Impactful research, lifelong skills
“I have always been interested in how we develop the methods we use to analyze different systems.”
Claire Morton, ‘24, took the opportunity to experience methodological research through the Mentoring Undergraduates in Interdisciplinary Research (MUIR) program. She spent her summer studying how machine learning can be used to improve existing frameworks for infectious disease modeling and make better predictions with Professor James Holland Jones. With a minor in Environmental Justice, Morton was drawn to this research topic when she learned in a class how infectious diseases are worsening with climate change and disproportionately impacting marginalized communities.
“I wanted to get involved in research that’s helping us make more accurate models about infectious diseases,” she said.
Over the summer, Morton has enjoyed not only the work she was doing, but also the ability to meet other undergraduate researchers. “My favorite memory from the MUIR program was a field trip where we went sea kayaking,” she recalled. Morton knew that she would bond with other students over shared struggles of research, but was happy to find that the program also prioritized community building and social opportunities.
Morton’s goal for the summer was to become more adaptable when research plans inevitably change. “I hope to take some of those lessons in independent flexibility in my research into other projects that I do in the future.”