We’ve recently started a group of people who go to the gym and play sports that we’re bad at and we call ourselves “Bad Ballers”. We’ve started playing each other in badminton and I think we have all gotten pretty good at it.
I soon hope to learn how to play basketball too because I’ve always wanted to play in those 5v5 pick up games that each college basically have. Unfortunately, I can’t dribble or shoot correctly yet.
Example of me with the ball:
We are almost done…. I don’t really have much to say besides we spent around 9 weeks ago to start a project and now it’s almost done.
I think last weekend was the most active that we have had in the terms of group activities. We had a trip to the Mall on Saturday and a Hackathon on Sunday.
I’m not that big of a spender so going to the mall was not that exciting going through the mall so I walked around the place for like 30 minutes then sat down until it was time to leave. Then I want into Barnes and Noble with Stephan and Mary and looked at books we used to read as kids. My favorite were these graphic novels called Bone written by Jeff Smith.
On Sunday we had a Hackathon where I spent most of my time practicing my typing. I have already learned where all the keys are on the keyboard but the only issue is I can’t type it quickly without messing up yet.
Today we went to the Arcadia Cafe for lunch where through recommendation, I chose the Arcadia Hot Dog.
The cafe doesn’t contain very vivid details of the food choices so I thought I would get the most generic food choice, the hot dog.
How ever when they brought it over I found the sausage inside of a hollowed out baguette and inside was all the condiments. At first I was unsure how to eat it since the bread was tough to bite into and the sides and bottom needed to stay otherwise the sauces would leak.
Eventually I ate the hot dog like it was a sandwich with hard to chew bread, but over all I really liked that cafe.
We finished the experiment and have the data we need, we spent multiple hours in the justice center and was able to get an adequate amount of officers. But the only issue now is interpreting the data because right now it looks like a bunch of numbers …..
Yesterday night we spent roughly 10 hours running our experiment at the police station. It was really interesting when we got to visit the jail control room and see how they survey everyone there. The jail was surprisingly calm where the jailers would be mingling in the commons area or play cards.
While we were running our experiment we got to see them perform another similar type of experiment where the officers would work with drones in a clearing mission. We got 3 and a half participants until they all got a dispatch for a hostile vandalizing in which we were without a participant for an hour and 30 minutes from 12 am to 1:30 am.
In the end, we got 5 participants and today we will hopefully get enough to reach over 10 to have a good amount of data. I think the data that we are getting is very interesting and beneficial.
Also, yesterday was my first-day drinking Monster and I’ve had 2, its strange when they make something bad for you taste good.
To be honest we spent most of the time outside.
We went to an etiquette class where we learned the proper way to eat and have a stable conversation while at the dinner table. Something that I didn’t know was that trained waiters place the food on your left side and take your plates from the right side. I think that is a very efficient concept to make so the movements can be more organized such as, if you finish eating you are prepared for someone to take your plate from the right and the new ones from the left so you don’t bump in to each other.
Then we got Iowa State t-shirts and took a bunch of really amazing pictures for a whole hour!
This is one of my favorites.
Recently I found out where the vending machines are located in the Howe Hall.
There has been many times when I was simply hungry for a snack but I was limited to the stuff I brought from home. But luckily I found out where they are and the had four machines one was snacks, two were for drinks and one was for ice cream.
I was so happy to see that they had my favorite type, Strawberry Shortcake so I bought one. However, the vending machine gods did not smile upon me and stayed in the column.
So sadly I had to pay another $1.80 for another one to knock it down, but at least I will be able to save it for tomorrow. 🙂
Last Saturday, we went to the Sheriff’s office to gain the measurements for the layout of the building.
When we went there Dr. Stone gave us a quick tour of the sheriff’s office where we saw the interview rooms, photo room and many closed doors to where we weren’t allowed. After the tour we got junior deputy stickers 🙂
Once we got the measurements we attempted to make the drone run through the rooms with the Go programming, however the test runs did not go as planned. First, we had issues with accurately programming the drone to move precisely and if the code was not precise, the drone would hit the walls or something more important. Another issue was that the every changing variables of the police office could alter the changes we have for the code.
Due to these changing issues we decided to pre-record the drone film with the use of the phone app to make a similar and efficient way of running the experiment. I the next time we go to the station we will be flying the drones with the phone to get the the video like we would of gotten the live stream from the code.
This week was pretty short but I feel like a good amount of stuff happened.
The VR Immersive project is basically complete, the maze has an eerie feel to it having creepy sound, dark glowing rooms to navigate and the only source of light is the flashlight in our hands. It will be fun to show our project because they will be able to experience it firsthand instead of using presentations.
Also tomorrow we are finally go to see the sheriff’s office and figure the measurements for the experiment. If we are able to finish the measurements and if they’re participants there we may be able to start getting data for the experiment.
Also I had a pretty fun 4th of July we had a cookout, went to the pool and had a game night.
I have mixed feelings about my weekend…..
