My Cohort: Health Sciences, Culture, and Math

When applying to Brackenridge, I was very attracted to the interdisciplinary focus of the program because I believe that by discussion between fields we can learn new research skills and perspectives that can help us approach research questions differently. Reading through my cohort’s introductory blog posts, I have been excited to see that some members have research interests similar to my own AND many others have interests very different from my own. 

Concerning some of the projects further from my own area, I look forward to seeing how Max and David are both going to interpret historical cross-cultural exchanges through an artistic lense. From reading her blog post, Alison’s project also touches upon a similar area of cultural evolution through an artistic lense. From conversations with these three peers I hope to learn about how research is conducted at the nexus of humanities and the social sciences. 

Cecelia, Ella, and Michael are doing biology-related research with a health focus similar to my own research. Although we are working on projects in similar fields, they come from a more biological background than I do; I look forward to seeing how their background influences how they ask questions, and what I can take away from those perspectives. I also hope to see how other members of my cohort have been able to adapt their benchwork projects for the COVID-19 pandemic. 

I also think Rhea’s research is very interesting because a big part of my own research in developing cheaper diagnostics for cancer is related to patient experiences. Telemedicine is often brought up in my area of research as a potential valuable tool when screening for cancer in areas with limited resources, so I think it will be valuable to see what Rhea learns about patient experiences with telemedicine. 

One challenge I anticipate in our interdisciplinary conversations is addressing the different academic backgrounds of each individual. Because we all come from different backgrounds, there will be a need to adapt to the collective academic experiences of the cohort. This learning curve will be an opportunity to improve communicating the key points of our research. I think the intellectual curiosity of the individuals in this program will make this a relatively smooth process.

Good Interdisciplinary Conversation

One of my goals for this cohort is to reach a common language based on our collective academic backgrounds, similar to the center of the Venn diagram in the picture. Personally, I know very little about modeling with Probabilistic Relational Agent-Based Models, but I am very curious to learn more! The whole cohort will develop the skill to provide audiences with the key points of background they need to understand our research. I believe working with so many individuals with diverse backgrounds will both provide a great opportunity to learn how to present my own work in the most concise, understandable way and introduce us all to new research perspectives.

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