Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 18: Excellent. It's Friday!

         Well, today was day 1 of 2 of Liz being in Illinois. It's so boring when you don't have anyone to talk to! Anyways, I Yarbus'ed for like 3 hours this morning before lunch. It was brutal. I did get 3 videos made which is pretty satisfying. I left at 11:30 to go to the weekly grill/cook-out session. It was a well needed break! I stayed there until like 1:30 :x, but we had lots of fun GNOME BOWLING!
It's a master-piece.

What a pro. Also those are the GNOMES ^!
         I came back and got a nice surprise visit from the head of the MVRL department (lab?) He seemed nice, but Jeff asked me to explain to him everything that was going on in the lab. I usually do well when I'm speaking to random people about things that I have little or no knowledge about, but Jeff caught me completely off guard. So I probably sounded like a complete idiot! I then proceeded to Yarbus once again. However, this time the rendering of the completed movie was going to take like an hour. So I started adding some fun facts to our end of the summer powerpoint. But then I got bored so I went to visit Halle's lab where there was basically a partyy! I stayed there until my movie finished rendering and now I can't bring myself to Yarbus anymore today... I might just read the new paper for tuesdays lab meeting, UGH. Oh and Yarbus, our pet dinosaur from the Christmas Tree Shop died today. 
Notice how he's all deflated?...I blame the boys in our lab.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 17: Progress.

        We finished running all of our subjects today which felt really good because Liz and I no longer need to keep the experiment a secret. So our question is: does sound affect (effect?) people's eye movements when watching commercials? And if so, does that make it harder or easier to remember all the commercials? What we did was test 8 subjects, 4 girls and 4 boys. 2 of the 4 girls and 2 of the 4 boys watched an entire episode of Jeopardy! in silence (that includes the commercials too)! We apologize to those of you who had to endure that. It was sort of awkward just having to sit there in silence (lol). Once we were done with the SMI a camera crew moved in because they were doing some work for the dermatology experiment that's going on. There have been so many camera people in our lab recently!
          After lunch Liz and I did Yarbus. It was for the driving study. And once I'm done with this blog I'm going to resume doing those because I'm not getting picked up until 4:45! Alright well, now I'm done with this blog  so I'm actually going to Yarbus. Oh we did get slightly bored today so we photoboothed!

Day 16: Finally!

       Pretty much all day today Liz and I ran our experiment. We were really excited at first. But, then we realized that we had to sit in the kids lab for each 30 to 40 minute subject. It got boring and tedious really quickly. Don't get me wrong though! Liz and I were actually super excited, at first. Luckily, we had multiple visitors throughout the day :)
Hey kids!
        We got free lunch again today (win!) because most of the interns decided to go to the entrepreneur movie/presentation session. I think I'm going to make this a weekly deal. It's pretty sweet. The presentation was surprisingly helpful. Last week and the week before were pretty bad, but we endured them for the food. But, today's gave Liz and I some helpful tips on how to make our final presentation powerpoint excellent. 
         About an hour after getting back to the kids lab some lady told us that she needed the room. We said ok, but she could've been nicer in telling us to leave. We didn't know you had to reserve the room or that there was a calendar!
         Anyways, Liz left at 5 and I had to stay until 6:15ish :( I found stuff to do though. I read all of Hari's iViewX manual on the Wiki because Jeff told us to comment on it. I think he did a great job! Though I was having loads of fun being in the lab all alone that late, I was ecstatic to leave!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 15: Lab bonding (ish?)