It started of as a casual weekend where I spent most of the day sleeping til 3 and then I decided to go to the store to buy groceries at Target. When I went to the bus stop it was about 90 degrees and I could feel the blasts of heat hit my face making me sweat even though I was simply sitting down. When I finally got to Target I started to rain, however , the temperature was still around 90 degrees with random waves of extra heat so the rain drops were HOT. Saturday was the first time I felt what was like boiling rain, also, the heat and water combined to create these massive waves of humidity where it made it increasing difficult to breathe.
By the way this was still part of my good day….
When I went of the bus back home with my groceries right when I was about to open the apartment door I realized that my wallet which is supposed to be in the same pocket where missing. So, I put all my stuff down and went to the bus stop to try to find out where they are, however it started pouring rain heavily so even though it was a 3 minute run to the bus stop I was completely soaked.
Luckily someone gave the wallet to one of the bus drivers so I followed the route to meet them. As happy as I was to get my wallet safe and sound, I had to take the entire bus route to get back to the dorm, with regard that I am still drenched in water getting colder by the minute do to the AC in the bus. After taking the bus all the way back the rain finally cleared up.
I would have taken a picture of the clearing sky to put in this post…. but the moment I tried to take a picture my phone died……..
It’s close to the end of week 5 and I am sure I have gotten used to this kind of lifestyle, waking up at 7 am, working on things til 5 pm and either buying or making my dinner. Now I feel like I would be fine if I had to live on my own back home but the only issue is that I might gain more weight because I will be too tired to exercise after doing all of that.
In the terms of the research project we have started to do more of the writing portion like the literature review and the methodology of the project instead of the technical side since we’ve been stuck in finding a way to have the drone be keyboard controlled. I know that we are progressing in the same of the paper but if the difficulties in the drones start arising, then it might effect the experiment.
I guess it’s in the aspect that I’m standing still while the earth keeps on moving.
Here’s a funny yet relatable Computer Science version of the meme before.
Yesterday we went to the ISU gym and had a yoga class and I guess I needed that. I have started I method to exercise at my dorm which is whenever I am watching my TV shows or anything that I usually sit down for, I will do some sort of standing exercise. I recently started last weekend and now most of my body is sore, especially my legs so doing something like yoga to stretch me out felt great.
Now I have most of the feeling in my legs but I also still have my stress. I never really understood when the instructor would say things like “As you raise your hands let go of all your stress and pressure”, and I feel like it is impossible to just act like my stress and worries are like trash that I can just throw out.
I still think it was a good experience and would still try again.
We’re almost about to be halfway finished with the REU program so that means we should also be almost done with setting up the outlines for what our paper will look like. This week will be more focused on the literature side of the project and not searching for the code to better operate the drones. Another thing that has ramped up is the Deeper Dives final project, however we didn’t get to work on it much today because all the computers that we were working with all had to be updated. Fortunately, we already know that we plan to make a virtual basketball game so now all we have to do is add a basketball court feel and have the contact with the basketball more fluid.
Also since people said my posts are bland here’s something to think about:
I felt that week 4 went really quickly for me despite all the different things that we did that nothing really seemed novel to me, maybe is it because I have gotten used to the life here? I feel the largest reason for myself feeling stagnant is that in our project we have uncovered our biggest technical issues which revolves around not finding a code to allow us manually control the tello drone, connecting the multiple drones to one computer and if we can’t connect all of them to one then connect multiple screens to one monitor.
OK!! Aside from the difficult issues that we had, I also won the bowling game we had on Thursday and the most bowling experience I had was from Wii Sports so I’m pretty happy about that.
P.S (We started a game right after so the last games scores are the top yellow.)
P.S.S (I stands for Inshira- just to make sure)
On Tuesday we started to design the this year’s summer t-shirt and the rule is that we must come to an even consensus on the base color of the t-shirt, secondary color of the t-shirt, and the art on the front and back of the shirt. Unfortunately, we only had a hour to discuss and I honestly felt like it was the most difficult discussion that we had. We had multiple votes and many people with far outliers and made the decision very difficult. However, I believe we more or less settled for a dark gray base color with a turquoise secondary color with an art made by Kira. I’m looking for to what the end result will look like.
As progress in my major of computer science I have seen a very large issue that I have compared to everyone else, and that is my inability to type without looking. My school district was not very keen on encouraging children to learn so many people ended up not learning how to type. However, in my first year of college I seen how crucial it is to be able to type unconscionably so instead on focusing on looking at the keyboard you could keep your attention on the screen looking at the code. I am currently taking a typing instructional class that goes over two keys at a time and provides exercises with words that contain the letters you have learned. So far I have learned the home row and the index & middle finger extensions (basically the middle of the keyboard). I hope to fully learn how to type all the keys without looking and when I do I will probably make a post without looking.
Today we learned how to operate Unity which is a very interesting game making program. Out all of the different classes we have had so far which is Maya, Solidworks and C++ I believe Unity is the most fun and interesting. There are many tutorials and guides to do in Unity, they range from making 2D games to interactive 3D games to incredibly realistic 3D art. What is the best thing about Unity is that the means of installing Unity is basically free so it is an amazing thing to spend your free time on.
