What have you enjoyed about your URSS project?
I definitely enjoyed many aspects of the URSS project but what comes to me as the first point is definitely that I have seen difference between being passive and being active in terms knowledge. It is very different to sit in the lectures learning the material and try to research yourself. This project had enabled me to try to work independently and try to figure out concepts that have not yet been looked at. This was definitely something I have not yet encountered before.
Secondly, I enjoyed also the sense of cooperation that people in my office shared. Despite the fact that most of the time the PhD and PostDoc students were occupied, or had only few weeks left for their dissertations they represented one team and they helped each other and me without any hesitation.
My supervisor was very good as well. He was online practically any time and feedback on my work was therefore very quick. I enjoyed it because my progress was much quicker than it would be if I did not have such an immediate response. He also tried to include me whenever there was meeting with other people working in the research group and there were skype meetings with CERN and Fermilab. I saw how people talk about their work and I could have presented my own to see whether there are any comments in order to improve and move further.
What have you found difficult?
Sometimes I have found that when I ran out of ideas on how to solve the problem, I could not see any "way out". I was doing my best to achieve some goals but sometimes I felt I cannot solve the problem. Obviously, there were always ways how to solve it so a little push from somebody helped me to figure out new way to approach the problem.
Also I found that time was very precious. I realized that even though I had plans to do some tasks throughout the day I was not able to manage sometimes. That had affected also my priorities in project and I have seen that despite the fact that I had done planning I had to adjust myself because I have encountered various problematic situations.
How do you feel that completing a project has/can help you?
1. In my studies: I have learnt a lot about 2 programming languages: Python and C++. They will be helpful with my programming modules.
I also learnt a lot about Particle Physics and The Standard Model which should definitely help me when I take on particle physics modules.
Use of Statistics especially Chi square Method and Maximum Likelihood method also can help when I take statistics modules.
2. I have learnt how to use Root platform which is a main platform for particle physicists which is always a handy knowledge. Also it helped me to see what exactly I liked about this project and see what exactly I would like to do in postgraduate study.
3. This precious experience had a lot of applications even if I decide that I am not going to complete any postgraduate study. Working in a team, thinking independently and numerical skills would pay of.
How did you find out about the URSS scheme?
My friend was very interested about doing research during the summer and so was I. I always wanted to know how particle physcis research actually work. So together we found out that physics department and some stafff were happy to take on students during the summer and this will be done in cooperation with URSS. There was an information evening with students who had done it and I really liked the idea, that is also where I found my supervisor.
What are your 3 top tips for URSS students about to start work on their research projects?
1. Make a plan - if you slip behind the schedule, do not panic though!
2. Ask questions when you get stuck - there is no point in trying to solve everything yourself if that would cost you a lot of precious time.
3. Be positive - nobody expects you to produce new equations of relativity so there is no point in trying to get worked up everytime something does not work.
What's next for you?
Firstly I would like to finish my undergraduate degree. Then I definitely would like to try to continue postgraduate studies in order to strenghten my independent learning and also to learn much more about the topic and problematics of Particle Physics.
How would you sum up your URSS experience in one sentence?
URSS project enabled me to open the door to research that I have dreamt the most about