Reshma - And Then There Was One

Hello! This is my third blog post and I want to talk about the process I went through for selecting a topic to work on.

I must admit, it was hard enough to narrow down my list of eight problems to only three. I wanted to work on all the problems. It was much harder to select the one topic that I would work on for the next few months. I wanted to try to solve all of the problems, so choosing just one was extremely difficult. From my list of three problems, I decided to work on the one problem that would have the biggest impact on society and the environment - This meant that I would be trying to predict forest fires so that their impact could be mitigated.

The main reason that I chose this project was that it would benefit the largest number of people since forest fires are a problem all around the world. Not only do they directly impact the environment, but they also increase the risk of other natural disasters such as mudslides that occur as a result of fires destroying vegetation and causing soil erosion.

My 3M mentor, Mr. Sam Reiss, has been extremely helpful and has been guiding me for several weeks now. He has already helped me accomplish so much. He has connected me with several data scientists at 3M who have given me lots of great insights on my project and he is also helping me get connected with people from the US Forest Service. We have had several telemeetings so far and he has been a great resource to bounce ideas off of - I’m so glad to have access to this wonderful person.

I feel like I am making lots of progress, especially with the guidance from my mentor. However, there is still lots of work to be done before the final event in October and I can’t wait to continue my journey!