May 6, 2016

My New Housemate is a Professor

My freshmen chapter ends here and a new chapter begins.
 Today is my first day as housemates with my professor, Rui (pronounced REY) Wang from UMass Amherst. I will be working with him on his open-source hardware business for the next 4 months.

This opportunity is a godsend. The fact that I am making money is peanuts compared to what else I may gain from this invaluable experience. Spending so much time with an associate professor from the Computer Science department will be extremely beneficial to my development as a computer science major and as a student of academia. The information that I will be able to gain through talking to him, and working with him will hopefully give me a keener insight on my future as well help pave my academic path.

Since I expect to be learning a lot, I will only post the things that I find are the most valuable to me.

  1. Why do professors continue to do research, long after they get their Ph.D.? Because there is a problem that they want to solve. It is something that they are passionate about, and like a game or any other puzzle with an endgame in mind, it is something that they want to achieve.

  2. Nothing is as easy as it seems. For me, attending military camp at the Forest Hill Military Academy in Kentucky was one of the toughest experiences of my life. For my professor, it was getting his tenure. In order to get tenure, you have to do research for six years, work every moment, every hour of the day. He said that after those six years, nothing could frustrate him anymore because that was the toughest time for him.

“I had no other life besides work.”

I never realized how hard it was to obtaining tenure or the amount of work you have to put in after college and in grad school. Everybody sees the awards that people obtain, but seldom do people see the hard work behind every title.

© Wesley Tian 2019

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