Learnings for an accidental researcher..

I read an article titled “The right mindset for research” in today’s edition of Education Plus (The Hindu).

Some expert quotes caught my attention –

“Research is an open-ended problem.  When a mind seeking immediate returns works on it, it is easy to get disheartened and bored. An age when the pizza delivery companies promise you a free dinner if they take more than half an hour to deliver is counter to the mindset needed for research.”  “Research needs an inquisitive mind which is never satisfied with the current solution or status of affairs.  But it needs discipline too- Dr. Rupak Biswas, Acting Chief , NASA Advanced Supercomputing

“Research mindset offers a competitive advantage. It is like the story of the hare and the tortoise.  If you have a mind trained for research, you will be the tortoise – the climb would be slow and steady, but eventualy you would win the race” – Dr. Rajesh Kasturirangan, National Institute of Advanced Studies, IISc

For someone like me who at core is an action-oriented person and an accidental doctoral student it is yet another reminder of what I need to learn from my stay here as a doctoral student. I know that I have always excelled in ‘mastering the system’, a system which essentially is based on ‘learning by rote’, predictability and maintaining the status quo. I do not necessarily see it an inferior skill but I know I need to move beyond it if I were to realize my potential.

I have always found answers for the questions posed to me. But what I would like to learn by the time I finish my thesis and graduate is to ask the right question and systematically answer it.

P.S.: For those who are interested in reading the article, the link is http://www.hindu.com/edu/2009/07/13/stories/2009071350020100.htm


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