Field Journal, 2023 Scholars, Week 2

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  • Last week the trainings and discussions we had cut across the disciplines. How does the interdisciplinary nature of this program, the fact that students are focusing on such a diverse range of projects, help you think about your project and/or your academic interests?
  • As you focus more fully on your individual research projects this week, what strategies or lessons from the discussions we had last week remain front and center for you?

Please answer these questions by creating a post of your own! You should also respond to another student’s post that you find interesting. Scroll down to the bottom of the entry and hit “Leave a comment”. Leave your reply in the box provided.

Remember: you should post your own responses by Thursday. You should respond to another student’s response by Friday.

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Go to the profile of Kira Ratan
12 months ago

1. Having greater exposure to a wide range of fields of research has been extremely beneficial in helping me place my own research within the context of research practices more broadly. As someone conducting research in the Humanities, it has been fascinating to learn about how research in STEM fields intersects with my own work in many ways and how many of the same considerations of consent and social benefit need to be taken into account, no matter what you are researching. I also think simply learning about relevant topics that exist in fields I am unfamiliar with has made me more aware and I am eager to learn more about these subjects I previously didn't know as much about. 

2. I have been thinking a lot about Dr. Klitzman's Research Ethics discussion, where we talked about the importance of taking ethics very seriously from the start of your research. As someone who is dealing with archives that contain personal documents, I am very aware of my place as a research and am thinking critically about people's positions in sharing their family history and how to do that in an effective and respectful manner. Even though some of his examples were referring to medicine and bioethics, I feel it has been very applicable as I think about my historical research, too. 

Go to the profile of Kayla Pham
12 months ago

Hi Kira,

In the same way you are fascinated with how STEM intersects with your humanities field, I am interested in how the humanities intersect with my STEM field. For example, my research involves a lot of work around physics and specifically waves. I've been studying sound waves recently for their application in Chemistry and I interestingly have been learning a lot about music at the same time. It's always incredible to see how fields intersect despite seemingly unrelatedness. Thanks! 

Go to the profile of Kayla Pham
12 months ago

Being exposed to a variety of research topics in different disciplines has been incredibly insightful. I foremost have a greater appreciation and understanding of topics outside of the immediate field I am studying. Having this exposure prompts to me look at my research question in a plethora of different ways. Instead of always approaching STEM problems from a pure Physical Chemistry perspective, I try to employ creativity and unconventional methods to go about solving a problem. Being in an interdisciplinary program puts me out of my comfort zone in the ways that I approach researching a specific question or topic. This type of interdisciplinary problem solving has been incredibly useful, especially when feeling "stuck" or when an experiment hasn't gone the way I hoped. 

As I focus more on my individual research project this week, I've been focusing specifically on the resources that were discussed during the librarian roundtable. I've been utilizing Columbia's databases and other resources to be able to access relevant literature to better contextualize my research. There are so many resources available to students that the struggle has actually been narrowing them down. Thus, I plan to use refining and filtering strategies to find literature that best suits my research needs. 

Go to the profile of Cady Chen
12 months ago

100% agree with you Kayla! Talking with humanities/social science scholars has inspired me to be a lot more creative with how I approach and present my data. Especially when I'm feeling stuck/limited to a set of specific analyses, it's been super helpful to challenge myself and find an alternative way to analyze my images. I also resonate with your second response—I've realized how much background knowledge I am missing for my project and have been trying to use Columbia's databases to put together a reading list of essential brain tumor-related papers/book chapters to get through!

Go to the profile of Sively de los Santos
12 months ago

I relate to your struggle of using the plethora of databases/resources that Columbia has. This week, I've found myself on both sides of the spectrum. Sometimes I search something and many searches come up so I feel overwhelmed with the amount of material I have to go through then sometimes I search something and the literature is limited and I have trouble finding other ways to access the information I need. Hopefully things are better for us next week!

Go to the profile of Cady Chen
12 months ago

1. The interdisciplinary nature of the Laidlaw program offers me unique perspectives from which to consider the scope and priorities of my research. In particular, a large majority of my peers’ project take an equity lens through which to approach problems in the humanities and social sciences fields. This equity perspective is particularly applicable to my research, for the ultimate goal is to develop therapies and benefit cancer patients in the real world. As such, engaging with my peers’ projects has pushed me to consider questions of access and quality, strengthening my resolve to always research with equity in mind, even in the basic science stage of the drug development process. Moreover, even within the umbrella of STEM, there is much to learn from my peers working on physics, chemistry, and data science projects. I’ve enjoyed talking through analyses and meeting up to learn computational skills with them!

