Getting started on selecting a master’s degree thesis

My N512 class, Trends in Informatics, centers around the question: What do you want to be working on for the next 20-30 years? It’s a novel but necessary idea that RIGHT NOW, we have to identify our deep interests to avoid any wasteful false starts on the career for which, in pursuit of this master’s degree, we have committed two years of our lives and thousands of dollars. Let’s get our money’s worth!

But what are MY deep interests? Where’s my research going to focus? What can I sustain the energy and enthusiasm to work on well into the year 2035? How can I start laying the foundations for a productive and satisfying career? Continue reading Getting started on selecting a master’s degree thesis

1st week of grad school: I survived the door muffler and other stories

“WHAT. IS. THAT.”

The unfamiliar piece of black rubber tacked onto a closed door’s latch was the most tangible of the many obstacles I faced during my first week of graduate school. But it was far from the first.

As I reflect back, here’s what I’m cringing about the most.

Continue reading 1st week of grad school: I survived the door muffler and other stories

Just What is Informatics?

As those of you who subscribe to my Facebook page know, I recently decided to leave my job as an IndyStar.com digital producer in order to go back to school full-time. With luck, by the end of 2016, I’ll have a master’s degree in Media Arts & Sciences from the Department of Human-Centered Computing at IUPUI’s School of Informatics and Computing.

After giving me their congratulations, many people’s first question is, “What is informatics?”

Simply put, informatics is the science of information, both in theory and in practice.

“Harnessing the power and possibility of technology, Informatics turns data and information into knowledge that people can use every day,” says the SOIC website’s own definition. That could be through creating 3-D animations, accelerating drug discoveries through computer analysis, developing IT to manage disaster relief or exploring how we humans interact with computers, mobile devices and robots, according to its website.

Sounds dead useful — and fun!