Its the Last Day?! It Can’t be Over Yet! – August 2, 2019
Wow I can’t believe it’s the last day of the program and my last full day in Iowa… It honestly has been a super great experience and leaving is so bittersweet.. I am so lucky to have had this opportunity and I think I definitely made the most out of this experience. I have learned so much. One of the big things I learned this summer was how to focus on my own skills and development academically, its definitely something I hope to bring back with me and not compare myself to peers. I have met so many awesome people here that I hope to stay in contact with when I leave. I know now that I will have friends to visit when I come back to Iowa as well as other states around the US. I had the best roommates that were such a great support system as well as just amazing friends. I also had a great team to work with this summer and great mentors to help us succeed. We had our symposium yesterday and I’m honestly sooo proud of all of us for all we accomplished this summer. I feel like I finally was able to tell people what we did this summer and that alone is a huge accomplishment since it took me a long time to fully understand what we even did! lol I got some public speaking skills in yesterday and I can thank my Toastmasters clubs for getting me there over all these years. Iowa is definitely a gorgeous place. Last night we went to the high trestle trail and it was so peaceful, beautiful, and relaxing to say the least. I can really appreciate the quiet of nature and that bridge was definitely that with all the stars you could see, the river you could hear, and just spending time with friends. Iowa was definitely a nice “go off the grid” place where you can get away and relax out in the open. It has been a great one Iowa and I definitely think I would like to come back eventually. I love you guys and will miss you all so much!! Thank you to everyone that helped me out this summer, interns, mentors, and everyone in VRAC.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the summer!
Almost Done! – July 31st, 2019
We are almost finished! Yesterday was super crazy trying to edit the poster about 1000 times… Sorry Tiffany for so many different versions! We finally got it all done though and we are ready for it to be shown at the symposium tomorrow. Today has been a pretty good day as well. Started by having a meeting with Stephen to get my resume critiqued and then a meeting with Mindy to also get it critiqued. Both gave me some awesome critiques on what to change to make it a lot more competitive. I am about to make the changes and show it to Mindy again. After the critiques we had HCI course and it honestly is such really cool and interesting stuff we cover in that class. I’m excited to hopefully do an independent study at my school with the only professor that does HCI type work. We had an “ice cream social” and we have all been working on the paper that is due today by 5. Productive yet fun day today 🙂 that is honestly the best. Combining work and play is so important and I hope I can have more of that balance between the two once I go back to school. Tomorrow is the symposium and I’m excited to see what it will be like. The week is honestly going by so fast and it needs to slow down just a little bit!
Start of the Last Week – July 29th, 2019
Well…Its the last week! It’s bittersweet honestly. This weekend was really great with trying to spend time with the rest of the interns for our last weekend together. We had our farewell dinner at Texas Roadhouse which was had really good food. It was great getting to connect with the other interns and get to have some great fun conversations with them. Saturday our mentor asked if we could come in to try to work on the code for our results section to have something but we honestly had no luck really. At our Friday meeting our mentors told us we were going to have a meeting on Monday at 10am.. (today) and this was Friday at 5pm. This is why we decided to come in on Saturday since one hour on Monday before the meeting would not be enough to work on what they wanted. I have a feeling that the results part might not be great for the poster/paper. We still are working on that this week as we have to print the poster tomorrow by 3pm then we finally have the symposium on Thursday.
Feeling Better and Now Back to Work – July 26th, 2019
Yesterday was a pretty bad day. The night before I started to have a stomachache and in the middle of the night it had gotten even worse and I was up the whole night in pain and threw up a few times. The morning came and I still was feeling bad and decided to not go to work and went to the doctor. They gave me an antacid and an anti nausea pill. Both definitely helped and I was able to go home and finally sleep. I slept through the night and was able to come to work today after feeling a lottt better. Been trying to take it easy still to try to not upset my stomach again but the day has been pretty good with working on the poster again, working on my resume and looking into HCI programs that might be of interest.
Two Weeks Left…- July 19th, 2019
The summer is coming close to the end, honestly it makes me a little sad to think about. We have had such a great time here. It has surely been an adventure coming here and I have loved every minute of this experience. All the new technologies I have learned, the new people I have met, and just all of the fun activities we have done. Aside from that it is still not over yet. Today particularly I worked on our poster and I think it has been coming out really great. It’s no where near done but it’ll be great in the end. Yesterday we didn’t have AC in the building so Lara and I decided to go to the library to work on stuff until we had the lunch and lecture. The lunch and lecture was really interesting where we had Jared Danielson come and talk to us about different learning techniques within the Veterinary program here at Iowa State that they are doing research on. He showed us an example of blood smears through a tutorial they tested with the students to see if that method worked better then having the professor show the students how to do it. The professor thought that the tutorial was much better then them having to show the students but they spent the same time in the room regardless of the method. I sometimes feel that if I didn’t chose engineering I probably would have chosen some sort of science degree but I would have liked to work more in a lab setting rather then the medical field. Besides that its been a good end to the week.
