“A learning experience is one of those things that says, ‘You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.”
Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt
Douglas Adam was correct about Experience. It is a harsh teacher. The fact that words like “struggle”, “fail fast”, “don't give up” are commonly used to describe some of its lessons, speaks about the inherent difficulty of the whole process — and none of it more visible anywhere than when learning something new.
The two crucial summers of my fresher and sophomore years were mostly spent exploring new subjects and trying out everything that I can. I was greatly (I am!) interested in programming and spent considerable time learning algorithms, doing competitive programming, using Python, and mastering tools like Vim and git. It was a time spent well.
However, during this time, exposure to various aspects of biology opened to me an altogether new world - a fascinating, microscopic, living world, the organization and structure of which cannot be matched even by our sophisticated societies. It is my effort to take a closer look at this world and understand its underlying intricacy that brought me to Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
Selected through the Bio Engineering Summer Training program (BEST), I'll be spending two months in Prof. Sandhya S. Visweswariah lab, MRDG department, with Pradeep S. working on Characterization of pore forming toxin ClyA in E. coli.
The program has been nicely designed and also includes regular lectures, seminars, interactive sessions and special talks. It has been a week since the program started, and I'm thoroughly enjoying my stay within the lab. The interaction with people working in the lab, attending grilling lab meetings, discussions with professor, all have enriched my understanding and experience of research.
I feel responsible for the work I do and every moment that I spend in lab, and it is in this regard that I have decided to document my daily and weekly activities in a neatly maintained log book. These logs will describe the experiments I undertook in lab, any papers I read, or any profound personality or even a friend that I met. This will not only serve as a milestone but also help as a marker to recollect and present whatever I have been able to learn. This intern diary is maintained at my GitHub profile and publicly accessible. I will be glad to have any pair of eyes going through them and offering their constructive criticism - regarding any approach I took or any mistake I made.
While you may get a bit of idea about my work from these logs, I shall reserve the details for another post, mostly in order to stick to the essence of creating shorts.