It’s the end of the year and I think that reflecting back on my accomplishments for this year is a great way to mark my progress!
On the personal front, this year marked a lot of changes for me. I started the year by going back to India for a couple of months, and spending a good amount of time with my family and friends. I’m not sure if I’ll have a chance to spend two months at a stretch in India once again: I really got to relax (a lot), and realized I had to come back to work on my research.
I had the chance to travel and explore a lot more in 2017. Immediately after getting back from India, I visited Raleigh, NC and Salt Lake City, UT to decide on where I would be pursuing my PhD and take my life for the next 5+ years. These trips were short but they did have a huge impact on my life: on my flight back from Utah I kinda knew I had to come back to SLC. I wouldn’t have made the same decision if it weren’t for these visits. Salt Lake City stayed on my mind even during the summer, when I went to Montreal to celebrate graduation with my undergrad research team, or to Los Angeles (more on that below).
My research with LISA also had a huge pay-off. It was accepted for poster presentation at the AIIDE conference, and it led to more work during the summer at my internship with Disney Research, which was an amazing experience. I will never forget the feeling of working all day and not realizing when the day is done because you are inspired by the workplace, the brilliant people, and the unbelievably cool work that is done there. This resulted in more research successes, which will be taking up the first quarter of 2018.
Finally, this year is also the year when I started my journey of pursuing the PhD. This journey is going to be a long one, I’m sure. But 2017 has been a promising start to my PhD. I feel excited to head back to school for my second semester, filled with relevant courses (Science of Game Design, Information Extraction, Computational Narratives: all of which seem extremely relevant to my research) and starting out on research in the Liquid Narrative group!