Sunday, November 13, 2016
Did you do research when you were an undergrad? Well.. it was a different time.
Dan is a high school student who has worked with me and is now an ugrad at College Park
DAN: Bill, did you do research when you were in high school?
BILL: No, things were different then, there wasn't really a mechanism for it. Or, as you young people would say, it wasn't a thing.
DAN: When as an undergrad did you begin to do research?
BILL: Well, I never did research as an ugrad either.
DAN: Then how did you get into Harvard? Did they accidentally put your folder in the wrong pile?
BILL: Good question. I'll ask my adviser if he recalls what went wrong back in 1980.
DAN: Really? You'll ask him?
Okay, the real question here is:
At some point (before 1980) doing research at an ugrad in college was not really a thing many people did.
And now its quite common.
What changed? Is the change for the good? I'll phrase my thoughts and questions in the form of a question (the opposite of Jeopardy).
1) Are there more magnet schools and more ways to funnel students into research early?
2) Do computers allow students to to more research than they could have back before (say) 1980?
3) Is the phrase `HS research' a bit odd- it is more learning then doing?
4) Is there a cycle going on- since more students are doing research, more have to do research to keep up in order to get into grad school? Is this even an issue for college admissions and/or scholarships?
5) Has the quality of research at HS science competitions increased ? Ugrad research? Grad student research? Prof research?
6) Does having HS or ugrads do research with you increase or decrease your productivity? (That depends on the students of course)
7) Do colleges give faculty kudos for guiding HS or ugrad research? (That depends on the school of course)
8) Are there more grants for ugrad research then before 1980? Are REU programs fairly new?
9) Does an ugrad now NEED to have done research to get into one of the top X grad schools? If so is this a good thing or not? Does this hurt those without the oppurtunity to do research? Do REU programs help alleviate this problem?
10) Are students entering grad school knowing far more than they used to?
11) Some magnet schools REQUIRE HS students to do research. Is this a good thing?
12) I've been using 1980 as a reference for no good reason- when did HS research and ugrad research increase? Was it gradual or was there some big increase over some X years where X is small?