Back and Forth – July 16th, 2019
Today has already been a busy day (filled with a lot of unintentional working out). Started off the day going to Black Engineering building for the mini course that one of our mentors set up for us on Tuesday mornings. Black Engineering in respect to VRAC you have to go upstairs, cross the bridge, go downstairs, go down another set of stairs, and you are there. Today I did that pattern back and forth FOUR times! It definitely has been pretty tiring but I guess it had to be done for scanning (I could have gone there and back one more time but decided Ill finish the scanning tomorrow once and for all). I also went to the gym yesterday so I was already a little tired from that. Anyways we have craft of research soon to go over what we have for our papers so far. We only have the abstract so far because of our complication with the “two” papers we have.
MCA Presentations, Scanning, and Lunch – June 12th, 2019
July 11th & July 12th
Today was honestly a really great day overall. The beginning of the day I went to do scans again and got through a decent amount of bullets (I was left with two to scan for the next day). Afterwards we had a lunch and lecture with Jon Kelly and it was interesting to see the psychology side of things. I actually thought about getting a minor in psychology to help me market myself in the UX world and help me get that human aspect of things but I wasn’t able to because I would go over the max amount of credits with excess hours. After the lunch and lecture we had our MCA presentations. I was starting to feel nervous but I think I still managed to do okay with my presentation. At the end of my presentation when Eliot mentioned how we had less than 3 weeks that we did all of this I felt so proud of myself on how much I really learned and pushed myself to do. I wish I could be more like this during school but I think this became a project I was more excited about. I am finally working on the AR piece and gosh I’m just so excited about this whole project. Below are images of my ongoing project. I somewhat have a product but it doesn’t rotate. I’m still missing some pieces to help the assembly. I then had to assemble the pieces from Maya in Maya to then do the model targeting (still working on this). I’m really enjoying the whole process of finding something to build, design it, model it, dimension it, print it, then assemble it. The next day the main thing I have to say for July 12th is the lunch we had with Dr. Kremer. She is the department chair for the department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering (IMSE). We went to Cafe Beaudelaire and it was such a great lunch with great conversations and food. She is so inspiring and had great advice. After that lunch she made me feel more empowered as a women in tech. The food was also super great. I had a Cuban sandwich and ended up eating a slice of cheesecake which was also delicious. I also forgot to mention that I got the rest of the scanning done today(July 12th)! I’m hoping the scans came out well because that would be great if I didn’t have to redo them. We shall see after this weekend.
MCA projects, Food 3D printing, Fun Stuff – July 10th, 2019
This was a great day overall. It started with having our manufacturing “lecture” with our grad mentor. So we thought it was going to be like sitting in a real lecture where he would lecture and we would take notes but he decided not to do that. I’m honestly so glad that he decided to change it up and the way he decided to set up the course was each week we get to see a different 3D printer and this week was the food sciences department printer. They have a 3D printer that is capable of making medications. Their goal is to make different textures for medication so it can be easier to swallow. One of the materials they use is cellulose powder that they use to make a paste to 3D print with (Pictures below). After our course we had craft of research where we went around looking at the posters around VRAC. It was a lot of fun getting to see what everyone’s opinions on the posters was because it gave us an idea what people might like or dislike in a design. We were supposed to have MCA presentations but it got moved to Thursday. I was kind of glad because it gave me more time to continue on my project. Last but not least, we went to the laundromat and it honestly was fun getting to sit and talk with everyone who went. I also found out they had a Culver’s and it was so delicious! I just got a concrete mixer with Reeses and Marshmallow creme.
This day had little activities but it was overall a good day still. I started the day talking to Tiffany about HCI Masters program options at Iowa State and I feel like now I really understand the differences between the Masters in HCI vs a Masters of Science in HCI. The difference is the Masters in HCI is just the masters with coursework and a project towards the end vs the Master of Science is coursework on top of doing research (thesis or non thesis). I still am thinking I will stick with my plan of trying to get an industry position of a UX designer and then if I feel like I’m not getting a position in the area I want then I will consider going for the Masters to gain the skills needed for the position I really want. We then had the ethics course which has always been interesting even if I missed the first lecture. Later on in the day I was still preparing my rubiks cube for the presentation the next day.
Too Many Days, Where do I start? – July 9th, 2019
Looks like I’ve been MIA for a while.. Oops. Well looks like my last post is from June 27th and a lot has definitely happened since then.
Week of June 27th
The end of this week was good. We kept going with our projects for the major course activity (MCA) which has been a slow process. We went that weekend to the Des Moines art festival which was so much fun! There was a lot of artwork and we didn’t even get to see it all either. We got to talk to some of the artists and a bunch of them had cool stories on how they started and how long they had been doing this. I was amazed at the mediums present there (ceramics, metals, glass, paint, mixed medium, photography, etc). They even had artwork shown from students around the area and can I say there are a lot of talented students in this area!
Week of July 1st
This week had been a very short one but it went well overall. Monday was pretty crazy overall but I got to talk to Mindy about her experience at Google with UX Research. I’ve been looking into UX design and have also been looking into working at Google someday. Tuesday we had our first “class” with the mentors and it honestly was super cool and interesting! We went up to one of the industrial engineering labs and saw the metal 3D printer as well as a part of a windmill. It was super interesting to see what other labs are working on. Wednesday I wasn’t feeling great due to personal things going on (I’m doing a lot better now). The weekend consisted of just hanging out with my roommates. I went to the library twice with Karina to hang out, work on stuff, and draw (something I need to start doing again more). One of the days I decided to go to VRAC to work on my rubik’s cube model as well as the poster layouts. It was pretty productive overall and Lara, Emmanuelle, and two of our mentors decided to go to dinner at a Chinese place. That was a ton of fun and great food. The weekend was very refreshing and I was ready to finally get back to work on Monday.
