Nina Kornfeld

Student, Columbia University
  • Columbia University
  • People
  • United States of America

I am a/an:

Undergraduate Leadership & Research Scholar


Columbia University

Laidlaw Cohort Year


Research Topic


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Recent Comments

Jun 02, 2023
Replying to Aleena Garrison

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. 

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.

Jun 01, 2023

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.  

May 24, 2023
Replying to Manan Vij

1. I would like to learn about how leaders manage conflicts in the research setting, especially when it comes to working with large teams and managing different individuals conflicts within an academic setting. I also hope to learn about how I can use my interests and new skills that I will learn to make a larger, impactful difference on the world, so as to make my research meaningful. 

2. One of the first steps I intend to take to start my project is that I will get very familiar with the documentation and scientific theory behind the concepts I will explore within my project. I would also like to learn how to do a thorough literature search to ensure that I am keeping up to date with the latest advancements in the field.

I think your answer to the first question points to a really important aspect of leadership. Conflict resolution is a critical part of working with others, and since conducting research is not a solitary pursuit, even though sometimes it may feel that way,  it is an important skill that can be applied to the projects we are working on right now. Also, going through some background information about your project is really great way to get started- after all in order to conduct meaningful research, it is important to first understand what you are trying to find. I think it is definitely a good idea for me to do as well!

May 24, 2023

1. I hope to learn about different kinds of leadership and how I can use them to contribute to the communities I am a part of, as well as further develop my own style of leadership. I also want to learn more about utilizing leadership skills in different environments.

2. I think the first challenge on my mind is just getting started on my project. I think looking at what I want to achieve overall is a bit intimidating, and I do not quite know where to start. But breaking down my goals into clearer tasks, and having more conversations with my faculty mentor will probably help me get started. I have already run into some difficulties with the parts of my project that I have started, but I think that is all part of the research process, and I am working to find alternative methods I can use.