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My research work with the department was one of the most significant research experiences I have had the opportunity to pursue. Essentially, this was my first glimpse into the real academic world. Mr. Curry most aptly summarized my experience by relating it to a first time swimming--people will keep you from drowning, but it is largely an individual effort to learn how to swim. I started the research completely unsure about what I would accomplish, what I would have to do, and if I was even capable of doing what was asked of me. I quickly learned that research is generally unstructured, allowing the researcher to pursue a multitude of paths in attempting to answer some question, and largely trial-and-error, because many attempted solution paths lead nowhere.
My research project was to study complex number dynamical systems. Since I had just completed my freshman year, I was not well enough educated to produce any groundbreaking results. Accordingly, I spent the summer reading various texts on the subject and learning how to code graphics programs that could demonstrate fundamental phenomena. My research culminated in a computer program that allowed the user to visualize the famous Mandelbrot Set and its corresponding Julia Sets.
From this experience, I began to understand how research is conducted. More importantly, I learned why research is fulfilling. Prior to this experience, I believed that research was a sequence of "Eureka's" resulting in advancements like differentiable calculus or General Relativity.
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"Walking the Path of Discovery." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Nov 2019
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