Week of July 8th
The week started with a defense presentation given by Jamiahus. It was a great presentation even though we didn’t get to stay for the whole time as we had ethics afterwards. Ethics was a really great course as I felt like we brought up very touchy subjects but I was pleasantly surprised at how well we all discussed it without getting defensive or critical of the others views. We were very respectful of each other and I think that’s how the rest of the world should be. The rest of the day I tried really hard to finish my rubiks cube and managed today to finish it! Well.. sort of.. It honestly could be fitting better together but its also because I still had some parts not printed yet so I had to improvise just so I could see the mostly finished product. I’m really proud of myself that I even did all of this! It turned out pretty amazing. We were supposed to present everything today but that ended up being moved to Thursday. I’m kind of glad because now maybe I can add the AR piece that I wanted? We shall see.. The rest of the week hopefully is good. Tomorrow we are back to scanning… yay? It should be alright. I hate when I have too much to do but also hate when I don’t have a lot to do either. I just get all flustered and stressed when there’s a lot to do and not enough time.
Lots to Do, Not Enough Time – June 25th & June 26th
This week has been a little more hectic since we have finished scanning and we have the deeper dives. I’m really excited about the deeper dives and feel like I haven’t had much time to work on the model I’m working on. I feel that I like to make things perfect since I am basically trying to replicate the rubiks cube and now I’m trying to make it a movable part. For it to work I need it to have the correct dimensions and had switched from Solidworks to Maya since I feel like Maya is a little fresher in my mind from the lectures. It took me some time this morning to figure out what the plan was to create the shape I wanted and still haven’t finished it even though its basically 2 cubes and a cylinder cut out. I’m still learning how to use the 3D modeling tools and its just a slow process as I’m still learning.
Today overall was hectic and a little stressful but it had some good elements to it. First I had been working on my model for my rubiks cube which though complex its still been a ton of fun trying to figure it out. After working on that we had the lunch and lecture with Stephen! It was so great to hear more about his life story and specific projects he did for industry with Boeing and John Deere. He talked about how they tried teaching people how to assemble parts with AR and that peaked my interest since I’m planning to use AR in my deeper dive project. I actually was interested in looking at the occlusion part of AR where you can actually show in AR when one thing goes underneath another. I also really liked that he was working with intelligent team tutoring systems because I’ve used such as the Wii Fit classes, GPS, etc. One of the things I really enjoyed though was how he mentioned about building your network. He mentioned over and over how you never know how your network will help you and that could not be more true. I feel like due to the random people I have come to meet, it has led to so many opportunities I never even thought about. You never know where life will take you sometimes and the types of routes you could have put in front of you. After the lecture I was working on trying to get some github repository code to work that my teammates found. It is to convert the files we have into an X3P file and it apparently is a super difficult thing to do. Our mentors made it look so easy but they were only dealing with like 2 files in the folder whereas the github had like files upon files and so many folders (Confusing!). Our mentors don’t know how to do this either but thought since we are computer engineering and computer science majors that we would be able to figure it out. Someone in VRAC told us that it would take them a week to get to what we need and this is coming from someone with much more experience in this program. I know that I am an older computer engineering student which I guess translates to I should have a lot more experience but the reality is I’m not the best coder nor am I the biggest fan of it either. I had tried my best to attempt to solve this issue but I think it is a lot more complicated then it needs to be. I also asked if we needed this file to write our paper and the answer was no. After all of that we then had craft of research which is always good to keep going over topics to help us with our papers. Finally to end the day we went hiking! This was my first time hiking and it was good but exhausting! This makes up for missing the gym Friday and Monday haha. According to my health app it tracked that I climbed 31 floors…. I was the slowest person on the hike but its only because I’m afraid of falling/slipping (I did slip a little at one point but ended up alright). The best part was when we got to this flowing river over the road and got to walk through the cold water barefoot. I want to thank Lara and Emmanuelle for not leaving me behind 🙂
Hiking group as well as the great sunset that we got to end the night with 🙂
Today has been better. Started the day off with deeper dives and that went well as we finished around 10:00 with lecture and were going to have the rest of the time to work on our models. My team and I had a lecture with the dean of the Industrial and manufacturing systems engineering department so we decided to leave around 10:30 and got there but we had to reschedule. We came back and I got back to working on my model and figured out how to use the measurement tool in Maya! Went to lunch and now working on this blog post before getting back to deeper dives. The rest of the day should be good though. 🙂
The start of my Rubiks cube project! Reverse engineering the parts as well as some sketching of parts
Weekend Fun and Deeper Dives – June 21st to June 24th
The end of this rainy day was alright. I had to finally present for the week and I was definitely nervous but I was proud of myself for getting through it so it all worked out in the end. I didn’t really get any critiques on it so I’m not sure what they thought of it overall.
Today we went to brunch and downtown Ames and it was so much fun! We went to Arcadia for brunch and it was this cute little cafe perfect for the rainy weather that morning. Later on we went to the farmers market since the weather cleared up. I ended up getting some strawberry rhubarb jam. There were so many cute shops there too like a gorgeous chocolate and gelato place. I can’t wait to go back again!
