Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Final Week...

On Monday and Tuesday, even though it didn't seem like much was happening, it has been getting more busy and more pressured. Summer work, friends, chess, tennis, and other things have helped add to this.

In our lab, more things have been and are arriving, including the new refrigerator and the sticky mats. I have been helping move these and set them up. One of the undergraduate students and one of the graduate students are not around this week, and our advisor is on vacation this week. Our lab also set up a Met Station, which is basically a weather station, on the roof and it is collecting many things, including wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, sunlight, and precipitation. All of this will be used with the TAFKAA software to perform atmospheric correction on the data collected. The next data collection is this Thursday, but I cannot go, for I have to go to the morning meeting where we will have a peer review of the presentations that will be given this friday. The presentations are comprehensive summaries of what we have done during our 6-week internship. They start at 9am in the Carlson (Building 76) auditorium this Friday.

There's not much I'm doing today, I am continuing my work on the presentation and the summary of things that I would like to be included in my letter of recommendation. I'm also helping research a table to put our oven on top of. Soon I will help move stuff again into a truck for the data collection tomorrow, and then probably go home early.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Busy busy busy...

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we spent all day getting organized and ready for our data collection on Thursday and today, Friday. We finalized the checklists, inventory, and organization. We, on wednesday, went outside RIT and did a practice experiment to further familiarize ourselves with the GRIT and other instruments. We made a checklist about the steps to follow for every instrument, and then walked through them to make sure that they were correct and sufficient. We researched for more things to buy as we went along, as some things came up and we thought they would help usnfurther . We took into factors that could ensure the quality of our measurements as well as make them more feasible.

On Thursday, I met my coworkers in the lab at 7:30, and we put away the things that were charging overnight, We loaded all the things into one of the graduate students' truck and the rest of the things into our advisor's personal minivan. We went on a road trip to Chimney Bluffs, and then looked for a place to set up. It was tough because all of the places we wanted to set up at were at the bottom of a steep hill, and we can't transport our equipment down those. As a consequence, there was only one place we could set up at, so we did. We got everything out of the vehicles, assembled the GRIT, and then brought it all down. We took a sample of the sand and double bagged it, and then set up the GRIT. we then set up another spectrometer that constantly took measurements from a white plague for reference while simultaneously having the GRIT running. I helped set up both of these, and then I helped monitor the second spectrometer to make sure it was still running, and I watched mg coworkers operate the GRIT.

A lot of times, they asked what exactly it was that we were doing there, and so I had to explain it repeatedly. All I really said was that "we are taking spectral measurements of the sand, and we hope to be able to use these measurements to predict the potentional for erosion on this coastline." Sometimes they asked for more information, but this was usually enough for them, thankfully.

After we finished the experiments, we packed everything up, and then put it all away again, and then went back to RIT. When we got back, we unloaded some of the things, and left some things in the minivan because we planned to go out to Hamlin park on Friday. I went home after this 13.5 hour work day and passed out on my not so comfy bed.

On Friday, the graduate student with the truck was becoming a father (congratulations) so we could not go out for data collection that day. We stayed inside the lab and took more measurements of the sand. We were ready to put the sand in the drying oven, but the plug for the oven is different from the typical one and would not fit anywhere in the lab. So we asked our advisor and another man who knew the building and had access to all the labs, and they both gave insight about other ovens in a lab in the basement. The plan is to use the oven in the basement in lieu of the bigger, better oven in our kab. Oh well. After that, we put the sand in a storage refrigerator in that room, and we plan to use the oven on Monday.  We went shopping at home depot and a couple of other stores for cleaning supplies and trays to put the sand on for putting it in the oven. After we get all of the stuff out of the black room part of our lab, we will clean the floor and the GRIT. That probably won't be for some time, and this week is my final week,so I don't think I'll be doing this. After all that was finished, we called it a day and we left to go home at around 1:30 or 2:30. We were all tired from waking up early anyways.

Sorry that this update is very late, but I've been a lot more busy recently, not just because of the internship, but with other work and events as well. Thank you for being patient, and sorry for the inconvenience :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It's August Already?! [Friday and Monday]

On Friday and Monday, our lab has been finalizing everything, and setting ups, etc for our experiments on the lake this week. We set up a rental truck, and planned out what we were going to bring. We made an inventory of everything, as well as a checklist for the steps to take when doing experiments. We also discussed some modifications that we might make to make the whole process easier for now. I also got a chance to talk to my coworkers about my presentation, and how I can improve what I have so far. I am presenting next Friday, so I should finish up as soon as I can.

