Yes, I am back! Fortunately, I survived my first year at NIU and I am starting my first semester as a Sophomore.
This year, I am still working with Dr. Michael Eads from the physics department. Since I am getting used to the research compared to last year, I am little more confident about writing proposal and performing my research. In addition, my research is continuous from the last year, so the majority of the component in my proposal is similar to last year proposal. And, I am very interested to see my peer mentee’s research, because my group have such a diverse area of interests! Physics education, elementary education, geology, geography, english education, environmental study. I cannot even imagine what kind of research is going on in these field, and I am excited to have discussions with my group about their research! It might be a little challenging to manage the time and work among different programs and mentoring, but I already know that many people are supporting me such as my friends, Research Rookies team, mentor, and even my mentee, so I can thrive this semester too!
In terms of research, we are having slow and steady start. This semester is slightly busier than the last semester, and the first few weeks is simply waiting for the data to come up, so our main focus is to narrowing the research idea for this semester to create approachable and feasible goal. However, our research will also focus on the calculus section of the TLC, which makes me interesting to see the students’ performance not only in the physics, but also in the calculus field. Moreover, this year’s General Physics I class have larger number of the students compare to last year, which will increase the statistical significance of my data. Also also, we are focusing on individual Force Concept Inventory response to gain more specific data that we can share with the physics department to improve the physics education at NIU. I hope that one day, physics become approachable and interesting subject rather than plugging in the number and solving the problem. It is important to solve the physics problem, but students, including me, have to aim higher and understand the deeper concept of the physics that cannot be understood simply solving the physics problems.
Thank you for reading!