Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August 24th

So since today was the last day of blogging, I thought I would do a video blog! We just finished our mock presentation this afternoon (after receiving free food!), and I think it went really well. I'm getting really excited for tomorrow!

So today is pretty bittersweet. I'm excited to move on and start school and get going on my senior year, but I'm going to really miss RIT and all the incredible people I have met this summer. This program has been so incredible and given me so many opportunities. Although the research and the paper were a challenge, all the hard work was worth it. Thank you Joe, Bob, and especially Dr. D. for everything! 

Halle, Space Cadet

August 23rd

Today we focused on practicing our presentation. We completed and made all updates by lunch, and in the afternoon Matt and I ran through our presentation. We presented in front of Maria, Ed, Alex, Kelsey and other people in Ed's lab. We got a lot of positive feedback, which was super helpful. Hopefully tomorrow's practice will be great!

Halle, SC

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 22nd

Today was awesome. Super awesome. I submitted the final copy of the research paper to Dr. D. YAY!!! It took all morning to figure formatting out and get it in perfect condition, but now it is beautiful. I also showed him the powerpoint, which he liked as well! So I'm feeling good!

Now all Matt and I have to do is rehearse our presentation, which will be our main task tomorrow. We still have to divide up the slides and figure out who's doing what, but I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Halle, SC

Monday, August 22, 2011

August 19th

We started out the day by sending Dr. D. our paper for him to look over. He had quite a few changes to make, but I think he semi approves. Maybe. Hopefully? But it is my first time ever writing a scientific research paper of any kind, so I'm just happy we completed it. It's also nice to say that I've done something like that before, and it's nice to see all my work assemble into a nice final project. Once he made some of the edits, the formatting on all the table and graphs got shifted around, so I will have to go through and fix that. Aside from that, we are in home stretch :]

Today was also our last cookout, which was very bittersweet. On one hand, it's kinda nice to see things wrap up and come together, but on the other hand, I'll miss RIT and the people here a lot after this next week. But, hey, there's still one week left!

Halle, SC

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August 18th

YAY! We showed our powerpoint to Joe today! Luckily, it opened up successfully, and he seems to at least semi-approve of it for the time being. That's been the bulk of our work for about a week, so it's nice to get some positive feedback. Now all we have to do is send him some videos we want to show and work on some citations, and we'll be all set.

YAY! We are almost done with our paper. Aside from some formatting and some acknowledgements, it's completed. Of course, we still need Dr. D. to look it over and help us edit it, but the bulk of it is done. Everything is coming together so well, and it makes me very happy :]

Plus, tomorrow is Friday (our last Friday actually), so I'm just in a good mood.

Very successful day - hopefully tomorrow will be the same!
Halle, SC

August 17th

Today, we basically moved forward with all the work we have to do. Between the paper and the powerpoint, we've been pretty busy. The "crunch time" Bob talked about is really becoming a reality. Luckily, all of Matt's confusions about the formula were cleared up, so we seem good to go.

Today was also the last day of movies. We sat and watched a lovely movie about start-ups while eating our final free pizza and soda. Very bittersweet.

Hopefully, we can finish up the powerpoint tomorrow and show it to Joe, but we shall see.

Until then,
Halle, SC

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 16th

Today we worked more on the research paper. Dr. D. was out sick today, so we have to ask him some questions tomorrow. The paper itself is more challenging than I thought. Not only do we have to physically write it, but we have to compile all of our information from excel into a word document. Slowly but surely, we're getting it done!

In the afternoon, I helped Kelsey with a project. We had to glue mouse pads to the bottom of this contraption. This involved going outside and using spray adhesive! We kinda got it everywhere, including on ourselves. But it was a fun task and it was nice to be outside for a while.

Hopefully Dr. D. will feel better tomorrow so we can talk to him some more about our project.

Halle, SC

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 15th

It's just another manic Monday. Just kidding. It really wasn't. Things in space weather are really beginning to wrap up nicely and it's nice to see the final pieces begin to come together. The powerpoint is literally almost done, and we started the paper today. Well, we had already started some of it, but we put it in a word document today titled "Research Paper", which just felt really great to do.