So far we’ve gotten the drones to fly and show streaming video via connection of a computer monitor through the use of go programming code. Now the biggest challenge is to make the programming code work with two of them at the same time. So now we have two tello drones to work with and a additional WiFi connector. Hopefully by by next we we are able to successfully connect the drones to a single montior and be able to create a zip file that contains all the installers so we can allow a different computer the ability to control the drones also.
I almost forgot that this was coming up this year. I plan to watch as many games as I can, however both USA and Ghana were kicked out of the Cup so I have no personal bias to any of the teams playing so I plan to simply watch. Eight years ago my parents home country Ghana was about break African history by being the first African country to make it to the semi-finals. Their match was against Uruguay and was a tied 1 to 1 game near to the end of the game, around the last few minutes Ghana made a strong push to score the goal which revolved around multiple shots against the goalie and the defenders feet away from the goal. Unfortunately Ghana made a shot that should have been considered a goal but a Uruguay player who was not the goalie used their hand to throw it out. Normally that should have still been a goal but due to the decision of the referee it was changed to a penalty kicked that was missed and resulted in the unfair loss of Ghana and the dream of an African country participating in the semi finals. That my most memorable experience of the World Cup, mostly surrounding everyone in my family scream and cry in anger. so now I plan to watch it for watching sake :).
So far this week we have gotten really close to implementing the drones. I have finally downloaded all the software to make the drone operate based on the code I run. The only issue now is how to use the coding language is really undefined so I need to do more investigating to learn how to make it do novel things.
We are almost done regarding the structure of the project. The group plans to have the IRB written up by the end of this week so our goal is to finalize our thoughts of how we want the research to end up. Another task to do is to is to learn how to code the drones in go programming,which is a slight adaptation to C++ but more annoying in a sense where they couldn’t have written it in C++ >:/ . But I fell that once we finish these we will be on a set course of interactive trails for our research.
The goals we have for this week is to finalize the IRB draft and the abstract for our experiment. Dr. Stone told us how they had already done a similar type of study, therefore we could request for the guidelines of our research to be included. Another goal we have in mind is to successfully learn how to code the Tello drones using go programming.
I feel like this will be a lot to do, but after we are able to complete it we will be able to take the drones to the sheriff’s office and fly them there! I think once we be able to finish all the paperwork, we will be able to freely experiment with the drones.
For the Intro to HCI course our homework was to find two interfaces that were not convenient, so my two are the door handles for the Chipotle near south Walmart and the sinks in Frederickson Apartments.
The door handles are a bad interface because they don’t tell you if it is push or pull so many people are unlucky when they choose the wrong 50% chance which is push from inside and pull from outside.
The sink is a bad interface because the faucet takes up most of the sink space, not allowing you to do anything requires your face close to the sink (splashing your face, shaving and etc.)
Wow I was not ready for yesterday. Back in Maryland we have ever changing weather which makes looking at the forecast not the most important thing, there is a saying that the weather in Maryland is a changing as the state flag(aka Maryland has the best state flag). Anyway yesterday was the first thunderstorm mixed with hail that I have ever experienced.
The thunder was incredibly loud, so much that I felt that they were right next to us. Despite our hardest attempt to hop from building to building, by the time we reached the bus stop we were already drenched. But that’s not all! When we reached the bus stop it begun to hail!
Running to the apartment was one of the scariest things due to the painful raining hail and the temporary blindness from the heavy rain and blinding lighting.
I will be sure to check the weather next time.
Today we had our second day of C++ programming and it is going well so far. Last semester my Computer Science class was based off of C++ therefore I feel really comfortable taking this class. I am also glad that the way that we well program the drones for our project is programmed a similar way. I’m surprised how versatile C++ is.
Today we had a special guest meet us in the James Bernard Conference room who goes by the name Mark Mba Wright. Dr. Wright is a Bio – Mechanical Engineer and works on the effects of bio-renewable resources and the effects that current methods of energy creation are affecting the environment.
He discussed about the effects it has on climate, such as extreme weather conditions either hot or cold like massive snowstorms, large floods and record breaking hot days. He also talked about ways to collect energy while helping the environment by the use of Biochemical and Thermo-chemical Bio-fuel.
It was very exiting to hear him talk about the research that he works in considering my major is more related to Technology than Life Science. I’m looking forward to the next speaker!!
I really feel like I have gotten used to the life of Iowa. The campus of ISU is roughly 5 times bigger than my campus UMBC, therefore it has been really interesting coordinating my day to link it with catching bus rides. There are also many food areas on and off campus which makes figuring out where to eat difficult yet exciting. I believe the area with most attractions is the line of stroes in Lincoln Way aka. CampusTown. Having a large selection of areas to eat, shop and socialize greatly impacts my Iowa experience.
Today we entered the C6 chamber which provided an incredibly high-resolution 3-D version of the images displayed on to the screen. Just standing in the chamber gives the feeling of realisticness and knowing that if science progresses where the C6 chamber can be developed easier and more cost-efficient the possibilities that it could be used for would be endless.