Hi everyone! My name is Grace Yu and I’m finishing my second year at the University of Toronto, pursuing a computer science specialist and a molecular genetics major. From September 2021 to April 2022, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to do a STA299 project with Professor Tyrrell through the Research Opportunity Program. I am excited to share my experience with you all!
My project was landmarking with reduced sample size in MSK ultrasound images for knees. Similar to many other ROP students, this was my first research experience. Prior to this project, I have no idea about how machine learning works. However, I am always interested in the intersection between computer science and medical field, and that’s what drives me in this opportunity.
The start of the project was interesting but not easy. There were many times I did not know if I was doing the right thing, or if I was making the efforts towards the correct path. Luckily, Professor Tyrrell, and people in the lab were always very patient and helpful. I begin by reading some research papers on developing new semi-supervised learning models, but found them difficult to comprehend and time-consuming. Mauro kindly provided the suggestions on which parts to focus when doing the literature research, and advised me to pay more attention in selecting a model instead of focusing on the technical details about how the model is constructed. In addition, as I spent much time in choosing a model, I fell behind others. Professor Tyrrell reminded me of the timeline of my project and the next steps I should take on as soon as possible, which was to find a dataset. Fortunately, with the help of lab, we prepared a dataset together and my project went back to schedule. Looking back, I appreciated the period of exploring and experimenting, and the guidance provided by others. The starting point of a project can be difficult and sometimes we do not know what we are doing, but really that’s ok. For me, the time I spent in the beginning paid off by having extra suitable model and leading to a nice comparison. In addition, this experience also allows me to get on new projects or new fields more quickly.
I am very grateful to having the opportunity to work in the MiDATA lab this year. Not only did I had more understanding of statistical and computer science concepts, but also I learned the methods and process of conducting research. I would like to thank professor Tyrrell, Majid, Mauro, and Atsuhiro for their guidance and feedback on my way of doing this project. With this experience, I am more confidence and looking forward to applying what I have learned to my future research journey.