Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Undergrads are awesome!

The end of last semester seemed very rushed, and I didn't have a chance to have a "semester end" meeting with the two undergrads I was working with.

With the grant deadline, and peer-reviewing, and trying to make progress on work for other collaborations, I hadn't yet made it a priority to get back in touch, when, *ding*, *ding*. Two new emails in my inbox. Both of the undergraduate students I worked with last semester emailed to see if they could work with me again this semester. I am so very excited to get to work with students who are ambitious, motivated, and very bright!

Of course, I have to have realistic expectations for what can be accomplished during the semester, when they are both taking courses full-time, but slow and steady progress is being made.

One project will be included as part of a larger collaboration. There is still a little extra analysis to do, but I'm starting off the semester by having this student write up the summary of the results and the methods, because I think it is good practice, and also a good reminder of what all we have done since last summer. This student has made tremendous contributions (including many hours of tedious cataloging and parsing), and so I am negotiating authorship for this student on the paper with my collaborators.

The other project has made less progress, but is still very interesting. The student will be leaving at the end of the semester (graduating and going on to different things), and so this semester we are going to focus on writing up the results and at least submitting to an undergraduate journal. If the student is able to get more analysis done this semester also, I think the project will be substantial enough to submit to a peer-reviewed journal. We'll see how it goes.


Amit said...

Your students are very lucky to work with such a great mentor like you, Melissa!

mathbionerd said...

Thank you Amit. That means a lot. :) I think I will always be learning how to mentor, but it is nice to know that I haven't completely scarred them (or scared them away)... yet. ;)