Not sure about what research opportunities are available?
If you’re interested in research, then you can visit your departmental’s website to find your professors’ current research projects. There are also other research opportunities through the College of Engineering. Find your perfect fit!
As a freshman, I was very reserved about going into research. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I wasn’t sure if it was the right path for me. And, to be honest, I still haven’t figured out what I want to specialize in, but here’s how my research experience has helped me so far:
Exploring the variety
I was, and still am, excited by the variety in my field, which is computer science. There are so many different things that I could do my research in, and it was so overwhelming because I didn’t know where to start. Looking at the department’s research page and learning about the work of different professors really helped me. I got an idea of what kind of work people are doing and I could read up on each topic to find what interested me the most.
Doing research feels very close to a real job. And, in a good way, it prepares you for what work would feel like.
Valuable experience in a real-world field
Research work is very closely related to the real world. This research is applied to our everyday lives. Working on something so real is enthralling and valuable. While classes lay an important foundation for what comes next, research gives you an actual taste of that. You work on a project that has real -world applications, and you work with real-time data, developing a solution for a problem that people are facing.
Getting to know professors outside of classes
When I started reaching out to professors about my interest in their research, they would often invite me to have a chat with them or maybe sit in on one of their team meetings. I had never imagined talking to professors outside of lectures or office hours, but this made me realize that, along with being professors, they’re also researchers. Having conversations with them about their work and their passion was really enlightening as I could hear about that field from their perspective.
Doing research feels very close to a real job. And, in a good way, it prepares you for what work would feel like. Your research advisor substitutes the role of your manager, and you’d also normally be assigned a graduate student advisor, who’s like your mentor along the way. Working with other researchers is like collaborating with other people from your field and working together on a similar project or idea.
Overall, I feel like my research in the past has helped me understand a lot more about different fields and areas of interest. It has prepared me for a better work life, as I know how to work with other people toward a mutual goal. It has indeed given me one of the most valuable experiences in my college career.