Today is Emmanuelle’s birthday! We decided to surprise him by going to Perfect Games for bowling, Jeff’s Pizza for dinner, and ended with a game of giant Uno and cake. It was a really great day! Before all that it was just catching up with chores that I don’t have time during the week to do. It overall was a fantastic weekend and it felt really good to go out and have fun. 🙂
Back to work! We started the day out with deeper dives and I’m so glad I am on the 3D printing team! I had sort of done 3D printing in high school and I’m actually surprised at what I still remember. I had been thinking more about what I wanted to do for my project and had come up with some ideas for combining 3D printing and augmented reality (AR). After Nina had mentioned about building a rubiks cube with a 3D printer I had the idea to try to bring one into AR after designing one. Though after looking into how rubik’s cubes are made I decided to just make the whole cube instead of trying to make it mobile. My idea with bringing in the AR is to have the colors of the rubik’s cube be randomly generated onto the blank 3D cube simulating a new puzzle to solve. Basically in the end the goal would be to have an AR rubik’s cube game. Getting a movable part though will be an eventual step.
A Cold, Rainy Day.. – June 21, 2019
Today had started out pretty gloomy with pouring rain. My roommates and I decided to take the bus to work today but still ended up getting my shoes soaked (I’m currently barefoot while blogging). Wet and cold shoes and socks are not fun.. Besides all that its been a good day so far. We had our first deeper dive session and I’m excited for the work we will do. Another thing was we decided to have lunch with our mentors and get to know them better. It was pretty great and I’m looking forward to the rest of the day. Really hoping my shoes and socks stop being wet and cold 🙁
Update: Thank you Vrinda for letting me use your blowdryer! It made it a lot better!
A Really Fun Day so Far – June 20th, 2019
Today and the end of yesterday have been super great and uplifting. Yesterday I went to the gym for the second time this week (I’m trying to make it a habit to go 3 times a week and maybe this blog will hold me accountable). I realize that I need upbeat music to get me in the zone to work out and get me motivated. Surprisingly after working out and stretching, I woke up this morning not feeling that sore. I also found out yesterday that I got the Deeper Dive that I wanted!! Super excited to be on the 3D printing team! I saw in Alex’s slides that he has 7 different topics we can relate to 3D printing. I noticed the AR one as something I can relate 3D printing to my major. I am planning to take an introduction to AR course in the fall so I would love to have some prior experience with it.
Today we got some free time to ourselves so I decided to finally sit down and work on my presentation for tomorrow.. I’m a bit nervous and hope it goes well since I’ve changed a lot in my presentation from the mock presentation before. Hoping my Toastmasters skills come in handy tomorrow haha. We also had another luncheon lecture with Diana Sloan and it was very different from the others we have had so far. She talked about her experiences and hardships with grad school and how she went about finding support. As a Hispanic myself I felt I could relate to some of the Spanish culture she mentioned. I really enjoyed hearing someone talk about grad school and school in general for what it really is and to remind us that its ok to look for help when needed. After the lecture we saw that Andrew put out some of the past years T-shirt designs. Im excited to see what we come up with and having a free moment to laugh and talk and have fun with the group was really great and was something I can say was much needed to connect with my peers. 🙂
Unity.. Not what I expected – June 19th, 2019
So we have been continuing in Unity today and I feel like it is not what I had expected. For one I didn’t think that the coding would look this different from C++. The syntax is not very intuitive to me the only commonalities seems to be just the functions/classes. I’m finding myself having to look up a lot of syntax online and still being super lost as there are so many options to look for. After I get over my embarrassment of asking for help I finally just ask Jack or Mindy to help me and then they make it so easy. I feel like Unity is a much more complicated version of Alice (see image below). I had worked in this program back in high school building scenes and putting characters in the world to move around and stuff. Besides that though we finally are getting into the deeper dives (YAY!) I really like the 3D printing one so far but I’m excited to see what they will tell us about it around 2:00 when going over the other ones. I have really enjoyed the 3D modeling so far and had back in high school a tech teacher who loved 3D printers but I never really learned how to use them. I feel like this is my time to learn more about it and take that knowledge with me to school. I can’t express how much I like this program because of its interdisciplinary courses and the material we learn. I finally get to see what else there is out there because at school all of my peers are also computer engineering and computer science majors and I feel like it is all very limited on what we can learn and explore. Overall I’m excited but hope at some point I can work on my UX/UI design skills.
Project work – June 18th, 2019
I just wanted to mention the end of yesterday where I went to the gym and it was a much needed workout. I definitely want to go to the gym 3 times a week. I am going to try to get a schedule going because I want it to bleed into the school year since I never really use the gym at school. I felt like I really pushed myself and I was in a determined mood yesterday and was so proud of myself afterwards for it.