         So we spent about half the morning trying to figure out what to do (haha). We settled on re-learning how to use the SMI machine because we are going to need know how to use it for our experiment. It took another 15 minutes to transfer our video to our USB because it's so long. When it was finally done we went over to the kids lab and did the SMI stuff! Then we ran Kurt as our first practice lab rat because he isn't in the real experiment. He was actually quite entertaining to watch because he's such a complainer.    
         At 12:15 Kurt drove Nadya, Jon, Liz, and I to the King and I because that's where we were having free lunch while discussing the Carlson Center for Imaging Science's Person Ethics and Professional Integrity code. It was a fun trip.
         When we got back at 2:00 all of us went to the lab meeting where Jeff decided to have us, the interns, summarize what the obnoxiously long chapter was about. We each said about 5 words because thats all we comprehended from the chapter. I left at 4:30ish because I had class at night :(

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 14: Field Trip (numero uno)

        Today before all the interns and some undergrads went on a field trip to Rochester Precision Optics (RPO) Liz and I brainstormed some things to talk about tomorrow at our weekly lab meeting. This wasn't a very productive time because we were anticipating our vey first field trip! When it was 10:10 Liz and I went down to the lobby-ish area and met up with everyone.
        Bob and Joe got us a party bus and we'll have the same one every field trip (thats something to look forward too!)
this is our beautiful party bus. Jealous? You should be :)
The field trip was quite interesting and I definitely learned a lot. As a visiting present all of us got these AWESOME pens!. They're the kind that have all the necessary colors in just one pen! Amazing right? I know. Bob and Joe treated everyone to Pizza Hut for lunch and although it was disgusting I still ate :) But, seriously Pizza Hut's food is always dripping in grease. Yummmm...jk
       Well, when we got back to the lab, we printed out our surveys and we felt really productive. It went downhill after that. Glenn told us how to play angry birds online so we did that for a while. Then we basically had a jam session before and after Karen taught us how to use a new feature of Yarbus(fuuun). We analyzed Jeff's driving video and criticized his driving as well :) Though truthfully, he is an excellent driver. Currently I'm listening to Taylor Swift while writing this blog because I have nothing else to do. Hopefully tomorrow we can start our experiment! Wooo
These are addicting little cookies. I resisted. Liz couldn't.
What makes them even better than normal teddy grahams
is that they are MINIS. They are literally adorable. How could you eat one?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 13: TGIF woooot!

        Before lunch I started the article Karen assigned us for the lab meeting on tuesday. Then I went to the cook out with the other interns and played some apple to apples and Frisbee. After lunch I continued to read the article. I didn't finish :(

Day12: Almost friday!

        The morning started off really well! Bob surprised all the interns with donuts and needless to say they disappeared immediately! Before lunch we were really quite productive. We completed our after survey which felt pretty good. We spent the rest of the time before lunch trying to figure a question to answer for our experiment. We did the scientific method out of order again (haha), but we are hitting all the components it calls for.
        After lunch we had to help clear out the room for a photo-shoot for this dermatology magazine (i think). Liz and I got to model a little which at first was funny, but then got slightly annoying. While the photo-shoot was going on, Liz and I got a head start on the end of the summer power point because once the driving data comes in we may not have enough time to do both.
        Since our pay cycle runs friday to thursday I had to make sure I finished my 40 hours today. I finished it at 4:26ish but then my mom couldn't come get me until really late because she got pulled into a meeting. I ended up getting a ride with Evelyn, because she's such an angel ;) Anyways today actually went by pretty quickly! However, I'm really glad tomorrow is friday. It's been a long weeeek.

We figured this would be a good idea because no one ever knows where Jeff is and everyone always need to see him. He's an important man :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 11: Making some progress

         This morning we went to visit Alex's lab up at remote sensing. He seems to be building some kind of computer which is really impressive! Of course, our work down in the MVR Lab is much more impressive ;) We started the day with Liz re-writing her blog because her computer deleted it all and didn't make a draft. I on the other hand, continued to make our movie on iMovie and we actually finished it today which was really exciting!
         Afterwards, we went down to the fishbowl to get some free food and watch a movie on entrepreneurship. This week's video was actually quite interesting. Then Kelsey, Liz, Elaine, and I all took a little adventure/ walk in the sweltering heat around RIT because the building is always so coooold. We like to cherish the heat when Rochester gets it!
         When Liz and I got back to the lab Jeff planted the idea in our head to go and try to burn some more paper with this very large and therefore more powerful lens he gave us! We were outside again for about 20 minutes and decided to quit because we were having absolutely no luck with getting that piece of paper to burn. We decided to get a head start on our powerpoint because on the last day of our internship when we have to present, it is necessary to have some sort of visual for the audience. Logically, we chose to do a powerpoint to display our findings. Then we continued doing work for our final advertising project. In order to test the lab rats on the video given to them, Liz and I created a survey/ quiz for them to take. Once again I cannot elaborate too much because we don't want anyone who is a potential lab rat to know anything crucial about our experiment!

