Since this is my personal website, it focuses on my research roots. I discuss the research philosophy that animates me and highlight the people who taught me how to think those thoughts.

My lab website demonstrates how this philosophy gets translated into practice, highlighting the branches and the leaves of the tree.

The Research Tree Metaphor

The way I think about research is through the metaphor of the research tree. This was introduced to me by my PhD advisor, Daniela Rus. Though she thinks of the research tree as a data structure, I like thinking of it as an actual tree.

Schematic of a tree showing its roots, trunk, branches and leaves
Modified vector image from VectorStock / buqancreative

This metaphor works from the bottom up:

  1. Roots: These are the true guiding principles that motivate you to do research. They stay underground most of the time
  2. Trunk: The “thesis of the thesis”. The core idea that defines your research.
  3. Branches: Different questions that this core idea brings up
  4. Leaves: Individual research papers that answer the branch’s question