Today has been off to a great start. We started the day with a meeting at 10 with our mentors about how to crop the area of the scans we want. I actually found it pretty fun to collaborate and problem solve with my team. We then came back and had another luncheon lecture with Jing Dong who works with transportation research. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from her research but was pleasantly surprised when it was about autonomous vehicles! I had a mentor this year who works at Uber and she had talked to me briefly about the autonomous vehicle work they were doing and it was pretty interesting. The rest of today will consist of finally finishing our scans, craft of research, and a t-shirt design activity. Should be a productive and fun afternoon. 🙂
Back to Work After a Relaxing Weekend – June 17th, 2019
This weekend was nice as we didn’t have any activities we had to go to. It was a pretty relaxing weekend with just watching shows, drawing with Karina, watching a movie with Lara, and playing cards with Lara, Bradon, and Emmanuelle.
So far this day has gone well. We started Unity today! I have to admit the views of the camera perspective vs the view to move things around can be super confusing.. I was having trouble figuring out where my camera was and light to get the perspective that I wanted. Hopefully it’ll get less confusing but I guess I can see where all of this disorientation in VR comes from. Hm I wonder if having more camera views would be more helpful or if it wouldn’t help. I also had a meeting with Evrim that turned out pretty short but it was still a great conversation. We talked a bit about her research and what industries are looking to work in that kind of stuff as well as the HCI program. Every day I feel more inclined to go for the masters in HCI as I feel it will give me a more interdisciplinary program which I feel I’ve been wanting.
To reflect on these past few weeks with the crash courses, I can honestly say they have been my favorite part of this program. I finally feel like I am exploring new programs I would have never really thought of or had the opportunity to look into at my university. I also feel like being here versus my university has given me a different dynamic and feeling overall. Here at ISU I feel like we are learning the same stuff but since the work is all interdisciplinary and we all come from different backgrounds it is harder to compare yourself to others and their work. In my program I feel that since we are all doing the same work and same projects that end up almost identical for the most part it is very very easy to compare your skills to your peers as you all have taken the same classes and taken the same path to get to this point and see the people who have picked it up more than you have. It can get a little discouraging at times (more often than not) but this program is actually really relieving in that sense that way I feel like I can focus more on the programs I’m learning instead of not feeling good enough. I hope that I can find a way to feel this same way back at my university when the fall semester starts but it isn’t as easy to disconnect yourself from when you are surrounded by it.
HCI Homework – June 14th, 2019
Stephen gave us this awesome homework assignment of finding two things that have a bad and not intuitive design. I personally love activities like this because it really gets you thinking about what has a good and bad design and what might be frustrating. I have a web and physical example of bad design. The online example is actually a website that Stephen gave me when we had our talk which is hcibib.org. It is a site that has a lot of HCI resources and I thought it was hilarious how it is supposed to be a website talking about UX design, HCI, Accessibility, etc. and it is a poorly designed site. The physical object is the cabinets in our apartment. They don’t have exterior handles so it is impossible to know which way the door opens unless you just try it.
Example Kitchen Cabinets
How could we improve these? The way we could improve the website would be a lot of things. The colors and spacing could be a lot better. There could be a more organized way to set up the links maybe in a menu or something better. With the cabinets even a simple handle on the correct side to open it would be helpful.
Overall a Great Day – June 12, 2019 & June 13, 2019
June 12th, 2019
Today was overall a pretty great day. (I wonder if that’s because I went to yoga the previous day. If that is the case I should start doing yoga more often lol). The morning started with the end of the Solidworks course and I honestly can say I really enjoyed it. Alex was a wonderful teacher and was really helpful when we had issues. My group after went to an early lunch so we could spend two hours in the lab getting stuff done. We then had the start of the Maya course which sadly wasn’t really working. I had really been looking forward to the stuff we would cover in Maya since it seems like a software related to 3D animation. It was frustrating to not have it work how it was supposed to. Kate and Holly did a great job going through the slides and trying to get everyone involved to figure out why so many of us had issues. I also got a little bit of time to draw while I was waiting for the scans to be done and I keep forgetting how much I enjoy drawing in my spare time.(Image below) I also later on had a call with my mentor through a program with Intel employees called MentorNet and we had a great phone call. It was nice to just sit with someone (who is also a certified life coach) and just reflect on experiences and talk it out with someone. Shes always super optimistic and helping me feel more confident 🙂
June 13th, 2019
Today has already been off to a great start. We had free time this morning (YAY) and I decided to try the Maya stuff and IT WORKS! (So happy!) I finally got to experience Maya for what it really is and I was really happy that I felt I was starting to pick it up like I was with Solidworks and not saying I’m an expert but I feel like even though it may be tedious its something I enjoy. It honestly makes me really happy to find something I really like doing and hopefully with more practice and learning skills I could eventually add this skill to my skillset. The presenter today for our luncheon lecture was Rick Stone and the first thing I want to say is Wow! He had such great energy, really great public speaking skills (My inner Toastmaster is coming out saying that lol), and gosh he has had a full life already with all of the different experiences he has had. It was great listening to his experiences and his research experiment on welding skills with 50%VR learning and regular learning. The rest of today is just going to the lab to scan some more and then we have a volleyball outing at freddy but its more so an outdoor activities day lol. I’m excited.
Getting Crazy Busy – June 12th, 2019
This week so far has been good but also very busy.
