How Do You Know When You're Ready?

Su Lin, PhD: How Do You Know When You're Ready?

The importance of learning from failed experiments.

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Dr. Su Lin's Bio

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Transcript: How Do You Know When You're Ready?

Yes that's true. Most time if experiment doesn't work, and then you try to blame yourself. I say okay because your adviser help you to plan the things. Then you say, "Okay why doesn't work?" You thought maybe I didn't try hard enough, or my knowledge is limited, but sometimes this is not true. For research, even our adviser may not necessarily know whether it will work or not. I remember one of the famous scientists said, "You don't know whether it will work until you try. After you try that, you only know what is not working." I think that generally is true for science, but for graduate study, you should pay attention to the whole learning process. Even you fail, you still learned the technology, learned how the problem solving skills, and also other trainings. So you just don't be discouraged think you waste your time. I remember at one point, I say, "Okay I feel like I will never graduate because for my project, I have more questions come up," and then my adviser say, "You're right. That's the time you should graduate because now you know how to identify the problems and to talk about them. That means you are ready to do research by yourself and that's the time you graduate.

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