REU Experiences

A nifty nine

This is my last week at Nimbus and I’m pretty bummed I won’t be working with a lot of the people I met here again. We gave practice presentations earlier this week and I was pretty impressed by all the work the other REU students got done and how nice their presentations are. The people who worked in the field, Amy and Jason, got some pretty nice work done and their presentations were super cool to hear about, especially since I’ve only been chatting with them about their work casually all summer. It’s pretty exciting to be going home so soon, too; I miss the mountains, blue lakes, and Oregon. But, I know when I get back home I’ll miss the students in my lab as well as the friends I made here. Tonight, we’re going on a bike ride to this forested area about 30 or 45 minutes away. It’s the same one from week two or three and the few of us who went then want to share the pretty bridge and canopied trails with the students who didn’t make it last time. We’re all trying to shove as much social time as possible into these last four days in Nebraska.

I got to learn so much this summer. Foremost, I learned about being my own advocate as I work on a project that I don’t know much about. The hardest part for me is knowing when something is big enough or complicated enough to ask someone about, and then figuring just who I should go and ask. Beyond the different tech I got to work with (ROS, C++, etc.), I also got to become a more independent researcher, knowing which online forums I should go to searching for information about my project, from the ACM library to Google Scholar to Stack Overflow. I also got some helpful take aways for what work environments I will enjoy in the future, easing the process of narrowing down grad school in the next two years. I’m happy to have the extra bullet points on my resume but am more excited about the experience I’ve gained and the friends I’ve made.

It’ll be a bittersweet goodbye to Nebraska and NIMBUS at the going-away coffee event the professors organized for us. Lucky me; I’ll have the opportunity to stay in touch and continue writing about the research this summer after I leave Nebraska. I really look forward to seeing where this interesting research goes.


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