Seeing is believing!

Seeing is believing!

Hi my name is Robert Williams I’m a first year Chemical Engineering major at Santa Barbara City College. I am doing research with the INSET program here at UCSB. This program is a summer research opportunity that gives undergrads exposure to research. I am in my third week so far of project INSET. During week one I was introduced to Maria and Erika our program directors. During this first meeting they told us what to expect and what we should learn from our research here over the summer.

During week one I was focused on what will be expected from me as a researcher. During this time I also got to meet my mentor and most of the lab team. From talking to them I got a better sense of my role in the lab and my part over all research goals. I noticed that my lab members are very nice and helpful. When I have a problem they are eager to help me figure it out or refer me to someone who could. I also did a lot of background reading for my project during week one. My project is focused on building an optical system tailor made for microfluidic devices. I don’t have much of a background in optics and I haven’t taken physics yet so I had to read a lot.

Once Week two came around I was fairly comfortable in my lab environment and with asking the people around me for help. During this week I also had to continue doing background research. The reason why I need to read this much is because my system must be able to work 100% on paper way before I pick up a tool and start building my optical system. So week 2 and week 3 so far have consisted of a lot of reading and also finding the proper equations needed to predict how my optical system will behave when fully built.

Finally To whoever reads this and plans on doing research asking questions is very important and will not make you look bad, especially if you have been working hard but became stuck. So don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Robert Williams

Robert is an SBCC student conducting research for the summer here at UCSB. He is a Chemical Engineering major who will be doing optics related research for the INSET program.