Arlington, TX 76019
c/o UTA Central Receiving
1225 West Mitchell
Arlington, TX 76019
In my second year at UTA, I started emailing professors about doing research. I ended up in Dr. Beksi’s Robotic Vision Lab, where I helped build the networking and computing systems for a robot and added sensors, visual cameras, IMUs and a GPS system. I also made the software work and figured out how to get the sensor data to a remote base station.
The coolest part is that I got to take the robot to Texas Tech for a joint research project in their agricultural research program where we ran the robot through rows of crops to gather data on crop yields and crop phenotyping.
It was intimidating at first because I was the only undergraduate student in a lab full of Ph.D. students, but once I got past that it really opened my eyes to how fun it is to work with robotics and computer systems. It’s satisfying to find an area of research that interests you and then be able to contribute your own ideas.
I’ve been working at an internship this semester. It’s not in robotics, but my experience in the lab helped me to separate myself during the interview process. I was part of a project with deliverable outcomes and I was able to talk about my contributions and the challenges I faced. That set me apart from other applicants and gave me an edge.
During my time in the lab, I learned about design and the engineering process – skills that transfer across disciplines. My internship is in software engineering, where you’re given a problem and have to look at the big picture, how it affects the project and solve each challenge bit by bit. The skills I learned doing research have really helped me succeed in my internship.
Research and internships are very different. Research focuses on one specific thing, but internships present you with a wide variety of projects. The key my success is that I’ve taken what I learned as a researcher, as well as my courses, expanded my knowledge into other areas and translated those skills horizontally. It’s all connected.