Today went really well overall. We started Solidworks like I mentioned before in my last post. It honestly has been going really well. I feel like I’m getting the hang of it. I really like the combination of trying to figure out the geometry of the shape and having it like a puzzle. I definitely think I want to do the 3D printing deeper dives after doing this. I also met with Steven and he read through “My Journey through College” blog post! I was so glad to hear that he also read it. We talked a bit about some of the stuff I had mentioned in there and also just kind of spinning off ideas on what type of topics/jobs I might be interested in later on. We talked about HCI overall, some schools that have HCI masters programs, UX design, and few other things. He also gave me a book on sketching that I need to make some time to look at and go through. He said that its great that I’m keeping my options open and looking into a lot of different fields. He gave me a link that ironically has a bad and confusing design called hcibib.org. Again overall a really great day.
Today was a crazy long day and didn’t get to blog really yesterday. My team got to the lab at 8:30 to start scanning and we finished around 11:00. We then went to the luncheon lecture for Bernard Canniffe which was set up differently from the other presenters. Eliot and Evrim kind of took the route of starting with their early career on how they got to where they are now but Bernard took the route of showing current and past projects in the graphic design department. It actually took me by surprise that it was more community based projects because that’s not what I think of when I think of graphic design but when I saw the types of things they created it made more sense (brochures, fliers, etc). It was an interesting take on it. After that we went back to the lab and we started scanning again for another two hours. Then we came back to have an HCI introduction class taught by Stephen and even though it was about the history (I’m not the most interested in history) I really enjoyed it overall and seeing the video of their version of technology that was supposed to happen in 2011 was incredible. I loved comparing it to what we have now and was wondering how they managed to make a video like that back then. We have a homework assignment due friday for that and its to find bad designs and explain about how it could be made better. I lovee doing this kind of stuff and am excited to do this assignment. Afterwards we had the craft of research which was informative but ran a little long so we were at our yoga class at 6 instead of 5. The yoga class was much needed and I felt so much better after going to yoga. I need to start doing yoga more often because it seriously was de-stressing and relaxing. In the end it was a good day but also busy as could be. Basically went non stop today from 8:30-7…
A Bit Overwhelmed but a Great Weekend – June 10th, 2019
June 7th, 2019
Last week ended with our project team having a group meeting. After that meeting was over I felt very overwhelmed on our newest addition to the weeks which are weekly presentations. Each week one of the team members has to give a 15-20 minute presentation on what happened that week. The other two who didn’t present have to make a 2-3 slide presentation doing the same. I am supposed to be the first presenter in two weeks and I guess I’m nervous but I hope my Toastmaster’s clubs have prepared me well to present. The other thing that’s been really overwhelming is the amount of papers in Cybox right now that we have to read. I’ve said it multiple times but I am not a strong nor fast reader so it definitely intimidates me.
June 8th & 9th, 2019
The weekend turned out great and helped distract me from the overwhelmed feeling I had at the end of the week. On Saturday we had the ropes course which was pretty fun though I’m not the biggest fan of heights so I decided to be the photographer instead when it came to the huge tower lol. Overall it was great and I learned how supportive our group is with each other. I had to help be Lara’s eyes on the beam challenge since she got blindfolded. It ended up working out in the end though I fell off a few times but luckily since we were running out of time they let it slide (Honestly this means I need to go to the gym more to strengthen my ankles to be able to balance more lol). Later that night a few of the interns met up to watch a movie in the apartment and we watched A Star is Born and it was honestly a great movie. Highly recommend it! It was a lot of fun just hanging out with the other interns for a relaxing night in. On Sunday I went to Walmart & TJ Maxx with Karina and we used the bus system finally to get there! I realize how difficult it is to carry a lot on a bus and I was lucky that Karina was there to help me.
June 10th, 2019
Today so far we have started Solidworks (YAY). I was really looking forward to Solidworks and Maya because of learning something different from programming that I am used to. I’m excited to see where it goes. Also on another not so great note my bike tire this morning (after getting it fixed at Val’s on Friday) is flat ONCE AGAIN. Such bad luck. Not really sure what Ill do about it.
My Journey through College
Prepare to read a really long post (probably the longest post I’ll have). I wanted to have a specific story dedicated to my feelings and journey as an undergraduate student. I was inspired to write this after Eliot’s luncheon lecture about his own career path.
Time to make a change
I’ll first start my story with the first university I attended in fall 2015 which was Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL (FAU). I was a commuter student for two years at this university and would pretty much have the same routine everyday. Go to classes, eat lunch with some friends, go home, work on homework, eat dinner with family, sleep, and repeat. Since I was just going to classes and then back home it was hard to socialize with others more often. I decided my sophomore year that I was tired of feeling like I didn’t have that many friends or activities outside school work. I decided to look at the list of clubs on campus to see what I was interested in. Going through the organizations I found one that caught my eye called Toastmasters. The name was so unique so I looked into what it was about. I saw that it was a club to help people learn leadership and public speaking skills. I figured I could use better public speaking skills and I liked the idea of being a leader so I decided to go to a meeting. That meeting changed my life. I had met so many nice people and to this day claim that I have never been in a room with this many nice and supportive people. I also found another organization to join and that was Society for Women Engineers (SWE). This club I had heard a lot more about and it was perfect for me being a pre-computer engineering student. However, I never really felt close to the members in SWE compared to the members of Toastmasters. It seemed like everyone had been in the club already for a while and became really close so I felt a bit out of place. After all this time of feeling in a routine and feeling like I didn’t have many friends and activities (minus the Toastmasters group since those meetings were the highlight of my week) I had the idea of transferring schools. I decided to apply to the University of South Florida in Tampa, FL (USF) and was accepted for summer 2017.
