After reviewing all the Brackenridge introductions, I’m amazed by the interesting and impactful projects on which everyone is working. The broad range of subjects covered makes me excited to see how fields of research that seem completely opposite of each other can actually be closely related. I can see this already within my cohort. Luke Profy’s project pairs mathematics and history of the ancient world, a match I never would have thought of.
Of all the cohort research projects, I feel the most connected to Ian Pamerleau’s. Our projects are similar as they’re both related to the environment and are being conducted out of Pitt’s department of geology and environment science. I can see the connection between all the projects in my cohort, though. Ryan Steinly’s project related to resources for English-learners in Pennsylvania aims to eliminate economic disparities between different populations. Similarly, environmental problems disproportionally impact low income communities. So, solving these issues is as much related to science as social justice. Emily Wolfe, Charlotte Taylor, Keith Robben, and Adam Nie are all carrying out history-related projects. I’m interested in learning about their research methodology and process as history and environmentalism are closely related. I feel that learning about their research could be extremely impactful to any research I do in the future, as their research is often people-based and environmental issues are as much about people as the planet.
I feel that working with people across disciplines will help me learn to communicate with people in fields outside of my own. Being able to explain my research to a broad audience of people with varying levels of background knowledge is one of the biggest benefits I’m hoping to gain from this experience. This is a skill highly applicable to the “real world” that I feel will outweigh any potential difficulties with interdisciplinary research.