Final Days

This internship has allowed me to go through the entire process of engineering design and manufacturing. I was able to learn computer aided design (SolidWorks) software to come up with a new and improved model of a device that will benefit biological research. I then took this concept from model to fabrication by learning several machining tools and techniques. Finally, I was exposed to building circuits and had  a go at programming the device for movement. The INSET program also taught me how to give scientific presentations, a valuable communication tool for any field. These are valuable tools and experiences to have in the field I would am pursuing as a mechanical engineer with an emphasis in aerospace.

I applaud the INSET team for allowing the interns the most out this experience by going the extra mile of coordinating get-togethers with people with very similar life paths. Speaking to many like minded people gives comfort to me and my life endeavors. Thanks, guys!

Finally, I couldn’t have asked for a better Lab. The Valentine Lab is just filled with so many down to earth, smart people! On top of that, I couldn’t have asked for better roommates. I can’t believe this summer is almost over, but the friendships are definitely not.

Thank you INSET Program!!!

Being an electrical engineering intern this summer, I am not going to lie was a lot of fun while altogether challenging. By challenging I am referring to all the new learning I experienced. Before the INSET program began I thought about how much I would learn this summer while working on a research project. As INSET comes to an end I realize that the amount of learning I experienced goes above and beyond what I expected!!! One of my responsibilities this summer was to program a TI MSP430 Microcontroller. I thought to myself, I have programmed in C language before so programming a microcontroller in C++ should be a piece of cake. Programming hardware requires a lot more structured coding and knowledge on the components you are working with. Learning about the many different applications to microcontrollers was eye opening because I was not aware of how many devices require one. I value the knowledge I have obtained while working with microcontrollers because I know it will be great help later on when I take circuit classes. Also, I can easily say my programming skills have developed from structuring a program to learning methods for debugging a program.
Aside from my research project, I enjoyed getting to know the other interns in the program and learning about their projects. I was very impressed by presentations my peers gave. Moreover, working with my mentor and INSET program coordinators was a privilege. They were tremendous help! I am very grateful for the opportunity of having participated in the INSET program. I could not have asked for a better summer! Thank you INSET Program.

Approaching the End

It is hard to think that it has already been seven weeks. Although it felt pretty short, I can safely say that these were the longest seven weeks of summer that I have ever spent. Over the course of this internship I met lots of awesome faculty members as well as interns. I learned a lot about how the life of a researcher works, and my interest in attending graduate school has increased thanks to this experience. This internship taught me a lot about myself, and helped me realize that research is one possible career path that I can see myself working in in the future.

Overall, it was amazing to see what the other interns in INSET were doing, for all the projects everyone had was vastly different and made our weekly meetings very interesting to attend. In the future, I hope to do more research work either as a volunteer or as an intern, in order to see if this is a good fit for me. After attending all these different seminars, I learned that every research experience is different, and that there are many opportunities out there. Although I struggled with presenting my project to those outside of my field, I know that I am getting better with my explanations, and I plan on working on expressing complex topics in a simple and concise form.

This entire summer was a learning experience that I am very grateful for. I learned so much about parallel programming and message passing interface through my project and my mentor. When I was familiarizing myself with the algorithms that we were using, I found out how powerful and useful Matlab is when it comes to these applications. While I am disappointed by the fact that I was not able to finish my project, I am glad that I was able to learn everything that I did from my mentor and from this experience. I will continue to seek more internships in the future in order to keep on learning more about myself and about the world of computer science.

INSET-The Final Week

Now that the internship is reaching its end, I realize this has definitely been the best way I could have spent my summer. I gained valuable skills, such as Matlab programming, that will later help me in my career. I also gained insight into not only the perspectives of graduate students, but also those of my fellow interns. Everyone has their own view on science, science education, and the future of research. I vastly improved my science communication skills and I am now more confident in my abilities to convey scientific ideas to people with different science backgrounds. Time and time again, I would have to change how I explain my project, especially during practice presentations, so others wouldn’t have to put in tremendous effort to follow along.  Also, it was nice to see how what I am learning in college is being used in practice. Seeing that connection has motivated me to continue learning as much as I can.

Last Week

Throughout my summer here in the Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS) at UCSB I have met some wonderful people and really learned about the research experience. I have had a great deal of fun this summer with my fellow interns and mentors, everyone just wants to see you succeed and help you to do that in any way they can. I feel very fortunate to have been given this opportunity to expand my research skills in such a friendly and encouraging environment. This opportunity has taught me to order my priorities, delve into the demanding and fulfilling aspects of research, and it has given me great skills in a field I had barely considered before this internship—political science.

I am sad to see this experience come to a close, but I know I will keep in contact with all the wonderful people I have met this summer and take all my new found knowledge and experiences with me to UC Santa Cruz in the fall. I am excited to use the information and skills I have gathered from this experience and use it in other internships, because I know just how valuable this training has been for my future goals. Thank you INSET and CNS for this great opportunity this summer!