This summer, I hope to learn more about research methods and about the sorts of research that are conducted in fields outside of my own. Over the past few weeks, I’ve genuinely enjoyed meeting and getting to know the other members of not only my cohort, but the entirety of the Brackenridge community. From what I’ve seen so far, my project doesn’t appear to have a whole lot of overlap with other students’ projects, although Sarah Moore’s project on the semantics of “nice” versus “kind” seemed intriguing and also falls under the category of linguistics.
In addition to Sarah’s, another project that stood out to me was Jack Haggerty’s “The Secret of Century III: Dreams Lost.” Jack’s project, which she describes as exploring “the ghosts of capitalism,” seems both wildly original and creative in addition to being technically rigorous and demanding. As a computer science major and English minor, I was thoroughly impressed with the methodologies she’s using to implement her project.
Although I’ve at times felt that I’ve struggled to explain the jargon of my specific project to others, overall I’ve found the exposure to completely different people working in completely different disciplines to be immensely enriching and beneficial. The founder of the legendary Harvard Society of Fellows “was convinced of the value of informal discussions between scholars in different academic fields,”1 and I can certainly see why; being surrounded by a group of such high-achieving researchers has only spurred me to aim higher myself, and I’m sure that I’ll remember and cherish my Brackenridge Fellowship as one of the highlights of my undergraduate career at Pitt.