It is that time of year again. URAD is coming up fast and it is time to look at how far my project has come along. I gauge my progress in several categories: my standard (perfectionism!), what goals I have set and questions I seek to/ have answered as outlined in my proposal, and mentor review.
Going off of my proposal guidance,I am essentially done with the most part of my project. The main part left is to start creating my poster for presentation. Personally, I have higher standards and would like to increase the level of professionalism associated with my project. This means that I am going to try to carry out more complex calculations and explain the physics of my project, including results, at a significantly more advanced level. In order to do this, I am teaching myself Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS), among other things, and studying ahead of this semester’s class materials to the best of my ability. I will be writing a progress report for my mentors to look over. I feel that a formal written report is the best approach this year for several reasons. One, each of us have a very busy schedule and an emailed written report is convenient to arrange. Second, it is an easy way to prep for what I want to write in my poster and solidify my ability to explain what I have learned. Third, it is general good practice as a researcher.
As a peer leader for new Research Rookies, I feel I have a bit of work to do. I was a bit late in planning activities, planning about a week or two in advanced and trying to get everyone’s agreement on what to do for our monthly activities. I have changed this a bit by planning about a month, at least, in advanced. For example, March’s activity has already been arranged since mid January. We will be taking a trip to Fermilab for the Ask-A-Scientist guided tour.
This month, We will be eating at Aspen leaf and going over abstracts and poster designs. Last month, We (me, one of my group members, and several individuals who happen to be near) ate pizza and practiced logical argument and explanation through a rule modified game of zobmundo. The ethics category developed some of the most interesting conversations, in my opinion. I think one of my greatest strengths as a peer leader is guidance. I always try to give advice, demonstrations or examples, and explanations when members of my group are faced with an issue or new experience/ situation.
I will write more updates later. For now, I need to get back to work.