2. Last week’s workshops on effective collaboration, especially on how to work with people who differ in their values and priorities, have been at the forefront of my mind as I participate in lab meetings and engage with other members of my lab. Lab meetings, in particular, bring out differences in lab members’ opinions and are a challenging environment to make my voice heard in. However, I plan on continuing to practice the leadership strategies that Pamela taught us to determine when to contribute/sit back during discussions. Moreover, I have been somewhat (pleasantly) surprised by the sheer amount of collaboration that occurs on a daily basis, and am grateful for the collaboration and communication strategies we have been equipped with! 

Go to the profile of Kira Ratan
12 months ago

I thought your comment about using research to address issues of equity and working towards improving the lives of different groups and communities was really insightful, Cady. At the end of the day, many of us choose projects/fields to focus on with the goal of making change in the world for the better. It's important that we remember to ground our work, from six-week research projects to larger aspirations, in accessibility and applicability in order to ensure that we are constantly thinking critically about the way we are approaching our interpretation of data, or archives, or whatever it may be, and are open to constructive feedback that helps direct us towards our underlying mission. Thank you for this!

Go to the profile of Grace Kaste
12 months ago
  • 1. During my meetings with my graduate student, I've been able to hear from the other Laidlaw students in my group about the early stages of their research. Each of our projects relates to law/policy in some way, but also focuses on completely different subjects. I feel like all four of us are at a similar stage, establishing preliminary background about each of our subjects. Because of this, hearing about their research process for grasping this background this week has helped me so much -- for example, they've reminded me to back up and ask broader questions when I get stumped, and inspired me to look at new resources when I hit a dead end. The diversity of topics is helping me to internalize the research process in general, instead of getting sucked into rabbit holes within my small topic.
  • 2. Our discussion with Professor Klitzman about research ethics has come to mind a lot this week. As he led us through demonstrations of ethical questions, he asked us whether a party involved should be required to disclose their intent to collect data or what a party’s responsibility to the community is as they perform and publish research. It made me realize the power of research and information, especially because it is almost impossible to always get the full picture. As I’ve started reading academic literature about the effectiveness of a type of environmental law, I’ve realized that the data presented is often manipulated, to the point that there are multiple papers that use the same data set to make completely contradictory claims about the effectiveness of this law. Environmental policy is a field where there is so much dark money on the side of fossil fuels, and it’s also a field where so much is at stake in terms of our planet’s future. Professor Klitzman’s lesson has stuck with me that there are often ulterior motives involved in research, and has caused me to be aware of the interests of the people whose research I read.
Go to the profile of Aristotle X
12 months ago

Hi Grace!

I really resonated with your second comment about research disclosure, and archives that are withheld to us. For me, police reports and court records are often sealed (particularly in the most recent case of Andrew Lester, who shot Ralph Yarl in April, where a judge ruled this week to partially seal Lester's file). For me, I've found that these archives are often manipulated and censored so that there is no "true" picture other than the foremost narratives of antiblack violence and Black death. However, this has made me think more closely about Dr. Redmond (the faculty member I'm assisting) and her project goal: she has made it clear that this is a project about Black life, and the ways we trace and recover this counterarchival are through different forms of documentation, imagination, and an understanding that much of institutional archival and information will not tell us a story that we are looking for, similarly to your critiques of environmental policy. Your post got me thinking about how ecologies are documented and traced through non-institutional means, and what that might teach us -- for example, indigenous and First Nations foodways or land stewardship.

Thank you!

Go to the profile of Karen Zhang
12 months ago

Your response to the second question really resonates with me. It was also interesting to see the amount of grey area when it came to research ethics as a lot of us were often unsure as to what the "right"/"wrong" answer was in response to Professor Klitzman's hypothetical scenarios, which goes to show how blurred some boundaries are and how we have to be clear in our intentions to the other parties involved in our research. It's also fascinating but scary to hear the way environmental law research gets manipulated with the same data set that produces contradictory results.

Go to the profile of Nina Kornfeld
12 months ago

1. As someone who has only really thought about STEM research, I have never fully understood what humanities research looks like, or how it works. Learning about the libraries and zotero, tools that at first felt geared towards humanities work, helped me not only better understand how this kind of research functions, but also ways I could potentially use these tools for my own work. I think engaging with everyone else's projects has opened up my eyes to the various forms research can take, as well as the important similarities of all these different types of research, such as the ethical considerations we all must think about.

