Wrapping Up in Stuttgart

My summer in Germany has now come to an end and I’m back in Boston ready for my final year of my master’s! I’ve enjoyed my time in Europe and have truly learned a ton.

As a recap of my research project, we sought to analyze programming language proficiency based on eye movements. In the experiment, participants self-rated their programming skills then looked at a series of programs while the eye tracker recorded their eye movements. We asked participants to enter what they thought was the function of each program. The participants and I were separated by a divider as I monitored their progress (pictured below).

In one summer, I have identified a research question, designed an experiment around it, ran studies, and performed data analysis. I’m really proud of what I have achieved and have learned that I would be happy pursuing a career in research. Sure, there were frustrating times, but I learned to work through them.

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What I enjoyed most about working in the lab has been talking to the PhD students and fellow interns about different research within HCI. Hearing about their projects gets me really excited about the possibilities that this field can accomplish, and I find new perspectives on interesting questions that I have.

The theme of my time in Stuttgart has been encountering a problem and finding a solution to it, to keep moving forward. Not to be too cheesy but I know that whatever happens, I will be able to handle it. That is something that I have shown to myself from this experience. So bring it on, PhD!

A big shout-out and thank you to Dr. Andrew Kun and Dr. Orit Schaer for making the IRES program possible, to Dr. Albrecht Schmidt and his amazing team at the University of Stuttgart for welcoming me to their lab, to all my new friends both at the lab and at the student hotel, and to Jakob Karolus and Thomas Kosch for being the best supervisors I could ask for! I will miss Stuttgart immensely!

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Tchüss!

Calvin Liang