When I got on the plane to New York, I finally realized that this precious one month research experience has ended, but from another perspective, it is continuing in its finest way. This research experience will not only become an experience that will stand in the corner of my mind, waiting for someone or something in the future to drag this memory out, but also a continuous project that can help me in the future, no matter academically or personally.
The experience started when my plane from Hong Kong landed in Boston. Boston is a very beautiful city, there is a big river right between Boston and Cambridge. The view when I was on the bridge is magnificent. Because I come from Shenzhen, a city with no significant river, the reflection of city through the surface of river is like a completely new scene for me, a scene that can only show up in the movies.
Initially, I’d like to talk more about what I did and what I learned in this month. On the first Monday, I am required to do an introduction to others about myself. It is a good opportunity for me to introduce myself to others, practice my skill of presentation, and understand the whole process of presentation and cooperation. Each days we will meet with each other students, present our current progress and let other students advice me to do my presentation and my project better. On the first day I met with Prof. G, the leading figure of our research projects. Prof. G is very passionate about his project and his students, no matter they are new to the field of computer science, or have dived into this field for their bachelor and master years. For me, a student who happens to be in the upper middle of the spectrum, was asked more strickedly by Prof. G, for he believes that if I can put my strength into the domain that haven’t been explored by others, I can make some brand new progress, generate some new way of solving problems. For me, the research topic is finding out abnormal activities that involves both cars and people in a dense complex scene. It is an area that has been heavily researched but no satisfied solution has been given out. Students with me are very good at giving valuable advice for each others, they are good at finding new perspective to the problem and give out advices that are easily ignored by people who has spend weeks on the project. They are also very helpful on things other than academic. They heartily drag me into this big family, talk to me, help me to familiar with the campus of universtiy, help me to familiar with the city called Boston. It was a valuable and also fun time that I spent with them.
One of the biggest surprise that I found here is that the main way of learning is definitively not attending classes, for we didn’t have one formal class for this entire month. For people like me that have some foundation in computer science, the main way of learning is actually through reading academic papers—yes, papers that contains a lot of math symbols and long paragraphs of words that may contribute nothing to what I am currently doing—because academic papers are always the easiest and fastest way to track the state-of-art in the field that I am focusing on. During the procedure of learning, Dr. L taught me the way of catch the important points in academic papers, which is looking throughly at the abstract. This is extremely helpful to me, for I need not to read through the whole paper to find out whether this is the paper I want to find.
This valuable research experience not only improved my research ability and experience, but also did I learnt a lot beside the academic side. I learned the importance of cooperation, the importance of listening to other’s advice at here. Even though those ideas appeared to me long before this experience, it is from this experience that I finally realize the importance of such qualities. At the begining of my researching, I sunk into the effort trying to build my own theory from zero. It is very fun indeed, to try to find the solution of problem from the most basic idea and knowledge, and the felling of making progress at the begining is also very exciting for me. Thanks for Prof. G, who repetitively remind the importance of jump out of this circle, step into my own path. She taught me the importance of innovation and creativity that they should not only be innovation and creativity for me, but also for others, that I should learn more, step on the shoulder of the giants, to explore the new path that no one had every stepped into.
Looking back at this experience, I must say that it is a valuable experience that I received much more than I expected. I met new people from many different place, learn from them, have fun with them. After this one month research experience, I will not stop my research, but extend it into my daily life and continuing report my progress to Professor G. Last but not least, I want to specially thank to my household family, who are very responsible and did a great job looking after me.
Thank you for all the people that took part in this unforgettable one month experience.
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