2. I think the most applicable lesson I learned from last week was taking and implementing constructive criticism. Lab meeting is a time where everyone shares their latest work, and gets feedback from everyone else in the room about how to possibly improve their project. At first it was a bit stressful to present my project to a lot of knowledgeable researchers, but since then I have realized that the purpose of lab meeting is only to help everyone meet their research goals. In fact these sort of meetings have led me to see the spirit of collaboration in the lab, even when people are working on separate projects.  

Go to the profile of Manan Vij
12 months ago

Your comment on how the program has helped expand your understanding of humanities research is one that resonates with me. It is very important to understand how our research goes beyond academia and interacts with society at large, and I found that by discussing and learning about others projects, especially those in the humanities, I gained a better sense of how I could incorporate similar considerations into my research. I also agree with your comments on using the library resources for STEM oriented research and have found those tools to already by quite useful.

Go to the profile of Manan Vij
12 months ago

1. The interdisciplinary nature of this program is incredibly useful to help me think about my project and research goals. As someone whose research primarily deals with STEM topics, I found it incredibly interesting to learn about others' projects, which helped me gain a more comprehensive understanding of various research topics and active research areas. By having the change to learn about different approaches, methodologies, and ways of thinking, the interdisciplinary nature of this program can help broaden my knowledge base and inspire new ideas for my own research.

2. I think one of the many important research strategies and lessons that has resonated with me is our discussions with the librarians. I found that the various resources they presented and walked us through were very helpful to incorporate into our research project. For example, I am finding Zotero a very useful tool to keep track of developments in the project in an organized fashion. I hope to continue to make use of these resources as my project garners more complexity in the following weeks. 

Go to the profile of Rojeh Dayan
12 months ago

I completely agree Manan. I have also found it incredibly useful to learn about others’ projects as it has allowed me to look at my project differently, helping me think about my research in a different light. I think this is particularly interesting since my research deals with humanities topics, while yours deals with STEM, yet we both share this common perspective. I also think our sessions with the librarians have been essential, and those sessions have remained front and center for me this week. Similarly, I find that Zotero is an incredible tool that I plan on employing as my research continues.

Go to the profile of Aleena Garrison
12 months ago

I also found the session with the librarians to be helpful. They showed me a lot of “hidden” resources that I didn’t know about throughout the year like Zotero. I’m also using it for my research, and it’s already saved me so much time! I usually use a Google Doc to keep track of my sources but the links can get confusing and hard to search through. I’m hopeful that Zotero won’t give me this issue. 

Go to the profile of Benjamin Oren Goldman
12 months ago

1. My interactions with fellow researchers involved in a wide range of fields have created an exciting and beneficial environment for my own work. Some of the interdisciplinary skills I have learned from these interactions, such as locating sources efficiently and placing them in conversation, have directly helped me in my literature-review process. Additionally, conversations I've had with other students have certainly drawn me closer to a much broader range of interesting questions, especially those relating to equity in today's society. Finally, I have gained a deeper understanding of the underlying shared framework of inquiry that all projects use.

2. Shared messages from both the graduate students and and the faculty panelists continue to resonate with me. Their strategies for approaching unfamiliar fields, deciding on an interesting but tractable research question, and most importantly, their clear enthusiasm for their fields have helped me to overcome some initial challenges in my project. They also have provided an important reminder that research is driven by one's personal motivation, whether that's a drive to change something broken in society, or to simply understand an interesting phenomenon. It's important that we keep our intentions and principles in mind when doing research.

Go to the profile of Joseph Karaganis
12 months ago

I really resonate with your comment about the "interdisciplinary skills" that exist across different fields--one of the things I've noticed is that a lot of the ways that I've thought about or approached past research have carried over into my Laidlaw project, despite different topic areas or methodologies. There are some research norms and skills that are universal--this makes them just that much more foundational and valuable. 

Go to the profile of Sively de los Santos
12 months ago

Because the trainings/discussions we had last week covered many disciplines, I was able to gain exposure to the affairs or tenets of different fields. As a student who is undecided in major, it was interesting to learn about fields that I don't get to engage in or don't know much about ex. 3D printing. 

