Taking Class at Columbia | #4

A lot has happened since my last blog post. In addition to my internship I am also taking a class at Columbia University at night. I got a dorm room at Columbia because it would be extremely difficult to have to be in the city for my internship at 9am and have class till 8pm when I live an hour and a half from the city. Living by myself isn’t something I’ve ever experienced before. Luckily I have friends taking the class with me, but after class they go home. I think it is important to be able to live alone and do things independently. The skills I have learned from this experience will definitely help me be successful during my time at Michigan and will help me for the rest of my life.

I am taking stats at Columbia and I am really enjoying that my professor decided to integrate learning R, the computer software, into the class. Two people working in my lab are interested in bioinformatics and seeing the intersection between computer science and medicine has been amazing. I think it is important for anyone to understand the basics of coding. I talked to my PI about this and he said that his basic knowledge has allowed for him to clearly articulate what he would like done regarding computer programs aimed to improve data analysis. This field is expanding as the push for research increases. We are at a point in history where we have more information than we know what to do with. For example, we can sequence someone’s DNA. Finding associations between genes or mutations is extremely difficult when comparing entire DNA sequences from a trial with a large sample size. This type of problem is something we face all the time at my lab, and is being solved by computer programs and machine learning.

A big part of what I enjoy about my lab is that I’m able to learn about so many different aspects of medicine and am able to learn about the different perspectives each person has about it and the way in which they want to contribute to it.

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