Thursday, May 31
We got our internet usernames (NetIDs) for logging into integrated services like email and WordPress. It took a while to get everyone through the process; there were quite a few hiccups and the VRAC IT team stood by to help.
We heard short presentations from each of the four research leads explaining our projects for the next 10 weeks. I think we were all a bit disappointed to hear that, despite being in the VRAC, none of our projects inherently include VR, and two of them (Biosensors and TIMELI) simply cannot.
After group presentations, the 12 of us split off into our research groups and followed our mentors to their respective labs. Victoria, Ohana, and I went to Black Engineering with Dr. Dorneich and Jacklin Stonewall (a graduate student in his lab). I was pleased to see flight sim hardware and a Vive tracking system set up, but we also might not use any of it.
The biggest takeaway I got from the DataViz small group meeting is that this project is incredibly squishy. We’re looking to solve a vague problem, then evaluate the result with vague metrics. It’s up to us to do a literature review and define the goal and the metrics, but that seems to be the norm in the research world. It’s a very big change from the standard school project method, where you’re handed specific requirements and have no say in what you’re doing (only how).
Next, we went out to lunch with those same small research groups. We went to a burrito place and talked a little more about our backgrounds. After eating, we returned to the lab and took a survey before starting our first class: Craft of Research.
We learned some basics about why, what, who, etc. in the research world. As an exercise, we answered some questions about our individual projects, like who will benefit from it or what readers will already know before reading the paper.
So far, no signs of homesickness.