For me, the most impactful learning experience in my higher education at Virginia Tech happened during my research project with my advisor last semester. During this project, we did a global sensitivity analysis of thermal conditions in the urban street canyon to physical morphology and vegetation parameters.
This research area in terms of methodology was completely new to me because until that time I had no experience in analyzing data and working with codes such as Python for data analysis. At first, doing that job was so struggling for me since during a short amount of time I had to deal with several problems and errors. However, with the help of my advisor (and also googling!) gradually I learned more and more.
Before this experience, I was always aspired to learn coding. Even, I tried some online courses for this purpose. However, I was not very successful to keep going with them. One of my reasons for abandoning those online courses always was that if I do not have any project to apply my learnings, after a short while I would forget all I have learned. Aa a matter of fact, my justification for dodging online courses at that time, which I didn’t have any ongoing project, wasn’t so wrong!
However, after my research project began, I found this chance to learn from a real case scenario and deal with coding during my project. I believe that my data analysis learning through that research project process was much deeper than self-learning coding through online courses. I am also pretty sure that my learning through that project will be long-lasting since I learned it through evidence and facts and also lots of efforts!