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Iteration Iteration Iteration

The more I get involved in research and academia I realize the importance of iterating. I have learned to roll my eyes or get really exasperated at the idea of inventing something totally knew or unheard of because, to me at least and I can feel myself getting jaded, it is completely naive to think that you won't need help/ the knowledge of others to come up with something revolutionary. Grad school has been really good at teaching me the importance of community, both socially and academically when developing new ideas or innovations. We are constantly improving on past ideas and seeing where new metrics or indices would be helpful to move us forward.

When I talk to people about make a true impact or thinking that this one paper will solve it all, I am blown away by how truly selfish I find that. Everyone in our field is working towards a common goal of understanding and you think that, your 2 years of grad school will be the break through we all need? At the same time I realize how important having this new energy is to keep things moving. We need to be able to ask why and how and is there a better way. I can feel myself losing that ability as I get so ingrained in my lab's methods that I forget to question if it makes sense.

All I can say is I'm learning that you probably won't come up with the best answer the first time but there is incredible value in putting yourself out there to be criticized so your next idea is slightly better than the last.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the post. I have made the same observation as you about iterations. Rinse, lather, repeat is the mantra. This is partially because validity is discredited without reproducibility. Unfortunately, this means that much of the work of the researcher isn't novel or often, even interesting. The reason that I returned to academia is because as a technical professional I was stuck doing the same assignments repeatedly. Boring. The bright side of iterative work in academia is that I get to choose the topic. Thanks again for the post.

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