Day 10: Doing some work

         We (the interns) had breakfast this morning and I brought in some blueberry muffins. I thought most of them were burned and therefore warned everyone that they may not taste good! To my delight, everyone seemed to enjoy them (although they could've just been eating them to be nice :)!)
         Liz and I got right to work. While she continued making survey's for our project, I read another article Andy told us to read. It was quite informative and could really help make our project more sophisticated. Afterwards the both of us continued to make surveys and once we were done with that, we planned out what we were gonna do for the rest of the day.
         In the afternoon Liz and I learned how to use iMovie from a YouTube video. I know how to use moviemaker, but iMovie apparently is completely different! After our little lesson in iMovie, we had to look for an episode of the Big Bang Theory on YouTube. Much to our disappointment, there were no full episodes on YouTube. We ended up using an episode of Jeopardy! While the episode downloaded, the entire lab had its first weekly lab meeting in the fishbowl. We discussed an article Karen told all of us to read and everyone in the lab went around and told everyone else what their different projects were. The meeting went from 2 to about 3:30! When we got back the entire episode was loaded. What went on after that is top secret because if any of the interns were to know what we did after loading the episode we wouldn't be able to use them as lab rats!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 9: Buckling down!

        We surprisingly got a lot accomplished today! I got to the lab early (8:15!) today because we both needed to read an article for Karen that ended up being short, but very dense. After our morning meeting we met with Andy who was really helpful in figuring out how exactly to set up our advertising experiment!
We spent about an hour with him and then really got to work on our project.
        We spent about an hour looking for advertisements for fast food chains, soda, cell phone companies, and car insurance. It was a lot of fun because we were on YouTube the entire time :) Afterwards, time seemed to fly. We created multiple versions of a survey that is to be given out to each person participating in our project. Since neither of us like mac's it took us a long time to figure out how to do everything. Today was quite the productive day.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 8: Harry Potter Day!!!

        Well, I went to bed around 5 am yesterday night (or this morning??) because I was up watching HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 and I'm not exactly sure how I'm functioning. Nevertheless, I showed up to work today 5 minutes early. Woot! During the morning meeting Liz and I volunteered to show all the interns our lab (MVRL). No one looked too excited to come see everything! I feel kind of bad because the whole time I was explaining the eye tracking device, I was speaking with a monotone. It was just too early!
        Afterwards Liz and I researched all day. Seriously. We took a break for lunch, but really I just swallowed my sandwich in one bite and took a little nap for 20 minutes! No worries though, I got up in time to go right back to work. 
        I think we've finally decided on a topic to research: advertisement and how people's eye's react to certain ones. We don't know yet what type of advertising we'll be studying, but a couple of ideas are television commercials, website advertisements, etc. This is going to be an awesome project so stayed tuned haha :)

Day 7: Boot Camp Day 2

        Oh geez! Today was a day filled with information. From 9am to 4pm Jeff and other people working in our lab spoke about the work that's going on. The good thing about our lab is that the people in it are actually quite interesting and animated so it didn't get boring too quickly :) Also, Liz and I had to present a brief explanation about the layers of the cornea and some details about Lasik eye surgery.
        For lunch Liz and I snagged some pizza from the fishbowl because it was for us(!!), but then we went out to the intern cookout and had more food! We stayed there for about an hour and then went back into the presentation.
        After the presentation was over, lots of people spoke about their projects and some of them sounded slightly intriguing. I left at 4:30 because I had to get prepared for HARRY POTTER <33333

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 6: Boot Camp Day 1

        Today was really over-whelming. Lots of information was being thrown at me and it was slightly hard to comprehend. From 9am- 12pm Jeff was explaining everything from parts of the eye to the sampling and alias theory. Luckily, after the 3 hour session Glen, Mike, and Karen explained everything in simple words for Liz and I! We also went on this fantastic tangent where I got to use a lens to burn paper!
      At the end of the day we called a bunch of lasik eye surgery locations to research a question that the people in boot camp assigned us. The question was to determine how deep into the cornea surgeons cut. Of the 5 locations we called no one could give us a straight answer as to how deep they cut (thats slightly concerning! haha) We're guessing that they just don't want to give out the measurements.