Transitioning into USF
My journey of moving to a university four hours away from home had begun. I was a little nervous and sad to leave my family but I had a good feeling about it. The first summer I was there was a little boring as the campus is much quieter during the summer compared to the school year. I was taking two courses so I wouldn’t fall even more behind on graduating so it definitely ended up being a more relaxed summer. That summer I also felt kind of lonely but I knew that this wasn’t a good representation of how the university normally is since I had multiple people tell me not to worry. I did however have a good time with my roommates that summer with getting a pet fish, drawing together, and going to the pool a few times. The following years I joined the female engineering learning community which was great as I had made a lot of friends in engineering who I could relate to. We had a couple of events in the common room to get us to hang out together and some of us went to events outside of that. I felt so much better about being at USF because living on campus made it so easy to meet up with classmates at the library or engineering buildings to study and just hang out. I had also joined the Toastmasters club at USF and I helped it grow overtime and have now been the secretary for 3 years! I had never really been an officer of an organization before and I absolutely love it. I get to collaborate with other officers and come up with new ideas for our club’s growth. I also was able to attend a bunch of tech related workshops and club meetings to learn new topics in tech I might not have known about and just to make more friends. Being here at this university and living on campus has made it so much easier to meet with friends, study with others in person, and explore new organizations. It has been a really great experience so far and continues to be.
How I decided on my major
My major at USF is computer engineering. People are always wondering how I decided on it especially since I’ve pretty much stuck with it since freshman year. It actually started when I was in preschool believe it or not. I found a yearbook from my preschool back in high school and there was a page with everyone’s picture and below was what they wanted to be when they grew up. Everyone had the basic answer that a 4 year old might say such as dancer, movie star, singer, fire fighter, artist, etc. However, when I looked at my photo I saw “computer worker(or programmer I can’t quite remember)” written underneath. I just laughed because I know my mom has been saying for years how I said I wanted to work with computers. My dad works in Information Technology (IT) and I just saw him as my role model as a kid and decided I wanted to be like him. As I got older he took my sister and I to take your kids to work day and I thought it was cool even if I didn’t understand anything he was saying about what he does. As the time went by and I was learning more about tech, I saw that the stuff my dad did working in IT wasn’t that interesting to me. My dad really wanted me to go for management information systems (MIS) since I kept saying I wanted to do what he did and that was his path in school. However, I wanted to be more creative, inventive, and innovative with my degree and I was not finding my definition of that in MIS. I started to look into engineering since I thought of it as more of a design type degree. That is when I decided computer engineering would be the right major for me.
Some doubts and impostor syndrome
Even though I chose computer engineering, there were times where I started to overthink whether computers was even what I wanted to do still. I had thought back to my high school days of taking a bunch of tech classes to prep for my degree in computer engineering and I remembered how some of the classes weren’t that interesting. I didn’t mind the Photoshop and video editing classes I took but there were some others that ended up not being that interesting overall that mostly had to do with programming. In college I started looking into other engineering majors and tried to see if there were any that were more interesting (I looked into every engineering major FAU offered since this was when I was in doubt mostly). There was one course however I really enjoyed that I took at FAU and that course was logic design where we had to build circuits on a bread board and draw out diagrams and I thought it was so fun. I realize overall that I am a visual learner so drawing things out for me helps me understand things a lot better. That course got me thinking maybe I wanted to go more towards the hardware/electrical route. The only time I switched my major was to electrical engineering at FAU but soon afterwards I decided to switch back to computer engineering after seeing all the radio, optics, and wireless courses I’d have to take and it was definitely a bit of a turn off since that wasn’t super interesting either. I also was not very strong in physics so that wasn’t going to help either. After finally sticking with computer engineering, I started looking at the courses I would be taking and I started to get excited on my preconceived opinions about what would be covered. When I got to the courses and started looking through the textbooks I had really been disappointed about the material we would be learning. This has actually been a common thing throughout my undergraduate years. Although my classes aren’t super interesting, I still ended up sticking with computer engineering and still to this day wonder what I will do with it in the end.
My first internship experience
Finding out about UX design
So like I mentioned, UX design I first learned about at Raymond James where I was looking to see what type of tech jobs were available to me to look into. The following encounter I had with UX was with a fellowship called Rewriting the Code (RTC) (Highly recommend to female computer science and engineering students!). In the fellowship application it asked what topics in tech you are interested in and there were a ton a to chose from, Blockchain, Fintech, Web development, Game development, Hardware, UX/UI etc. The first time I applied I chose hardware, web development, robotics, AI, and mobile development. I unfortunately didn’t get into the fellowship but there was still a member option which really was just being added into a Facebook group. When I first joined the group I noticed that they had affinity groups or just other groups based on certain tech topics. I joined the ones based on my choices on the application however I started to realize I wasn’t really interested in some of the topics I had chosen. The second time I applied to the fellowship (which I haven’t heard back from yet) I chose the topics of UX/UI, mobile development, web development, and game development. I loved and still love the content that the UX/UI affinity group posts and I feel like it definitely could be a field that I want to be apart of.
