Well, it looks like I made it through my first semester. It’s really hard to believe that my freshman year is half done. I can still remember coming to NIU for the first time and being nervous about how I would be able to get through the semester let alone learn how to do research. But it’s thanks to the Research Rookies Program that I have been able to have the beginner’s research experience, make mistakes, and learn from them. It was after I had gone through this first semester that I’ve come to see the important and fun aspects of research.
My work with FPGA prototyping for my vision system has been slow. It will probably be slow for a long time because what I’m trying to do is something that’s way beyond my capabilities. Trying to learn the Verilog HDL and Vivado Webpack IDE has been frustrating at times and rewarding at others. I’m definitely certain that I won’t be able to complete the project by the end of the semester. However, Dr. Hashemian has been really patient with me and has taken me through the process step by step. With his help, I have the confidence to see this project through to the end no matter what. It is because of him that research has indeed become a thrilling experience for me. When I implement something that works on my digital board, it makes me very happy and excited. When nothing seems to work, I like taking the time to troubleshoot it because when I solve the problem, it motivates me to continue on. In the end, what matters is the knowledge and experience I’ve gained from doing this research. I really feel like I’ve come a long way from the beginning of the year and have taken an enormous step towards accomplishing my goals. I’m excited to see what this upcoming semester holds for me as I venture deeper into my research.