"This is Erdem Kaya. I’m from the Republic of Turkey. I’m here, a visiting student, working with Alexander Pentland in the Human Dynamics group, working on progressive visualization and big data analytics so that we can have better lives. Here, the approach is quite different in the sense that every week we meet new people from industry, and there is, like, more idea exchange. We do the research and they have the real-world problems—so, to map to each other is really important if you want your research to be successful. Demo or die, right?
I got the impression that having so many people from different countries, from different cultures, from different ethnicities and languages is a unique opportunity in order to get diverse ideas; and to get to know, not only in terms of research but in terms of the culture and in terms of the other things—that’s quite different. You know what, one of the studies by Alexander Pentland showed that people having different ideas from different kinds of resources happens to be more successful ones out in the real world. This is a place that I can feel really free, I can conduct my research, and whenever I come here I feel more productive and creative."