Monthly Archives: June 2016

Finding Research

Going on the hunt to find an internship, I knew I wanted one that involved research. I never experienced research before so I wanted to experience it to determine if it was a career path I would be interested in pursuing. I tried many strategies when trying to find this internship such as contacting family friends in the field to exploring different professor’s websites to see if they have any research intern positions open.

How I ultimately found ArticuLab was unexpected. Since I have an interest in technology and human computer interactions I follow a handful of different blogs that report about advances in the field. One of the posts was a TedxPittsburgh video of a professor named Justine Cassell talking about integrating robots and virtual peers into society. I decided to go to her website to read about her research. This led me to her lab at Carnegie Mellon: ArticuLab.

Being a native of Pittsburgh, I realized this lab was not far from my house. Getting a research position there would be perfect. However, no positions were being advertised currently on the lab’s website. I decided to take a chance and forward a cover letter and resume to the lab manager detailing my interests in the lab’s work and what I could contribute if I had an opportunity to work in the lab over the summer. Within a week I was Skyped interviewed and offered a summer intern position.

Through this internship hunt, I learned that if you find a company or lab that you feel a connection to but no positions are advertise, still initiate the conversation. The worst that can come from it is a response saying no positions are available.


I’m Offical

I am finally official! My bio was just posted on the lab’s website if anyone would like to check it out (click here). It was last week when I first started my internship and before coming into the lab to start I received a few scholarly articles from my adviser to read.  They discussed the lab’s work on creating a computer architecture for developing and building rapport. Being prepared and reading additional articles written by the lab before starting definitely helped make the transition in the first few days smoother.

With having no prior experience working in a research lab setting, I was not exactly sure what to expect. All I knew coming in was that I was going to be working on the lab’s Rapport-Aligning Peer Tutor (RAPT). Having been in the lab for six days now, I can say that this might be some of the most hard working and dedicated people I have worked with. Their work-ethic and love for the research they are conducting is shown through their dedicated focus, passion, and long hours they spend in the lab. Having the opportunity to watch and work with such a group is motivating. The lab is currently working around the clock to prepare for an exhibition of their Yahoo!-CMU InMind project at the World Economic Forum in China in the coming weeks. A very unique and captivating project that I have had the opportunity to test!

I am excited to see all that I will experience and learn over the summer from working at ArticuLab. Next week I will dive more into the project I am working on!