Three Reasons Why I LOVE Research
I have been researching for almost one year now, and I think this kind of experience is quite valuable in all aspects. In the past, I want to try research solely because I need to make decisions on going to a graduate school or not, but it turns out it is a lot of fun. Recently I have been doing a research project in network analysis and data science for School of Information Science, and you will find how I love this opportunity in just a second.
No One Knows the Answer
One thing interesting about doing research is that no one knows the absolute solution to an answer. How do I set this parameter? How to add color to this vertex? At this time, the Professor acts more like a mentor who tells you where I may find the answer (using Google or related APIs) because he/she might be new to this question as well. These type of things greatly enhanced my ability to gather resources and solve problems on my own. So far, I have learned how to set up environments under different operating systems, how to use a new program by reading its manual, how to search for specific medical data…I love absorbing those new skills!
Meet Different People
Being in a group is totally different from doing things alone. I am lucky enough to have another two undergraduate peers who are both super nice to work on the same project and split the work. It never feels mandatory to come to our group meetings. Instead, I enjoy getting things done while talking about our life once a week. We also have our weekly group meeting with our masters student and a whole lab meeting with our professor, and I can always learn something new from others.
Apply What I Have Learned
Since my project is quite related to what I am doing right now, I am excited to realize that I could apply what I have just learned two weeks ago to my focus in the research. For example, I am taking Foundation of Data Science (INFO490/STAT430) which uses Python to manipulate data, therefore I used the same technique to polish my individual project about a simple tool to output display data for a given year. Also, when I was worried about some data structure problems about network analysis, I found out that I was about to learn this part in my Computer Science course within a couple lectures. Those experiences greatly motivate my interest in my course work and make me proud of what I am doing.
So, that is my experience and my passion about research even though I am just a newbie in this area. I hope you find researching as exciting as I do, and have a great time researching!