Special thanks to Bethany for taking the interns out to lunch today with the potential student. I haven't actually eaten at Crossroads before, so that was kinda fun. And it was nice to eat with all the interns. The girl who we explained our project to seemed really nice, and I realized the complexity of our project as I tried to explain it to her. So I guess the actual presentation should be super fun...right?

Halle, SC

Thursday, August 11, 2011

August 11th

Dr. D. wasn't here again today. Matt and I are almost done with our powerpoint! Yay! We have 15 solid slides, which is awesome. We're still kind of confused on this research paper. We brainstormed our introduction and are making our flowchart into paragraphs. We have some questions about how to put data into format, and the conclusion is confusing us too. Once we talk to Dr. D., I don't think it's going to be that bad to assemble. Plus we have two more weeks, so I'm feeling pretty good about our progress! Tomorrow we have a field trip and I won't be in on Friday, so this week is winding down!

Halle, SC

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August 9th

Today was quite the rainy day! Matt and I went downstairs to our lab this morning only to discover that our lab was going to be cleaned all morning. Luckily I brought my laptop with me to work, so I was able to do some work while not in the lab. We went up to the freshman lab with Kelsey and got stuff done up there. After lunch, our lab was ready for us. But it was just kinda dark downstairs, so I found a nice table on the first floor so I could continue working on the powerpoint. Hopefully Dr. D. will be back tomorrow so he can help us get started on the paper we have to write.

Kelsey and Ed came and kept me company by the windows, as you can see below. (Photo credit to Ed)

Halle, SC

August 8th

Today we finished a flow chart for Dr. D. Basically what it can do is if given a CME, we can determine if it will hit Mars. We also continued on with our presentation. Dr. D. wasn't here today, so we did what we could without him. Things are beginning to slow down because the undergrads are all preparing for their presentations this week, so it's crunch time for them. To me, this was a weird day because I left from 10 to 1, so my timing is all a little off. Although I did stop at Tops on my way back to RIT and picked up some Oreos for the interns. Everyone needs a little pick me up on Monday :]

Halle, SC

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 5th

Today we got to go to Xerox in Webster! I love field trips, and not just because of the free food (although that is quite nice!). We went to Amiel's first and got some subs. After lunch we proceeded up to Webster. Our visit started out with a presentation by Xerox engineers on all the cool stuff they are developing. One man talked about how his team is developing a detector that can tell if someone is smoking at a gas station, and another lady talked about creating custom medical videos for patients. I think my favorite thing they discussed were the tickets Xerox can create that when scanned with UV light, one can determine their authenticity. I really enjoyed the presentation. It is cool to see how innovative Xerox is being.

Then we had a tour of their manufacturing center where we saw how they made these gigantic printers (also valued at about $600,000). Although it wasn't as interesting as hearing the engineers speak, it still was pretty cool.

The field trip basically took up the entire day, but it was definitely worth it. Matt and I will continue on with our work on Monday.

Halle, SC

Friday, August 5, 2011

August 4th

Matt finished all of his math today! Yay! We've only been working with excel for days and weeks and what seems like eternity. So this was very exciting news. What this means is that we will now be able to look at CMEs and determine whether or not it will hit Mars, which was basically our final goal.

I'm not sure sure if this means that all of our research is done, because it seems a little early for that. However, we still have plenty to do. We are going to work on assembling our paper, which will take plenty of time. We have a lot of research to organize and document. 

Today was also our cookout. We're going to Xerox tomorrow so we chose to have it today. With several interns missing, everyone had to step up their game. After we ate, we engaged in a lovely game of frisbee! Sadly, things got a little out of hand and we got a frisbee stuck in a tree. Go us.

Luckily, we have Matt (other Matt) to climb in the tree and get it.

Our cookouts are always fun, even for Bob, who expressed his hip side to us.

Oh what a fun day it was!

Halle, SC

August 3rd

Every other intern seems to be out for the week (well, not every other, but around 5 I believe), so we are running on low intern staff at the moment.

