Manan Vij

Undergraduate Student, Columbia University in the City of New York
  • People
  • United States of America

I am a/an:

Undergraduate Leadership & Research Scholar


Columbia University

Research Topic

Biological Sciences Medical Sciences

Area of Expertise

Computer Science

I am from:

United States of America

I speak:


My hobbies/interests are:

Basketball Chess Outdoor sports Pets Programming Table tennis Technology Tennis Travelling

I am open to participating in mentoring/buddy programmes



Rooms participated in:

Columbia University

Recent Comments

Jun 30, 2023

I found your research on magnetic fields of neutron stars to be very exciting. I especially liked learning about how many different technologies/resources you had to use to do your project, such as having to both understand the theoretical, mathematical foundation for your work but then translating that work practically into code and simulations to quantify a new process to understand our universe. I am excited to see where this goes!

Jun 24, 2023
Replying to Benjamin Oren Goldman

1. One of the goals for my project is to examine and re-simulate some past results (and then build off of them). However, I'm often struggling to follow some of the mathematical derivations for these past theories. For example, under many circumstances, turbulence in an ionized gas can cause it to generate its own magnetic field, and there are theories as to what these precise circumstances are, and what shapes of magnetic fields can form. However, I'm having trouble making sense of these theories, since I haven't taken classes in many of the tools that are involved in their math. Additionally, I'm using a piece of software to conduct computational simulations of this turbulence, but I don't really understand how this software works, which is important for me to to give the right input data and understand its output data. These challenges have really shown me how large this project is and how long it will take. This summer is only the first step in my project, and I still have a lot of interesting work to do, especially since  the goals of this project have changed as well. Now, rather than examining the dynamics of stars such as our sun, I am now modelling what happens in neutron star collisions. This has been a challenging but enjoyable shift, since we now must also consider the relationship between changing magnetic fields and fluid turbulence. However, I'm excited for this shift, because neutron stars are really interesting.

2. Zotero has been useful for keeping all of my papers organized.. Also, the Python tool "Jupyter", has been really helpful in certain stages of the project because it makes it easier to experiment with different ways of analyzing data by continuously showing my code's results in "real time". Clio and the Northwest Corner library have been helpful because they contain some great textbooks on my topic. Also, the school's supercomputing resources have helped me to run simulations at higher resolution levels than would be possible on my laptop.

I agree with your point on using Zotero as an organizing tool for research, as it has helped me in a similar way as it did for you, and is something that I plan to continue using in the future as well. I've come to realize the necessity of organization when pursuing complex research goals and completely agree that these tools really help streamline workflow. 

Jun 23, 2023

1. Some new ideas, challenges, and other issues that I have encountered with regard to my project is running code with very large datasets, which presents a challenge both logistically (in terms of hardware), but also in more practical "run-time" terms. Since the dataset is very large and dense, the computer takes an incredibly long time to finish running, which presents a major challenge in doing further analysis of the dataset. In terms of shaping the larger project, the end goal still remains the same, however, given this larger sample size, the implications of this research will be much more convincing to others and for further study. 

2. Research resources that have been proven particularly useful to me are online coding resources/forums (especially StackOverflow) for debugging very detailed issues in my code. They have helped guide me in the correct direction to debug my scripts and have helped save time in my overall workflow. 

Jun 17, 2023
Replying to Krishan

1. My expectations for my research are, at least for this month in the first phase of the project, i want an annotated bibliography of my secondary sources on the topic that I can draw on for the future. I also do want to write a short bit about the primary sources and artwork I am working with, and put them in conversation with my secondary sources, not with the goal of creating a full, complete research paper, but just to synthesize my ideas a bit  and connect the dots of what I've been thinking about.

2. I think my work matters in terms of how I'm looking at an area of music research that's understudied, as music research often focuses on a very specific type of music and very specific type of composer that is "qualified" enough to be considered suitable for research. Going outside that, involving music creators that don't quite fit the "standard" bill, that are marginalized due to gender or national origin, is important.

I really liked your point about going beyond the traditional, "standard" notions of who is considered as a sophisticated or "qualified" musician, and how one impact of your research is to create real change in people's perception of music in order to tackle quite difficult issues around marginalized communities, with respect to gender and national origin. I agree that addressing these issues is very important, and I think the way in which you are tackling them, through the lens of music, is very interesting. 

Jun 16, 2023

1. Currently, my most immediate expectations for my research are to be able to put together a robust, comprehensive analysis of various single-cell and single-nuclei processing techniques and their effects on the biology that can be uncovered after applying the various techniques. This would help to benchmark the dataset for future use in other research projects. 

2. The research done in this project will be useful from a more logistical standpoint, as the benchmarking will help uncover optimal ways to analyze single-nucleus data. This is helpful because single-nucleus samples are easier to store, relative to traditional single-cell samples, so understanding the "nature" of this data source can beneficial in allowing researchers to utilize this data source more effectively. 

Jun 09, 2023
Replying to Ariel Yu

1. My research involves a lot of interviews and archives, in which people usually disclose a lot of sensitive information. A considerable number of people are also impacted by the carceral system in certain ways. It is thus crucial for me to protect their privacy and to use these pieces of information cautiously and within the limit of the research. To ensure that I'm fully conscious of these ethical concerns, I completed the IRB training on studies involving human subjects, talked with my supervisors a lot to understand the protocols, and tried to use my best judgment when it comes to something sensitive or ambiguous.

2. Since my research centers on possible alternatives to the current justice system and narrative change initiatives, I really enjoy listening to the interviews as well as discussing ideas with fellow interns and supervisors. People have brought up all sorts of strategies, paradigms, or experiences that fall into various places on the spectrum of abolition. These have inspired me to think more about the different ways we can encourage community safety and gradually decrease the presence of police and prisons. Someone also brought up this super cool NYT article about a neighborhood in Brooklyn policing itself for five days and receiving positive outcomes. Feel free to check it out!

I find your answer to the first question to be very interesting, especially in the context of the project I am doing, because the data that I am using my research is more distanced from the people that it was collected from. However, in conducting interviews and looking through archives, it seems that knowing what questions to ask based on the context and how to ethically get answers is incredibly important, since what is considered an appropriate or ethical question to ask someone may vary significantly between people and what they are comfortable sharing. I think your research is very interesting in this regard because what is considered ethical research may take on different forms, since your project involves uncovering personal stories. 

Jun 08, 2023

What are some of the ethical issues that you are grappling with in your research? What are some of the ways in which you are responding to these questions?

Although my research does not involve direct interaction with people or animals, matters regarding how the data was collected in my research study is an important ethical issue to consider when conducting analysis and interpreting research results. From a data collection perspective, it is important that the patients that chose to participate in the research trial had informed consent and were aware of their involvement within the research. Furthermore, given that the subjects involved in the research are often people with varying degrees of illness, it is especially important to make sure that each individual is capable of making sound and reasonable judgment regarding their choice to participate in the study.

As you continue your research, have you considered alternative viewpoints in your investigation? If so, how have these alternative viewpoints enriched or changed your project?

Yes, I have considered alternative viewpoints in my research investigation so far, which have allowed me to more comprehensively test my research question. As this project is interested in developing new analysis techniques, it is very important to be open minded to changing my analysis approach as new discoveries arise, that are steering the project in a direction that I was not originally considering. 

Jun 01, 2023
Replying to Nina Kornfeld

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.  

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.