Cusp of a new phase

Today at our lab’s weekly research meeting, I realized we are on the cusp of a new phase in our research. When you are doing research, it’s not only about what you might potentially develop, it’s also about whether you have the proper tools for that development to be practical.

After months of work, we are in sight of having a new set of tools that are far more powerful and flexible than anything we have had before. An analogy might help.

Imagine you are testing out a new automobile, and the only thing you can do is plot a course for the car beforehand, set it on the road, and see afterward whether the car has crashed. You might develop a good automobile using that approach, but your task will be very difficult.

Now compare that with the ability to actually get in the car, put your foot on the accelerator, and drive it yourself, turning the steering wheel as needed to travel to different places.

What we are developing now is basically like going from that first scenario to the second. Using these new tools, it’s going to be a lot more fun to do our research.

Also, we might end up traveling to places we never knew existed.

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