Rithvik - Finding the right problem to solve

Welcome back fellow scientists,

It’s me, Rithvik! Week 3 has come by fast, and I can’t wait to talk to you about my research progress. This week, I have focused on narrowing down to just one problem/solution to focus on.

Last week, my scientific curiosity made narrowing down to the “top 3” difficult. There were so many unique aspects of each of the ideas that intrigued me, so cutting it down was a huge hurdle. However, I was able to tackle this challenge by making detailed observations with the help of my 3M mentor.

Applying prior knowledge and research is vital for any good scientist. In fact, the beauty of science is its ability to constantly keep building on ideas. People from one part of the world can make an observation, and people from the other end of the world can build on those ideas. Eventually this chain-reaction can end up creating great scientific discoveries. Pretty cool, right?

I decided to apply the same process of observation-making, addressing feasibility, and the connection of ideas to experiences, for narrowing down to my final idea. For me, probably the most important factor in my decision was impact. It was crucial to me that my discovery could help improve the lives of a variety of people.

From the start of my brainstorming to where I am right now, my 3M mentor, Mr. Sam Reiss, has been extremely helpful and constructive. It’s always interesting to understand how a real 3M scientist thinks about a problem, and he has helped me grow as a scientist tremendously. He is also very resourceful and never hesitates to connect me to the right people in specific situations.

Although I am extremely excited about the progress I have made and the things I have learned along the way, I am more excited about the adventure in front of me. In the end, I have decided to expand on my current project tremendously by testing several more compounds and applying more metrics.


“If you think you can do it, you can.” ~ John Burroughs


Rithvik Ganesh