From last weeks discussions the idea of engaging with feedback remains front and center for me. I am not conducting an individual research project but, instead, I'm working on a faculty member's research project that has been ongoing before me and will continue after me. This week, while working on the project, I've been exposed to new methods or strategies of conducting research that I wasn't familiar with but, the knowledge of that difference has helped me gain access to more information/sources than I would have before. 

Go to the profile of Sarah Bryden
12 months ago

I completely agree about it being interesting to learn about fields outside of your own! I've already been exposed to so many new topics, questions, and ideas. Not only has this enriched my own research, but it's also been so enjoyable. Also, your comment about engaging with feedback really resonates with me, since asking for help/feedback this week has been very nerve-wracking. 

Go to the profile of Rojeh Dayan
12 months ago

1. The fact that students are focusing on such a diverse range of projects allows me to see my project from perspectives other than my own. Since my project is much more focused in the humanities, seeing other students conduct STEM research, for example, allows me to see my project in a different light, while also considering how our projects compare and contrast. There are many differences, but also many similarities in these varying types of research. For example, the ethics session with Dr. Klitzman is essential for any type of research.


2. The lessons we learned from the sessions with the librarians have really remained front and center. In particular, working with my personal librarian to delve deeper into CLIO and databases has been immensely useful. Additionally, learning how to use Zotero was great since it allows me to keep track of my sources, letting me stay organized and on top of changes.

Go to the profile of Kashish Kumar
12 months ago

I particularly agree with your mention of the ethics session with Dr. Klitzman. Regardless of our specific research areas, ethical considerations are crucial in any type of research. Understanding the ethical implications of our work and incorporating ethical frameworks into our projects is essential for maintaining integrity and ensuring the well-being of participants or subjects. Dr. Klitzman's session provided valuable guidance and emphasized the importance of ethical awareness and decision-making, which is applicable across disciplines. The lessons from the librarian sessions have not only equipped us with practical research tools but have also emphasized the importance of information literacy. In an era of information overload, it is crucial to critically evaluate sources, discern reliable information from misinformation, and understand how to effectively use scholarly resources. These skills will undoubtedly benefit us not only in our current research projects but throughout our academic and professional careers.

Go to the profile of Kashish Kumar
12 months ago

1.  Interacting with students from different disciplines has exposed me to a variety of perspectives, methodologies, and approaches to problem-solving in a research setting. This exposure has helped me think beyond the boundaries of my own area of research. It has encouraged me to consider alternative viewpoints and innovative solutions I might not have explored otherwise. The exposure to different research areas has encouraged me to delve deeper into topics outside of what I have previously been exposed to. This past week has been invaluable in shaping my academic interests and inspiring me to pursue interdisciplinary research further.

2. Strong communication with mentors and informed collection of data are key takeaways from last week that have guided my involvement so far. I have found that the universities computing and database resources are especially helpful to my area of translational study. Also, connecting with my mentor to discuss different methodologies under the same goal or research question has broadened my understanding of the field. 

Go to the profile of Grace Kaste
12 months ago

I definitely agree with you about the importance of communicating with mentors! My relationship with my graduate mentor has been so inspiring this week, since she has been through these very same stages with her own research but did it recently enough that she remembers the most challenging aspects. Talking with her, like you said, has also broadened my understanding of the field, since her research has been in similar areas but has worked with different types of data and methods. It's been so helpful whenever I feel stuck. 

Go to the profile of Daniela Palacios
12 months ago

I liked that you mentioned using different methods to reach the same goal and how you emphasized the importance of leaning on our faculty mentors. It can be helpful to approach one's research question from a slightly or completely different angle and our mentors can support us in doing so. 

Go to the profile of Sarah Bryden
12 months ago

1. So far, hearing about the wide range of projects people are working on has helped me clarify the methodology for my own project. For instance, when my grad student mentor led a meeting this week, a few people explained how they were incorporating quantitative analysis into the qualitative aspects of their research, like interviews. Their explanations made me realize that doing something similar could help me in my project as well.

2. Because I'm starting to accumulate many sources, I've found that the discussions about Zotero and bias have both been very relevant. I had never heard of Zotero before last week, and it has been such a helpful way to organize what I read. Keeping potential biases in mind has been valuable when reading secondary sources. It's also been very important to consider bias when working on translating song lyrics, since it is sometimes difficult to come up with English words that match the bias, or lack of bias, conveyed by the original. 