Uni: The result of using a very powerful lens to burn paper (with Jeffs  help of course!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 5: Still at the lab!

        From 9 am right up until 12pm Liz and I read the most grueling article by Keith Rayner titled 20 years of eye movement and reading. You all should go look it up and if you have some spare time, read it... :P. Afterwards we took a deserving break and made the trek uphill both ways to global village for some lunch. I once again ate a peanut butter and nutella sandwich. It is seriously the greatest combination of deliciousness.
        When we got back Liz and I buckled down and analyzed all our data from the word search. We decided to come up with a question for our research after we analyzed the data because all the possible questions we could think of were really general. After analyzing Kurt, Mike, and Karen's eye movement over the word search we decided to include another lab rat: Nadya. Our question ended up being what type of strategy is the most effective when trying to find as many words as possible in 5 minutes. Mike and Karen's strategy seemed to be the more effective one, but further experiments will help us draw a more valid conclusion. Karen and Mike used a scanning method where instead of going into the word search looking for a certain word, they just looked for words in general. When they think they found a word they would glance back to the word list and see if it was an option. This resulted in many more eye movements from the word list to the grid. Kurt and Nadya, on the other hand, went into the grid of words looking for a specific word and didn't try looking for another word until they found the one they were looking for. We came to that conclusion because both of them looked down at the word list far less frequently than Mike or Karen.
        At the end of the day Liz and I went to see Karen and told her all about what we discovered today. She answered a lot of questions we had about the article and gave us some useful ideas to further expand our little project into something longer!

Day 4: The spill...and other things

        Nothing too eventful happened today. Oh wait, just kidding! I spilled my entire 500 mL water bottle all over the contents of my purse. It was great. I spent a solid hour drying everything out because my cell phone decided that it wanted to break. Of course, I made sure it didn't because my parents refuse to buy me a new one until I go to college. The spill was probably the most stressful part of my day, seriously.
        All the interns went down to global village to eat lunch together again and I had a peanut butter and nutella sandwich (yum!) Personally, I feel like we should choose a closer eating location because when it's 90 degrees out walking all the way down there is a pain in the neck! 
        In the lab, Liz and I continued our experiment with tracking eye movement while lab rats (Mike, Kurt, and Karen!) completed the word search in 5 minutes. All day we basically had people do word searches and then took their videos, compiled them together in Yarbus, and made a movie. We have yet to figure out what exactly our question is, but we'll think of it eventually-as in tomorrow.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Woot! Friday/Day 3

