My project is going well, though a lot more time is going towards preparing for NCUR and URAD than I expected. The platform should still be presentable, if not complete, by the end of the month. I need to keep to the schedule I have planned, and possibly spend more time in the lab testing. Really, making sure I put in the hours is the only thing I can do to make sure that the system is ready for the conferences.
On a separate note, I rather enjoyed the reception hosted at President Baker and Dr. Stover’s home on March 2nd. It was a great chance to get to know more of the Research Rookies and talk with some of their mentors. As a whole, the Research Rookies Program has provided me many opportunities to network with faculty and fellow students who share similar interests. This program has set the foundation for a successful and productive time at NIU and will hopefully prepare me for the work I will be doing in a professional setting. By developing this early research experience, I will hopefully have a leg up on other Computer Scientists, opening a whole new job market.
In relation to the “I ❤ NIU” campaign, NIU has provided me a ton of opportunities that many of my friends at other colleges don’t have access to as freshmen. Many of them have no opportunity to start performing formal research, something that I’ve grown to love thanks to NIU. I’m not allowed to talk about what has been the greatest impact so far as of now, but it’s an opportunity that I haven’t heard anything close to it being offered from other colleges. I don’t think I would have been as encouraged to apply for it if it weren’t for the Research Rookies program and the friendliness of the NIU faculty.