Go to the profile of Benjamin Oren Goldman
12 months ago

Your comment on considering bias while investigating a source is really interesting, since it made me realize how much our society and background shapes the way that we might interpret anything from song lyrics to datasets. I agree with your idea that one's language can sometimes provide a limiting framework when representing a different culture, and it applies to my own project because it mirrors the fact that often one loses important information when making choices on how to represent data or simulate a problem.

Go to the profile of Karen Zhang
12 months ago

I agree with your second comment, especially about translation since part of my observations involve conversations with students in Mandarin. I definitely have to keep in mind my positionality coming in when I talk to students and the bias that may come in as I translate the conversation for my fieldwork notes.

Go to the profile of Joseph Karaganis
12 months ago

1. Working in an interdisciplinary environment can be really motivating--I've been exposed to research methods and topic areas that differ completely from my own. Yet there is often a surprising degree of overlap, even with the most disparate research projects--I've encountered projects that use the same broad methodology as I do but with staggeringly different results. One of the things my time at Laidlaw has shown me is the immense diversity of thought present in different methodological approaches to social science--some veer closer to STEM, others remain firmly grounded in the qualitative work present in the humanities. This diversity is a great strength, and I think it helps me frame my project as part of a larger conversation between different fields which each do their best to accurately frame and analyze the intricacies of human social experience.

2. I've been thinking a lot about how my research could one day intersect with various leadership roles in the policy world. I'm studying an emerging and evolving social phenomenon, and as someone who hopes to be able to shape the way that phenomenon is talked about in the public sphere and in the context of government regulation, I've become conscious of how my research serves as a foundation and background to those interests. I think that this perspective reinforces my drive to pursue my research in an ethical way (avoiding biases and working within the best available norms) and to shape it in the service of whatever public good it might be useful for.

Go to the profile of Erica Lee
12 months ago

Hi Joe, I definitely have similar reflections to you on the purpose of our research. With my faculty mentor, I have discussed what the culmination of my final project may look like, and at this stage in the research process, It is hard to determine who I want speak to before I know what I want to say. The way that we choose to disseminate research is certainly a question of ethics and equity, so I am really interested to see all of the ways in which we decide to share our findings at the end of the program. 

Go to the profile of Aleena Garrison
12 months ago

I enjoy hearing about the range of projects that everyone is working on in this cohort. During the school year, my studies were primarily STEM centered (apart from Lit Hum), and that’s what encouraged me to try something different and take on a humanities based research project this summer. The range of projects that people are taking on this summer inspire my research methods and academic interests. During our discussions, we talked a lot about how to begin research and what methods to take based on if we had humanities or STEM projects, and I found a lot of overlap between the disciplines that I could use in my own research that I hadn’t thought about before. Additionally, the range of projects make me curious to learn more about subjects I hadn’t thought much about before, such as linguistics and the overlap of music, which I found really interesting.

One thing that I have kept in mind is the fact that 6 weeks is not a long time at all. I can’t believe we’re almost 2 full weeks into this program. Time has always been difficult for me to manage, and I definitely felt it this week. I wanted to get so many things done for my research, but I only managed to complete about half of what I originally set out to do. Instead of beating myself up about not finishing everything on time, I remembered what was told to our cohort during our first meetings, which was that research is a process that is different for everyone. Every week will look different from the last, and just because I didn’t complete what I initially set out to do doesn’t mean I will have similar problems next week. Now I know that I have to adjust my goals for the week. 

Go to the profile of Nina Kornfeld
12 months ago

I definitely agree on the fact that there is some interesting overlap in STEM and humanities research methods. I found the ethical considerations every researcher must take particularly interesting, especially Dr. Klitzman's various examples of ethical shortcomings in different research projects. I also cannot believe how time flies, and have realized that perhaps my initial goals are a bit too much to complete in only six weeks.

Go to the profile of Krishan
12 months ago

I really resonated with your second point about how research and structuring research looks different for everyone. This is an important thing to even keep in mind also for my own expectations of myself. I should not always give myself the expectation that what I output will look exactly the same every week. There might also be times where I spend a lot of time on sources, but get less results, so it's important to always step back, appreciate what I have done, set smaller goals, and see research as a process. 

Go to the profile of Daniela Palacios
12 months ago

1. The interdisciplinary nature of Laidlaw and my peers' diverse interests and project topics has helped me think more comprehensively about my own research topic. I have grown a greater appreciation for how data collection and quantitative methods are also applicable to humanities and social science research. I am now more interested in exploring theoretical models in my research as these types of frameworks can be useful guides to understand and analyze complex social phenomena.

