Hey all, this is Narimane early stage researcher 10 from Bordeaux.
Let me say, it was a very intense month, we were kept very busy with the lectures, assignments, and deadlines.
As you may already know, the second workshop of PersonalizeAF, organized by Maastricht University was held between March and April.
The lectures were done online and covered topics on signal and image processing, Systems biology, and atrial fibrillation and we also had training modules on transferable skills such as Diversity in research and Academic Creative Thinking. We have really had miscellaneous topics and we were able as ESRs to rework many of our research frameworks and gain new analytical skills.
Personally, the main takeaway from the workshop was not to learn the entirety of the lecture content but to become more familiar with a wide range of topics. And of course, it was great having the opportunity to meet, virtually, and be able to discuss with ESRs from the personalizeAF network. Also, it feels good to socialize even through our screens in times of Covid, we had to work on our mini-projects and final presentations in small groups for almost all the lectures
One training that particularly interested me, I believe that my colleagues would agree too, is Academic Creative Thinking which is not an engineer-related topic but somehow it is.
I highly recommend Victor’s latest blog post in which he gave some thoughts on creativity and science, he raised the question of whether there is room for creativity in science.
Jeanine de Bruin, the director of Hakuna Matata science & media, mentioned the theory of the cloud advanced by Uri Alon which piqued my curiosity so I have had a look at his ted talk.
“ Here, A represents what we currently know and B represents what we would like to know. Our desire is to move from A to B in as direct a line as possible. However, we usually get stuck as we are approaching B, things don’t work out, and we keep taking detours and going in circles. Uri Alon calls this state the cloud. Eventually, we give up on reaching B and instead head for C, a new insight that we found while wandering in the cloud. Usually, C represents the solution to a problem we weren’t even aware of when we started. “ After U. Alon (2009).
The most important thing I learned from this is that a PhD is not a straight path. It usually looks more like a squiggly line with some ups and downs. There may even be some failures and negative emotions involved but I believe that going through the cloud is inevitable and may lead to success.
So if you’re in the cloud, know that it’s perfectly normal.
At the end of my blog, I would like to thank all the organizers and lecturers. The teaching quality was incredible.
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