Undergraduate Research Experiences

Archive for December, 2012

Winter Break Update

Winter break is about half way over now. I have done my best to read as much literature and learn new material in advanced as time and recent events have allowed. It is not as much as my standard has set forth, unfortunately. This slip up is not enough to discourage me, however. I can and will meet my standard of literature and additional material intake.  The main requirements to do so are will power and a bit of strategy.

Although my standard has not been completely met recently, I have learned from work that was accomplished. First, and perhaps most importantly, I have a greater understanding of the background of terms and concepts that I have come across during my research. I have also learned about a patterning technique, which involves dividing a sample into sections, that increases the magnetic field a superconductor produces.  These are just a few summarized examples, however, and I still have plenty more to read.

My curiosity and interest grows as I continue to read and learn. So many new ideas and questions have blossomed into existence.  I know spring will answer and utilize some of these ideas and questions, and perhaps produce even more! For now I can only read, think, and wait for spring semester. I can hardly contain my excitement!



There Is No Such Thing As Winter Break

I completed finals week and have finished my first semester at NIU. It has been fun and educational so far. Now I have almost a month of winter break before the spring semester, and next part of my research, begins. However, this is not a time of rest for me! It most certainly is not a time to be used foolishly. Therefore, I intend to use winter break to my advantage by using several strategies or courses of action.

 I have decided to use this time not only for extensive literature intake but also to strengthen and perhaps even further my understanding of science and mathematics ahead of schedule. I have some materials currently available to do so. This course of action will also be useful for next semester, when I start the next part of my research. How so? It is quite simple! First, I will have a stronger background to help understand the upcoming research. Second, learning class material, or refreshing my memory of material, ahead of time will make studying easier later on since I would have already been exposed to some or most of the material. This might also give me more time to devote to my research.

It is time for me to get to work. There is much learning to do and time is somewhat short, which makes it all the more precious. It is quite ironic that a time labeled for rest is actually a time for more work. Yes?! Oh well. This work is fun and interesting, which makes it all worth the effort.

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