2. From the Faculty Roundtable last week, I learned that I should embrace the research process and let the data guide me to craft my research question as that is key.  The research guides and Librarian Roundtable helped me feel more conformable navigating online media platforms like CLIO and Zotero. I have been able to begin developing a literature review which will enable me to contextualize my research and add to the ongoing conversations between experts.  

Go to the profile of Ariel Yu
12 months ago

I really resonate with your point that letting the data guide your research process. I similarly find myself changing or narrowing my research topic, given the feedback from what I found in the process. Sometimes my theory is modified or challenged by the data, and it's definitely a highlight of the research project. I'm really excited to see how you continue tailoring your research topic!

Go to the profile of Aristotle X
12 months ago
  • Last week the trainings and discussions we had cut across the disciplines. How does the interdisciplinary nature of this program, the fact that students are focusing on such a diverse range of projects, help you think about your project and/or your academic interests?

Meeting students who are also working on music, though from different methodologies or disciplines, really helps me understand new techniques and approaches to understanding music as a counter/archival practice, which I'm really grateful for! Another thing I appreciated was the opportunity to connect with students in the social sciences -- for example, I met with Emily Schmidt, the Government Information and Journalism Librarian, last Wednesday with students who were working on projects in the social sciences, and got to learn more about accessing court records and general public records, which was a helpful overlap in disciplines -- even though these documents are not the focus of my research, I need to access some of them to contextualize and ground my narration of historical events, particularly in terms of court records for cases like Ralph Yarl, which might reveal glimpses of the music that Yarl was practicing or playing in the moments before Andrew Lester shot him. 

  • As you focus more fully on your individual research projects this week, what strategies or lessons from the discussions we had last week remain front and center for you?

One of the biggest strategies I'm keeping in mind is how to synthesize diverse leadership skills, as I'm working with another student to assist a faculty member. We're both very flexible thinkers, and I've noticed that they always help me remain grounded and organized in my research through creating documents and organizing our findings, which lets me stick to my direction of research instead of branching off too quickly. This has helped me particularly with drafting questions to ask regarding document or musical access, such as finding orchestral scores or performance repertoires.

Go to the profile of Karen Zhang
12 months ago

1. The interdisciplinary nature of the program really makes me reflect deeply on how a research project can be a patchwork of different topics and research methods altogether. For example, I’m working on a social science research project that intersects education, anthropology, and urban studies altogether. Through the digital humanities workshop in the Laidlaw program and the possibilities of technology in research, I’m really interested in the intersection of data to pursue research questions in the humanities and social sciences and hope to incorporate technology using the qualitative data from my fieldwork into my project.

2. I found the sessions with the librarians to be incredibly helpful in teaching me about the vast number of resources that we have access to as Columbia students that can aid us in our research. I’ve learned to navigate databases, catalogues, and more to narrow my research and find relevant articles to my research topic. This is especially because the resources out there can feel overwhelming given the sheer amount, but it’s possible to find the relevant information with the right tools.

Go to the profile of Ariel Yu
12 months ago

1. I really appreciate the chance to learn about other research topics and various disciplines. Initially, I imagined my research to be more social science focused, but by listening to all the interdisciplinary approaches, I'm now incorporating more scientific methods into my data gathering and analysis. I also find expanding my primary sources from primary interviews to include archives, statistics, and other databases very helpful.

2. As I start working with the research team, I find the research ethics seminar, the lunch talk with librarians, and my graduate mentor's lesson on how to stay on top of my project really beneficial. For example, to be eligible to clean the transcripts, I needed to complete an IRB training, and listening to Dr. Klitzman helped make the process easier and more intuitive. I also used CLIO to get access to a lot of oral history projects, books, and legal documents. I also applied the time-management tips given by my graduate mentor and found my project more organized. 

Go to the profile of Kelly Aika Yoshimura
12 months ago

I appreciate how you mentioned using primary sources and expanding the information you can draw from for your research. I've also taken advantage of CLIO as well as Proquest, and I've found using the sources that are collected from dissertations to be very helpful. This has helped me keep my time and data much more organized. 

