I finally had a good night’s sleep after many days. This line would sound even more pleasing if I could add “I submitted the project report and” in the beginning. As I mentioned in the previous post, my work is far from completion. There are some major problems with my report which can’t be solved in a couple of days. Research takes a lot of time.

Story so far

A few years back, my project advisor Girish was in Cambridge and he was working on an experiment, let’s call it G. At that time, he attended a talk which was about some experiment S. He liked the idea of the speaker and thought that the same could be done for experiment G too, so he decided to collaborate with the speaker.

Last year I approached Girish and asked if he can take me for a one-year long project. He agreed and assigned me the work of implementing that speaker’s idea to experiment G. I was new to Cosmology so I had to learn the basics before getting into the implementation part.

I spent almost six months learning the basics of Cosmology. It was around the end of February when I started approaching the actual research problem. We got into touch with the speaker, now our collaborator, and she gave us her notes. Now my job was to understand those notes and use her method to get the results for experiment G.

I spent the next couple of months trying to understand her notes. I wrote the Python code to reproduce some of the figures from her paper. Both understanding and implementation turned out to be much more problematic than what I and Girish had expected. We tried and tried but couldn’t reproduce what she had plotted.

It was the beginning of June at that time and I was supposed to finish the project by the end of July. We were short on time so we decided to proceed with our inaccurate calculations to get the results for experiment G. Our calculations would give wrong results but it would be the best we could achieve with our current level of understanding. We decided that this would be my MSc project report and we will correct the errors in our paper.

My improper understanding of both her notes and experiment G paired up and I couldn’t calculate the results for experiment G using her method. It’s mid-July and I still don’t have the results.

What’s next?

I feel that I have too little time to be able to understand what she has done in her notes. It’s too complicated. Luckily, there’s something I can do that would be relatively easy but still valuable. Just two hours ago I realised that I can get the results by using a less sophisticated but easy to understand the method of another guy.

The speaker had built upon this guy’s method to get the results for experiment S. Girish decided to use the speaker’s method to get the results for experiment G. That’s how humans build upon the shoulders of others, by the way.

Using that guy’s method would give less accurate results, as compared to what we would get using the speaker’s fancy method, but they would still be relevant to the research problem we are trying to address. We can also show these results later in our paper just to point out the difference between the results obtained using different methods. That would also prove the usefulness of the speaker’s fancy method. Her method would only be worth the trouble if it shows significant improvement in the results as compared to a simple method.

My plan for tonight is to get the results for experiment G using the simple method. I think I have understood it well and it seems to me that the whole process can be finished in just one night. I think Girish would also be convinced with my idea of using a simpler method for the report if I get some decent results. I have a meeting with him tomorrow at 10:30 am. Let’s see what happens.