Picking a New Problem to Solve
Welcome to my second blog post and today I am going to talk about how I came up with a new project idea after becoming a Finalist. My original project idea created a computer program with deep learning to detect ptosis early, however as it was a completely digital output, thus incorporating a 3M product into it proved very challenging. Once I realized this, I had a session with my mentor who was very open to me changing the project so that 3M products could be meaningfully incorporated into it. In my first and second weeks I spent a lot of time reading about and understanding 3M products, while simultaneously reading about the bigger challenges facing mankind in the 21st century. I was finally able to zero in on a few interesting problems which I thought could be matched with a few 3M products for a potential solution. However, the initial set of potential solution ideas that I came up with did not stand up to scrutiny and thus I had to rework my potential solution idea several times before my mentor felt that the latest iteration has a chance to finally solve the larger problem while incorporating a 3M product. I am still in India, returning next week, when I plan to come up with a detailed design on how the solution could work. Creating a working prototype is a goal which is still a long distance away but it is fun to learn new things as I try to solve real problems, which is probably what motivates 3M scientists too.