Go to the profile of Kelly Aika Yoshimura
12 months ago
  • Last week the trainings and discussions we had cut across the disciplines. How does the interdisciplinary nature of this program, the fact that students are focusing on such a diverse range of projects, help you think about your project and/or your academic interests?

I have been able to explore different approaches to conducting my research such as including mapping tools and quantifying the qualitative interviews I conduct. I've also looked toward implementing more data analysis through a statistical approach. 

  • As you focus more fully on your individual research projects this week, what strategies or lessons from the discussions we had last week remain front and center for you?

Understanding how to collect data more ethically through interviews has been essential to my research, as well as collecting as much data as possible in a short amount of time. Prioritizing certain resources and learning how to consolidate information to be effectively used in my research, particularly Sage guidebooks in obtaining qualitative data. 

Go to the profile of Erica Lee
12 months ago
  • Interacting with other members of the cohort has made me feel a greater sense of community as we approach similar questions of ethical research and position ourselves in specific academic niches. In meetings with my mentor group, it has been wonderful to voice concerns and try to answer each others questions as we try to navigate methodologies to conduct research and literature review with.
  • As I continue my individual research, the leadership workshops alerted me that I need to work more on my leader from within, and as I conduct independent research and asynchronous work, I have found discipline in time management to be a constant struggle. I have been able to find more balance through routine and speaking to librarians and mentors, but it is definitely an ongoing projects. 
Go to the profile of Krishan
12 months ago

1. My project is an individual research project, and as I am researching music in its historical/artistic context my research requires me to go into other fields like History/art History in order to make a point— I can't just stay within the one song I'm working on. Talking to other Laidlaw students about how they are using archives, for example, or what they do with their sources has been incredibly helpful, because learning approaches from other disciplines allows me to think outside the box on my topic. I'm also interested in learning from students that have research projects at the complete other end from what I'm working on, in STEM disciplines like Physics or Neuroscience. This is because hearing someone who is passionate about their field talk about their research gives me a different and more engaging side of physics, for example, than I had to learn in high school textbooks, 

2. One discussion that really remains important for me are the discussions the faculty were having at their roundtable about creating a research project, the difficulty of narrowing an issue down, and the way fields and disciplines change over time. As I sift through academic articles, trying to decide which ones are relevant, and seeing how the conversation really depends on the place and date of origin of the articles, it reminds me of what they were saying. 

Go to the profile of Dongfang Linda Qu
12 months ago

Definitely resonates with your struggle to narrow down scholarly literature! I've been letting myself explore but also trying to keep in mind that I need to focus on a specific event/person/topic to analyze so I can arrive at some sort of conclusion at the end of these 6 weeks, or the phase 1 of this research project. It's been difficult navigating through so many words, but I think I've gotten much better at it. 

Go to the profile of Dongfang Linda Qu
12 months ago

1. The interdiscplinary nature of the program exposes me to many fields beyond my own, many of which I would not have been able to learn about hadn't I met a Laidlaw scholar who's develoiping expertise in the field. I find all the STEM projects fascinating, but as I conduct research in the Humanities, I find it particularly comforting that there are many people who are interested in Humanities research and who are manifesting those interests in a myriad of different projects. It gives me confidence that there are people out there who would care about my research after all, making me believe that what I do will make impact one day. 

2. As I immerse myself more fully into research, I'm leaning into the Columbia library databases that the librarians have discussed during the roundtable session. I'm learning to navigate the many filters of CLIO, using boolean techniques and different catalogs to narrow down my sources of interest. It gave me minor headaches to just sort through the books I've borrowed and pick out the ones that are roughly pertinent to my interest, but my professor has become a great help in narrowing down relevant literature as I'm learning to open up to his mentorship. 

Go to the profile of Lucia Victoria Enriquez
11 months ago

Hearing about such amazing, diverse research topics from fellow researchers made me all the more inspired to think of the broader impact that my research could have in different fields, and also made me think about what outside research methods I could employ to better inform my work. Even reading up on research regarding the history of the observatories from which our X-ray image data is coming, and how/under what circumstances our data is collected in general, could really help educate me on the greater context surrounding my research. Understanding topics that further research and development in the world today is always very important and has served as a great reminder to me that there is much more opportunity in this area of work. 

I really hold the Research Ethics panel at the front of my mind as I look through the observatory histories and make it a point to delve into the creation of the archives I am pulling from. It is very important to also keep in mind the vast other array of resources I have through Columbia's amazing institution which I was able to learn about through the librarian panel as well.