Mathematics Program

Whitney Blackburn’s Reflections on Her Research Experience

  • Came to Appreciate Teamwork
  • Learned Perseverance
  • Solidified Career Decision to Become Environmental Engineer

I think the most important thing that I learned during summer research was about working in groups. I have always found working in groups difficult for things like class presentations and papers, because I always thought that I could do a better job on my own. During the summer research I still found that working in groups was a difficult task, but I also found that without the help of the group the problem would have been a lot harder to solve. I believe that without all of us working together the research project would have taken a lot longer and the final outcome wouldn’t have been as good, because the group as a whole solved the problems and decided in which directions the project needed to go.

During our research, I learned that no matter how difficult the problem seems, effort and hard work will lead to the right path and in some cases a solution to the problem.

I also discovered some of the difficulties of finding unbiased information about a politically-charged topic as much of the information we desired (studies, experiments, etc.) was not always readily available.

Finally, as a result of the research project, I decided to go to graduate school in environmental engineering (rather than in civil or mechanical) because I decided the idea of environmentally sound design systems really interested me.

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