Week 5

This week we worked on preparing base profiles and study methodology as we work on getting our pilot study up and running. We are planning to conduct a pilot study in order to get a baseline for the profiles and to see if users can even notice a different between our base profiles and variations of the profiles, and given the results of the study we will modify the overall study. This work involved filtering through the real resume data we have to find profiles that seem to be good on all counts, meaning they have a relatively well-written summary and matching educational and job experiences.

On Wednesday of this week, I attended the REU Lunch and Learn about presenting research and I learned from several professors about their experiences as well as tips and advice for presenting research at all levels, whether that be at conferences via talks or posters or in short elevator-pitch-style discussions. I learned a good tip about always preparing talks for myself that are different lengths about my research so that I can be prepared for any type of presentation about my research, so this means I should have 1, 5, 10, and possibly 20 minute talks prepared about my research as I start participating in conferences and talks. This is really good advice especially as I prepare for graduate school applications wherein I may have interviews with professors and will have to discuss my research experiences with them.

Later on Wednesday, I attended two meetings with my project group where we got a lot of good advice for both the methodology of the project and research questions and the study. The PhD student gave a presentation in his other research group and his professor in that group gave a lot of good feedback as we discussed the project and the issues we were running into regarding how to control a lot of the variables in the study. The second meeting was our usual lab group meeting with another professor in the department to get his feedback on both our new methodology from the prior meeting and our upcoming plans for preparing the study. These meetings were really helpful for me to see the process of creating the research questions and methodology because in my previous research experience, I sort of joined the group when the methodology had already been discussed. Learning about the research process in this way has been really helpful for me, and it’s also really fun to figure it all out even though it can be difficult to focus our ideas.

Towards the end of the week, I worked on creating base profiles specifically for one occupation for the pilot study, and we will start to create the pilot study next week. Also, I was able to get an account to connect to the UIUC servers now so I can start to work on the groups’ cluster and on the text and image generative algorithms. I’m now halfway through my DREU program, and we are looking at preparing a paper for the CHI conference with this project, so I am very excited to get the pilot study underway as we progress with this work.

Written on July 17, 2020