12/8/2019

Stepping Stones

Looking back at this semester......

How dare I plan to run six sprints in three months! Well, at least I’m grateful that I finished exploring two contemporary issues in the tech and cultural space. I reflected on the semester over the weekend, and here are a list of my learnings.

  1. I spiraled for weeks in the second sprint, when I was knee deep in the research and searching for better directions to take. I was paralyzed by the enormity of the problem, quite literally. I wanted to tell myself to pick up whatever was promising on the table and experiment with it.
  2. Another critique I had for myself is that I severely underestimated the time to connect with experts in the field. If I had to run the sprint in such short time again, I would reach out to more connections around me and fine tune the research scope to accommodate the possibility of fewer expert validation.
  3. Dealing with issues like equality in machine learning and climate crisis is difficult. This is probably the most rewarding experience: learning to step out of the depressed state, examining the problem space, and finding my impact as a designer.
  4. I learned about the pros and cons of setting my thesis as little sprints. I made big jumps between different problem spaces, and I learned a lot about the topic in each research phase. I got to read full books (well this was an extravagant way of spending my time for sure), discover interesting projects, and connect with knowledgeable experts. It was an enjoyable time. At the same time, I’m aware that my contribution to the problem space was little since I didn’t have more time to continuously craft a solution. I’m ready to stay in a specific problem space for the next semester — an idea that I’ve been looking forward to toying with for a long time.

I rebuilt my personal website and migrated the blog posts here. Some will remain hidden in the main feed but will be discoverable under the “Senior Project – Process” category. These notes served as great documentation for my learning journey.