“I am emerging from this summer with a clear goal and tangible career path that I am passionate about. For the first time, I feel like I have a decisive direction for my life, and this program was like the compass showing me the way.”
In this article, we have Rachael Boyle from UC Berkeley to share with us her SUTD International Undergraduate Research Opportunity Programme (iUROP) Summer experience!
1. Why did you choose Singapore as your exchange destination?
I wanted to study in Singapore because of how multicultural it is. Its inter-nationality makes it a great gateway into Asia. I also choose Singapore as my exchange destination since English is one of the official languages. Exploring a vastly different country, with its own unique traditions and culture, is much more enriching when I have the ability to fully understand and communicate with the people that live there.
2. Why did you decide to come to SUTD for exchange?
The selection of research is amazing at SUTD! Looking through the list of iUROP positions, I had a hard time deciding which one I wanted to do most. There were so many fascinating topics that I wouldn’t have been able to pursue elsewhere.
3. What do you like most about Singapore?
Everything is so accessible here! I love how easy it is to get to any destination and that even though this is a foreign city, I never really feel lost.
4. What do you like most about SUTD?
On a superficial and dorky note, I love the different study tables and spaces that are available in the library. From seats made of cardboard to ones that look like art exhibits and everything in between. But on a deeper level, I really like the structure of the university here with the pillars and cohorts. It’s so unlike any other college experience.
5. Tell us more about the project that you worked on.
My project was to implement a forward Long Short Term Memory network- a recurrent neural network. I utilized the RNN package, learned Torch and a new programming language Lua, made my own python script to parse and read the data set, implemented the proper modifications to the neural network in order to feed the data in as an input, trained the neural network, and calculated the corresponding accuracies.
The research itself was centered on machine learning and natural language processing, topics I have not gotten the chance to dive into and study at my home university. Attending all the research meetings and listening to the professor and phD students talk about these advanced topics in such detailed ways was daunting. But I love that I got to see theoretical subjects that I will be learning soon actively being applied, discussed and utilized.
6. How was your overall iUROP experience in SUTD? What have you learn through this experience?
The experience is great! The project I work on is so interesting and unique- something I don’t think I would’ve been able to find anywhere else. From this experience, I’ve learned that you can overcome any learning and knowledge gap with a good work ethic and a drive to learn.
Finally, I am emerging from this summer with a clear goal and tangible career path that I am passionate about, have experience with, and want to actively pursue. For the first time, I feel like a have a decisive direction for my life, and this program was like the compass showing me the way.
7. What would you share/advise your peers or juniors in my home university who are interested to come to SUTD for exchange?
Get ready for the heat and humidity. (But no matter what, you won’t be prepared for it). And remember, you get out what you put in. So if you come to SUTD for exchange, get ready to give it your all, whether that’s exploring the city, trying new food, or diving into your research.
Find out more!
If you are interested in experiencing what SUTD research is all about, come for an exchange term at SUTD!
Click on this link to find out more about the iUROP programme that Rachael went through!