I continued working on the powerpoint today while Matt continued with his calculations. Everything is beginning to come together now, which is nice to see. We obviously still have a lot of work ahead of us, but it is nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Once Dr. D. clears the data, we will have to begin to further prepare for our presentation. We also will be assembling a paper of our research. He wants everything to be documented for anyone in the future who wants to use the data. The paper seems daunting, but I'm really excited to get everything in one final packet.

Halle, SC

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August 2nd

Today we made quite a bit of progress. My favorite accomplishment of the day was the powerpoint. For our final presentation, we have to have a powerpoint with all our information. We hadn't started yet, and since it seems like a daunting task, we figured we should get started. Taking some tips from Presentation Zen, the movie we watched last week, I got started putting some slides together. After doing this for a bit, I realized that making powerpoints is my life calling (okay not really, but I will say that it does look quite nice). Although, I will admit, it's hard to make images of exploding energy off of the sun look zen. But regardless, it's coming along quite nicely.

Matt and I also found this really helpful website with solar wind speeds that should help make the data easier to collect, so we are progressing with that as well.

Halle, SC

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August 1st

Well today Matt and I ran into a bit of a roadblock. The satellite we were going to use to create a third point is very close to earth, too close that it is too hard to make accurate measurements of the times when CMEs arrive. Dr. D. was out of town, so we started working on things for our presentations. He will be in tomorrow so hopefully we can begin to solve this issue.

Halle, SC

Monday, August 1, 2011

July 29th

Today Matt and I continued doing research on auroras. Since we know the travel time to the satellite outside of earth, knowing when auroras occur should tell us the actual travel time to earth, which will basically give us three points on a line, which will be extremely helpful. We are going to start going through all of our dates of CMEs and then look at the auroral spikes to figure out the travel time to earth. Should be quite the task.

Halle, SC

Friday, July 29, 2011

July 28th

Hello All! Today Matt and I finally located a way to measure solar auroras (with some help from Dr. D. of course). We now can look at any date and see if there was a spike in activity on earth. This should help us because now we can track CMEs and see if they reach Earth. We still have to research some more on this topic, but things are moving along quite nicely.

Halle, SC

Thursday, July 28, 2011

July 27th

Hello all! I was quite an interesting day today. One fun thing that we did was go to the Wednesday movie. It was all about making your presentations zen. It was actually very interesting and should be helpful for our presentations. Here some of the interns are gathered awaiting the presentation.

Later on in the day, Prati and Liz needed Elaine and I to be in an experiment. This was pretty fun, and we got to visit the Visual Perception lab in the process.

Overall, it was quite a successful day. As far as our research goes, we worked on finding images of solar auroras, which we will continue tomorrow.

Halle, SC

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 26th

Today we were quite productive. We completed a graph, which made us quite happy! Here are some videos to prove it!

Halle, SC

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 25th

So today was quite entertaining, seeing as we got to go on our first field trip! We went to Rochester Precision Optics and toured their manufacturing center. Afterwords, we all went to Pizza Hut. It was a fun way to start off the day, and we learned a lot of about optics in the process. I also had this interesting idea of taking videos, so here are a few of them. Although I didn't realize my phone cuts it off after 54 seconds so both are a little shorter than intended.

This first one is of us on the bus on our way back to campus from RPO.

And here you get a nice mini tour of the space weather lab!

Hope you enjoyed this fun, new approach I'm taking!

Halle, SC

Monday, July 25, 2011

July 22nd

Today is Friday! Matt and I continued on with our research. We found more satellites surrounding the sun, and looked at what quadrants the CMEs were in. We then composed a data chart of this, and will be doing further investigating on Monday. We also had our cookout today, which was very fun! The only negative is that it was extremely hot out. But we still managed to have a good time!

We played a large game of frisbee as well with all the interns, which was very fun in 100 degree heat with the sun right over our heads :]

Halle, SC

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 21st

I got in early today to get work done, which felt very productive. Then we worked on some research, which went pretty well. We located two more satellites that surround the sun, and are now using the three satellites to track more CMEs. The other satellites help omplete the full picture, so it's allowing us to predict space weather for Mars. We're still working with this concept, but thet's basically what we're up to. I'm headed out shortly because I've been tracking my hours and I'm about to go over! So time to rush up to clock out.

