This week I completed a travel grant application, which included writing another application essay. Fortunately, this turned out which turned out to be a great deal shorter than the poster abstract, but still required a concise summary of my work and an explanation of how attending the conference would be relevant to my field to study. Following is a snippet from my essay:
Attending the 12th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation will be a valuable capstone to my first undergraduate research experience. I am currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and expect graduate in May 2015. I was selected to be among the 2014-15 Collaborative Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU) cohort spearhead by CRA-W. Working under faculty advisor Aditya Akella and graduate mentor Aaron Gember-Jacobson, I spent most of the year researching networked systems in public Infrastructure-as-a-Service ( Iaas) clouds. Particularly, I researched methods to discover hosts behind a load-balancer configured in Amazon EC2. I’ve evaluated several techniques including counting IPid sequences in IP packets sent between the server and client, using TCP timestamps to calculate the clock skew of individual machines, looking for HTTP cookies from the server and more. As a result, over the past year I have had the opportunity to explore the many aspects of scientific research including formulating and vetting research ideas, gathering, processing and interpreting data, finding and reading related works, writing a poster abstract, and summarizing and presenting my work to others. Attending NSDI 2015 would allow me to see not only what other ideas in the field people have been researching, but also how students, professors, and industry professionals share and use the discoveries of academic research. It will also be a valuable opportunity to receive feedback on my own research, and I would be willing to a scribe for one of the sessions.