filename = ‘blog1.mat’;
As someone with limited exposure to programming and coding, knowing that I’d be working with MATLAB for eight weeks worried me. I wanted to finish B-SURF with a greater understanding about how science is produced, and I was afraid that my inexperience would hinder my progress. Interestingly, MATLAB has already taught me some of my most important lessons in science.
- Learn by trial and error: This is basically how I’ve learned everything. Whenever I need to execute a function, I search for the type of command I want on mathworks.com/help/matlab/index.html, and experiment until it works. Watching an error message disappear is one of the most satisfying feelings.
- Collaboration is important: Luckily for me, some of the other undergraduates in the lab have several years of programming experience. Working with them is always extremely helpful. I spent most of the other day trying to optimize a script, and one of the undergraduates rewrote the entire code in 10 minutes. Thanks, Alan.
- Science can take on many forms: Throughout high school I always held a notion that scientific research was a bunch of people in white lab coats watching over boiling, colorful liquids or looking through a microscope. Little did I know that my first research experience would involve a lot of MATLAB, and few white lab coats.
I’m much more optimistic at the end of week one, and I didn’t expect to enjoy my work as much as I do. I’m excited for the work I’m doing, and am eager to see where my project goes.