot get enough of R&B/hip-hop/pop music from artists including Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Beyonce, and the Black Eyed Peas.

What is the biggest challenge you face these days?

Zhang: Finding the time to do everything I would like to do in a 24-hour period.