           I was on time to the morning meeting today yayy! Actually I was 5 minutes early. When we went down to the lab Karen told us that we were going to be designing our own little mini experiment! Liz brainstormed a bunch of ideas ranging from the word search (which we ended up doing) to birdwatching! Designing and executing an experiment wasn't quite as easy as I thought it would be. We had to take into account many factors that I took for granted as just normal behavior. For example, when calibrating I thought that people would know to move just their eyes rather than move their head along with their eyes. By moving their head along with their eyes it made finding good points difficult. However, most people including the two of us move our heads subconsciously with our eyes. Ok well before we could even begin the actual execution of the experiment we had to sit down and design what exactly we wanted to do. We contemplated having the lab rat hold the word search at an angle and then complete it, but by doing that we weren't getting a good corneal reflection. Then we tried placing the word search on the table and that also didn't work for the same reason. The last possible solution was taping the word search to the wall and having the lab rat stand up and do it. This solution worked best because we could see both the pupil and the corneal reflection. 
        When we uploaded the scene video and eye video to Yarbus for the first time, Liz and I immediately noticed that the calibration target was placed too low and therefore the video wasn't displaying all the calibration points on the target. We did manage to pin point 7 calibration points for my video and 4 calibration points for Liz! However, we did only have 13 points on the target...! The second time we executed the experiment things went much better! We changed 4 things. The first thing we changed was the size of the word search. We enlarged it so that the letters were easier to see on the scene video. Second, we created a calibration target with 25 points instead of 13. Then we decided that it would be clever if we numbered the points on the target and say them out loud as the lab rat fixates on it. When I uploaded my scene video to Yarbus, everything was much better. I could see the pupil, corneal reflection, and everything in the scene. I ended up setting 23 of the 25 calibration points and they were evenly spread out resulting in reliable crosshairs. 
             At 10am Liz and I went to our very first Ph.D defense! The person defending his research is named Grigorios Tsagatakis! That's about all we comprehended from the defense haha :) After sitting through the defense Liz and I decided to reward ourselves with a rice krispy treat and some Reeses peanut  butter cups! For lunch all the interns went down to global village, rearranged 3 of the tables and pulled up some chairs to have bonding time! I ate a Dibella's sub (only a quarter of a foot though) and granola bar for lunch. I'm sure you all were dying to know exactly what I ate ;)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Second Day!

        The morning began with me writing a blog because Liz and I couldn't find either Karen or Jeff. When we didn't show up for an hour people apparently went searching for us! Whoops. Well, after that Liz and I with lots of help from Karen decided to conduct an experiment where we would track people's eye movement while they read/analyzed different texts and images. I was going to be the first person to go, but then Jeff asked me to come model for a dermatology magazine! It was an interesting experience. All I basically had to do was stand behind a dermatologist, look at a screen, and pretend I knew what I was looking at! After that was over I went back to the experiment. Liz had the eye tracker on (which is surprisingly lightweight and comfortable) and I had her read some posters for comprehension, analyze some images, and try to read text that was on a colored background. When she was done it was my turn. I did all the same texts as her. When we were done taking the video of our right eye, our job was to upload them to the computer and use Yarbus to calibrate and look for differences between my eye movement and Liz's while we read. Because we are still learning how to use the program, the calibration for both of us took quite a while. Hopefully we'll get the hang of it soon! Anyways, we concluded that both Liz and I read similarly however, Liz tends to re-read passages every time she reads, while I only re-read when I'm under the pressure of comprehension. Additionally, we learned that the eye when reading makes patterned movements and when looking at images makes quick movements to what we deem the most important parts of the picture.
        For the second part of the day Liz and I analyzed the eye video we took of Jeff on wednesday. We compared the accuracy of three types of calibration techniques. Our conclusion was that the head tick and 5 point calibration is slightly more accurate than the head move. We then took pictures of the three types of calibrations and posted our very first wiki! You should obviously go check out the masterpiece! :) 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

First Day!

        The first day went pretty well. I mean I got to the very first staff meeting 2 minutes late so that was slightly embarrassing, but otherwise the day was fun. Joe and Bob sent us on a grueling campus wide scavenger hunt and being the genius I am, wore jeans and a cardigan when it was like 80 degrees outside. Needless to say I got hot in about 5 minutes! I did however learn a lot about the campus and can now navigate to just about anywhere. My group didn't win, but I will find a way to get one of those imaging science t-shirts. You can always use an extra shirt! 
        Meeting Jeff and Karen was interesting again! They seem like really fun people and I'm eager to start working with them. I'm most excited to start my own project because I have so many ideas running (haha one of my ideas is running) through my mind. I suppose I still have time to choose a topic, but I just want to get started! Karen and Jeff showed Liz and I exactly how to use the eye tracking camera and also how to use the program Yarbus to compile all the videos and audios we took while Jeff was wearing the camera. The program was slightly overwhelming because there are so many different things you need to remember, but Jeff assured us we would be getting lots of practice! Liz and I also met the other people in the lab who seemed a little grumpy, but Karen said that's only because they've been analyzing the California data and doing the same thing over and over again for a while. 
        Ok, well I'll be writing in this blog every day recounting my exciting experiences in the MVRL! Bye...for now!