Halle, SC

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 20th

Today we completed our graph with the trend line and everything! It was great to get it completed, although this only meant we got assigned another task. Yay? It seems a bit confusing, but I'm sure with time we shall figure it out, just like we did with this past one. Sorry this is short, but I am on my way out. Overall, we accomplished quite a bit today and I am quite pleased!

Halle, SC

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July 19th

Hello! Today was very productive in the Space Weather research. We narrowed down our data points, and although we have few, there is definitely a correlation between the predicted times/speeds and the actual times/speeds. It was nice to see that on a graph because we have been working with this data for a bit now, and up until today we were constantly hitting roadblocks. We still have to find more data to confirm our theory, but at least it is a step in the right direction. So by mid-afternoon, we were back to finding more data. After finding a few more, I'm about ready to call it quits for the day. You can only look at so many pictures of CME's and electron graphs until you start to go a little crazy!

So yes, today was good! We also had a morning breakfast, which was fun! Hopefully we'll do that every week! I got here early today, but didn't clock in until 10 because I had to run over to the engineering building and help with a WE@RIT camp for my robotics team (The IgKNIGHTers). Although it obviously isn't work related, it was kinda fun to see the other cool things that are going on here at RIT. I also had to go over to Public Safety to discuss a minor parking violation with them. So I guess you can say I'm getting more and more acquainted with the campus and the people here.

Halle, SC

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18th

I'm getting ready to leave so excuse the shortness of this blog. Today was a good day. We had some calculation issues soooo that wasn't too fun. We're going back and checking through data points. It takes longer than expected because for each point you have to go back through the images, the electron charts, and then recalculate from there. And plus Matt and I are trying to be extremely precise. Hopefully we should have everything cleared up by midday tomorrow.

Halle, SC

Friday, July 15, 2011

July 15th

Today wasn't what I would necessarily classify as exciting, but nonetheless, things were accomplished. In the morning, we discovered that the data I had given Matt wasn't exactly fitting for what he was hoping to accomplish. Because of this, we had to take a different approach. So once afternoon rolled around, all we had to do is add another column to our data chart. Sadly, there are 100 rows in the chart so this would involve quite a bit of work. Frustrated and confused, we called on Dr. D. for some assistance. So he came down to the lab and gave us some guidance, which made our task a lot more manageable. Instead of doing all 100 points, he helped us narrow down what was to be recalculated, which made the task much more feasible. We got started on it today, and  this will hopefully be completed on Monday. We shall see.

There wasn't anything eventful today, although we did find a new lunch location. Instead of sitting at Global Village, we decided to sit beneath the trees in the shade, which was a nice switch. Only half of the group joined us, however, because the guys insisted they needed to sit at tables. But hey, we still had a good time.

So it's currently Friday afternoon and I'm hitting the 4 o'clock slump. I've been looking at the same graphs for hours so I may go check out some other labs when I'm done blogging. Have a good weekend everyone!

Halle, SC

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 14th

Hello again! Today was another great day! I finished finding all 100 data points, which was quite the feat. I then was able to form the graph I needed and pass all that information onto Matt. He is then going to take my velocities and times and plug them into an equation that will allow him to find some constant. This constant is very important, but to be totally honest I forgot why...good thing that's his project, not mine! But I'm very pleased with today because ever since Monday, I've been focusing on these velocities, and it feels good to finally finish something. Well, finish part of something, because I am obviously far from done.

Another fun thing about today was our cookout. We got to experience some intern bonding in front of the Carlson building. With a grill and some lawn games, anything can happen! It was nice to take a little break, especially on such a nice day. Also, the Blue Angels were practicing above us the whole time. Although I suppose it was a bit loud, it definitely was an experience. I think everyone had a great time, and I can't wait to make this a weekly tradition!

Like every other event so far, I made sure to document it:

After lunch, I had some free time, so I got to go up and visit Kelsey in her lab. First of all, her lab has the best chairs. Second, and of course more importantly, her research is quite cool. She explained the "ghetto PTM" to me, which was quite interesting. And I got the chance to look at some of her cool equipment in her awesome lab, which, I must say, is a bit more colorful than our basement lab.

