Data, data, and more data – Oh my!


Yes, it’s me again. In my last blog post I was getting ready to undertake the thesis writing process and I had just completed my methods. This time around I am going to talk about my data. If I thought I had a lot of methods, I had no idea what was in store for me with data. I cannot truly explain the number of graphs that I had to make. Furthermore, the number of statistical analyses that I needed to run to analyze those graphs. I have been working on data compilation since mid-February. Data analysis started early/mid-March. I did not finish my results section until mid-April. My figures alone have have taken up 60 pages without any figure captions. Going through the process of putting together my results section was definitely a learning experience. Because of it I advise any future Honors students to really start early with their data analysis. Especially if you have a lot of data and/or if you’ve been doing research since early in your college career. I was not running many experiments in the fall and so maybe getting a head start on some of the more simple analyses would have saved me some trouble this semester. I had a lot of data compiled and figures already made, but I had a few more complex experiments from the summer that I had not yet gotten around to and so I had to work on plotting those. But by far the most difficult experience was the statistical analyses. Especially because I am still full time student, juggling a full course load. I had a lot of challenging and really involved classes this semester and so running the analyses and making sure I stayed on top of my course load was a pretty difficult feat. However, I learned more math and stats doing this section more than any class I could have taken just because it was such an involved experience. Needless to say, I’m glad that the results section is complete.