Confessions of a researchaholic

November 15, 2021

Follow your passion only if you know what it is

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:54 am
Tags: ,

I have been using ray tracing as a default introductory exercise for my open mentor program. Probably as a consequence, several recent students decided to focus on rendering when applying for graduate research programs.

When I applied for grad schools 20+ years ago, I only knew that I wanted to program stuff.
I decided to focus on computer graphics after the first year during which I took courses in different topics and attended different research group meetings (not least for the free food).
I figured out my research topic after the third year, after trying out at least 20 different projects which not only greatly helped me figure out my thesis topic but also have a glimpse of what is going on in other potentially related research fields (which in turn helped me expand and transition my research topics many years later).

I guess this relates to the more general discussion about the danger of following your passion (too early); if you only do what you like, you might not try what you might like even more.

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