So, in conclusion, it was a successful Thursday. Almost the weekend!

Halle, SC

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 13th

Today was a good day. As far as my project goes, I got quite a bit accomplished. I am now taking the different velocities I have found and graphing them versus the time it takes the CMEs to reach earth. I already had about 10 data points, but Dr. D. informed me that I need at least 100. Greeeeeeat. At least it will keep me busy for a while, and looking at the images of the CMEs is quite interesting. In case any of this doesn't make sense, maybe looking at our chalk board will clear things up...

No? It doesn't? I mean the diagrams make the concept look so easy! (Sarcasm). But no, it isn't that bad, and I'm really enjoying space weather so far!

Today was also exciting because Kelsey, Evelyn, and I took a trip to the RIT library! I hadn't been there before, so it was a fun, new experience. First, we discovered the very small elevator. Although rather scary, we found it entertaining. As you can see below, Kelsey was having a good time.

And then came my favorite part of the library. I found an entire encyclopedia collection on Physics. For some reason this made me extremely happy. I might be taking a few more visits to this library this summer...and by might I mean I most definitely will be.

One last fun thing happened today. We discovered that if you go watch fun scientific movies at noon on Wednesdays, you get free pizza and soda. To be honest, I went solely for the free food, but the lectures by Jeff Hawkins on The Genesis of Palm Computing were actually really interesting and educational. I'm thinking about making theseWednesday movies a pattern.

So, in conclusion, today was great :]

Halle, SC

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 12th

Today was quite productive. First, Matt and I trekked all the way to the other side of campus to find Public Safety so I could get my parking pass. This took us about an hour, seeing as neither of us knew where we were going. But at least now we know! Once we returned to the lab, we returned to our research. Things went well for a while, but we hit a road block by early afternoon. Unfortunately, Dr. D. was in a meeting, so we couldn't progress much farther. I was able to find the initial velocities for over ten CME's, but I couldn't figure out how to use their total energy to figure out their velocities once they reach earth. Oh well, tomorrow's another day. There's not much else we can do, so I guess I'll find a few more velocities and then visit some other people's labs. And blog of course!

So one fun thing I've decided to do is make this a picture blog, too. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? Let's's us eating at lunch

 And this is the notebook Dr. D. gave me to use. You could say I'm pretty proud of my research so far :]

Halle, SC

Images of the Day!

I thought I would upload some images I'm working with to make my task more clear to my numerous viewers. That's sarcasm, I know my demographic is quite small. Anyway, the first image is of a CME coming off the sun. The CME itself it what I have to measure to determine velocity. I have to look at several images over an elapsed time to figure that out. The bottom image is a chart measuring electron energy. I can use these values to determine the velocity of the CME once it reaches earth. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Working Hard :]

First Day!

Today was my very first day at RIT as an intern! Everyone else started last Wednesday, so I suppose I am the late comer. Everyone is so kind and welcoming, so I am settling in just fine. As the title of my blog suggests, I am working with space weather. Dr. D. gave me a basic intro of what I will be doing, and to be completely honest, it went a little over my head. After getting started with the data, however, things become much more clear. I will try to give a basic summary of what I will be doing for a little while. I am currently looking at a camera that captures images of coronal mass ejections. I am then comparing the dates and times of the images taken to a chart the measures the energy of x-rays, protons, and electrons. I then compare these energies to see if the CME reached earth. It sounds complicated but it really isn't too bad once you get it figured out, or once you ask Dr. D. a thousand questions. Once I know if it reaches earth, I use basic physics to determine the velocity of the CME. By comparing velocities, I can then figure out the drag on the CME. So I'm assuming this task will take me a bit, but we shall see.

There's one other space weather intern, whose name is Matt. Basically he's doing the theory of things and I'm doing the experimental side. He seems pretty cool, and I'm not just saying that because he's standing over my shoulder. We both share a lovely lab in the basement of the building which lacks windows and natural sunlight. Yay for fluorescent lights! But in all seriousness, our lab is quite nice and we're haing a great time!

Now, time to get back to work and to continue learning about my task!

Halle, SC