On Friday, I went and visited my fellow interns in the Visual Perception Lab. There, I was a test subject for them, and I read digital text, basically pages on a computer screen, and then read an actual text. During both of these readings, my eyes were being tracked, and they were researching the differences for when reading an digital text versus an actual text. It was all very interesting. Afterwards, they showed me a little demonstration of the software, and it showed a plot of where I looked when I was reading the texts. It was very cool to see the computer plot everywhere I was looking, and how long i fixated on those points. It was a tantalizing glimpse of the other imaging sciences out there.

On Monday, I helped shop for some equipment needed to make modifications to the GRIT. For the GRIT, we need a set up to make it so that the calibration plate won't touch the ground and disturb the sand or material below and can still be tested on. After that, we went out with the GRIT, hoping to do a few short experiments so that we could get a better idea of how many samples we will need to take during the actual experiment. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. It started becoming cloudy, and blocked the necessary sunlight, so we had to cancel. After rushing to bring the stuff in, I set up a printer in the lab for easier access to -well- a printer. Also, I helped troubleshoot the setting up of said printer.

After all of that, I read a couple of articles about work that my advisor has done, and I saw different applications and methods for the experiments we are doing with the current GRIT.

Both Friday and Monday were packed full of activities!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tied up on Thursday

Today was a more busy day. I dont mean that I did more things today than other usual days, but it was a full day today.

The morning meeting went from 8:45 to around 10:15. During this meeting, we had a peer review of each other's outlines for our presentations. It was very interesting to see the other interns' presentations because it also gave me more insight on what kind of work they are actually doing, rather than just learning about what kind of things they are researching in the other labs.

After this morning meeting, I directly went to my advisor to show him the work I had done with his code. I helped him identify what the problem actually was in his code, and I also added a couple of improvements in his program. After this, he wanted me to start working on fixing another program he had made. In order to do this, he had to actually give me the program and the code to begin with. To do this, i needed to access the server so that i could download said files, but i was encountering an error that stopped me from being able to get the files. After fixing this, it was already 11:30! Time certainly flew by this morning.

After lunch, I went to the DIY camera lab to be a test subject for them. They wanted me to build the Bigshot Camera from the DIY kit and instruction manual provided. Apparently, I did this quite fast and broke the record for building the camera in the least amount of time... It was fun!

After all of this, I went back to the lab, and my advisor gave me the files for the second thing he wanted me to work on. We worked on this for a while, and we figured a few things out. There's apparently one last problem he needs to fix before i can work on it. 

My coworkers, advisor, and a couple of graduate research students all looked at the equipment we had so far. We moved more things, and talked about things that were to come. We also tried out the sieve shaker that was in the lab, just to see how it worked and what it was like. 

After all of this finished, it was 5 already! We all went home and called it a day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesday #4

Today, I did a bunch of things, listed below.

  • Worked on presentation outline
    • update at end of blog
  • helped troubleshoot the GPS more
    • we're closer to the end, but there's still one issue that we need to fix
    • it's a com port communication issue
  • helped look at some code for processing the data from the Spectrometer and the GRIT
    • problem in the code that i need to fix
      • time to learn some C++
      • time to actually work with some code
    • got access to the server so i can download the files (through FTP/SFTP) and work on them
    • learned more about unix commands, etc
  • got ready to order blackout material for the optical table that will arrive soon
    • found the store online, got a quote, etc
  • got ready to order clean room mats
    • for trapping dirt and keeping the room clean
    • found it online, got a quote, etc
  • 3D printed things for the interns as well as my coworkers
  • met some more deaf people who are here for a summer coop program
    • theyre working at the NTID services desk
    • i'm joining them for lunch tomorrow
I've only changed a couple of slides but here's the whole outline so that it's easier to see them all.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We did stuff!

Today, we actually did stuff!

We took the GRIT outside and took a lot of measurements; it was lengthy but fun! We also used some equipment such as the penetrometer and the deflectometer. We got to see them in action, and we got to use them!
After this, we all went our separate ways for lunch break. When we came back, we tried out some more equipment. After this, we talked about writing a computer program that could control the GRIT and the spectrometer automatically, rather than repetitively doing it by hand. It's all becoming very interesting now!

On a different note, below is the very basic outline for my presentation that I will give.

Back again

On Friday, my coworkers were busy, so we did not get much moving done. Today, we changed that.

Today, we did a lot of moving. We emptied out the storage closet in the back of the lab. This was harder than I make it sound, we had to make 3-4 trips to another room to finish moving everything. We put a lot of things into a lot of boxes, and we took a lot of things out of a lot of boxes. We looked for more space upstairs and across the hall, etc. 

After all of the moving and reorganizing, we had a team meeting. In this team meeting, we talked about long term plans as well as short term plans. We talked about the equipment that arrived, and when we were going to test them out- when we were actually going to use them. We talked about things that we need to order, and 

Tomorrow (today) we are going to start practicing with the equipment! Yay!

In the meantime, I am working to create the basic outline of the presentation I am going to give at the end of my internship.