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Claire Hsu

As this is my last blog post, I want to reflect on all the little bits of this internship that made it special in a way that can't be replicated.

 August 10, 2021

As this is my last blog post, I want to reflect on all the little bits of this internship that made it special in a way that can't be replicated.

1. R statistical coding

While I feel like I haven't pulled my weight in regards to R coding due to my previous zero background in coding, I have deeply enjoyed the process of exploring the different aspects of coding through problem sets and through our research project. I would like to thank Ellie and Kelly, my research partners, for assisting and guiding me through the coding process (plotting graphs, inputting columns of data, etc).

Moreover, I would like to thank one of my close mentors/guardian Khatib for encouraging me to not hesitate to ask for help when I explained my predicament in regards to coding through the internship.

Lastly, I would like to thank Pedro for agreeing to meet with me individually and providing me with valuable insight and resources to use in regards to coding.

2. Research Project (in whole entirety)

Allowing us to choose a research project of our own to experiment and make conclusions from is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for high school students.

Our research team worked on finding the relationship between metabolism and extinction rate for certain phylums during the Cenozoic era. When we received our final intervals, we were discouraged to find that our intervals couldn't reject our null hypothesis but as Pedro had mentioned: Don't be discouraged by null results. Null results are still results that are important to the scientific world.

3. A game of UNO

While we were unable to meet together in person for interactive activities, that didn't stop Pedro and Michael from hosting a virtual UNO tournament at the end of the internship. It was SO FUN and also coincidentally my first time playing UNO online (I was one of the final 4 players in the tournament yay).

Some insight to you before I sign off this blog: highly recommend you apply for this internship. This valuable opportunity not only allows you to see how statistics and coding is applied at a research level but more importantly, allows you to experience what it's like running and completing a research project.

My main takeaway from this program is that while research with all its aspects may not be exactly what I hope to delve deeper into the future, there are other aspects (like coding) that I'm definitely thinking of pursuing in the future!

As I heard others say, view the world with an open mind. Open yourself to new opportunities that may present you with new skills and passions you never thought of before because those opportunities are the ones that teach you the most.

My confidence grew through the program as a result of Pedro’s patient guidance and my own exploration

 July 7, 2021

Before being accepted into this program, I really didn’t hold high hopes in being accepted into the program (I initially thought they sent it to the wrong person haha). Like many others, I suffered from the imposter syndrome. However my confidence grew through the program as a result of Pedro’s patient guidance and my own exploration.

From reading past interns' blogs prior to applying to this program (hehe I bet you’re doing that now too), I knew that R statistical programming language would be a huge part of the internship (more so now with it being virtual). With virtually no programming language before, I dreaded the prospect of writing and attempting to learn complicated codes. But while it was frustrating at many times when the code kept on resulting in an error, being able to finally revise and run the code successfully was VERY VERY satisfying. I definitely look forward to exploring more of that coding on my own (and through the problem sets).

After reading the first few chapters of the book “Why Size Matters”, we conducted a reading discussion about the ideas revolving around the concept of size, more specifically its presence and impact within our world. Our first discussion took a delightful turn as we trailed off into a particularly interesting conversation about the relationship between time and size. Who would think they were ever related?

As Pedro explained to us, time seems to speed up as we grow in size. Remember those days in your youth when you thought that a day or week took forever to pass? Those are the times that demonstrate that time seems to speed up as we age (mainly due to the differing perspectives of time we hold due to our increase in size/age). I’m curious as to what unknowing turns our next reading discussion takes us. I’ll update you in the next blog post:)) See ya!