Personal projects in UX
Besides joining RTC I actually found out my school was having an Intro to UX/UI workshop with the club WICSE (Women In Computer Science and Engineering). I had finally been glad to see my school have something relating to UX/UI since we have no courses or clubs that really relate to this new field I am interested in. When I went to the workshop I felt I had an idea of what they were going to talk about due to the hours of research I had done on the topic. There were a few people from different companies working in the UX field and I ended up chatting to one of them about the work she does. I ended up talking with her further over LinkedIn telling her my worries and fears of getting into the field. Being a computer engineer trying to get into a design role is not the easiest because the work you do as an engineer is very different from what designers learn in school. I felt super behind on my knowledge and there is also just so much that goes into UX/UI. When I voiced these concerns to her she asked if I wanted an accountability partner to help me work on a personal project. (In UX/UI, personal projects in a portfolio are super important to get a job). I agreed and found a list of potential projects and ended up choosing to redesign the CNN web page. I scheduled deadlines of when I would have things done (I have not finished this project but I do have a mini prototype/mockup – https://xd.adobe.com/view/ac0dae59-847f-4830-6b41-4567cc6e448e-da3c/?fullscreen). From the research, to the wireframes, to the design, it has all been the process I’ve gone through to get to this prototype so far.
Self teaching… Not as easy as it sounds
I felt like my design skills were not that great so I had looked on how to build my visual design skills. I found a course on Lynda that I am currently still getting through that is a path of becoming a graphic designer since visual design skills of layout, color, and typography are common things UX/UI designers should know. Though I have been trying my best to learn the stuff on my own I still feel like I am missing the formal education that is mapped out for you by a school or online program. I feel like I don’t know what I need to know or what to focus on. Studying everything is a little overwhelming and doesn’t seem very effective. I feel like it is much more difficult to push yourself out of your comfort zone when you are teaching yourself certain things whereas in a classroom setting you are being pushed harder with the feedback given which you also don’t get much of by doing things on your own. I personally like a structured setting and with UX that is a very difficult thing to find online. I have looked and looked and I haven’t found a great online self teaching program that is also free. One day if I ever find a bunch of different resources I would love to create a course or blog or something on how to learn UX/UI design on your own without formal education through an institution and for free. First I need to find the right path for myself before I can be ambitious and share it with others.
Going to grad school for design?
I had been looking for universities that have degrees relating to UX/UI design in some way shape or form. I started thinking about higher education because of what I mentioned before with the fact that I feel like the stuff I’m learning on my own isn’t enough to get me a job later with the background I have. I don’t know if that’s true or not but I felt like without any prior design experience it would be very difficult to prove myself as an aspiring designer just with stating I’ve learned the tools. I decided to look for schools that had design or UX/UI courses. I found at some point that Human Computer Interaction (HCI) is a degree that mixes technology, design, and psychology into one degree. I thought it was really cool and also very applicable to what I might want to do. It mixes my love of art and degree of technology and my interest in psychology and the mind (I have not yet taken a psychology class but will in the fall). I thought this was perfect. I came to realize quickly that not many universities offer this type of program or they have something similar under a different name (which makes it even more complicated to find it). I basically tried finding lists of universities with HCI masters programs and only found a handful and they were Carnegie Mellon, Iowa State University, Georgia Tech, and a few others. When I was looking deeper into these programs, this was also around the time I was looking for internships for summer of 2019 and had no luck. So I started looking instead for research programs since research is a big part of masters programs.
Finding a research position
I went to talk to the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) to start looking for research programs since they handle all research type positions and I had been curious to know more about my options. I met with one of the research mentors and he had mentioned the option of a research program over the summer which are called REU programs (Research Experience for Undergraduates) and I thought ok this would be a great option. He walked me through the process of how to chose programs that I wanted to apply to and told me to probably have about 6-8 programs I was interested in to have a better chance of acceptance. I went to the NSF (National Science Foundation) website and found the programs that might have related to HCI and found a few that were related to it. In the end I ended up choosing 9 programs to apply to which were – Rochester Institute of Technology, Galludet University, UNC Charlotte, University of Florida, Iowa State University, Washington State University, Carnegie Mellon, DREU (this program matches you to a university program based on your interests), and finally the University of Texas Arlington. After applying to these programs I ended up with three offers, two potential interviews, and the rest I was declined from. I say potential interviews because I had been already accepted into programs I had an interest in. The three offers I received was for Iowa State University, DREU which they chose New York University (NYU), and University of Florida. I finally made the decision to go to Iowa State (where I am currently writing this blog post from) and it honestly was the best decision to come here.
Iowa State REU (so far)
The REU program I chose at Iowa State has been an amazing experience even if we are only 2 weeks into the program. I have loved every moment of it since I got off the plane and met with the other interns. From the other interns I’ve been with, to the mentors we have for our projects, to the professors that are here giving us lectures, the technology they use, and just the endless amount of opportunities. I have only been here two weeks but this school has really made me already start wondering if I would want to do a masters in HCI here. I’m hoping by the end of the program Ill see if going for a graduate degree is something I want to do and if it’ll be here at Iowa State but honestly who knows what the future holds. I want to take on every opportunity I can, learn as much as I can, and talk to as many people as I can.
This is my story up until now within my undergraduate schooling. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I still apologize for it being so long but I really appreciate those who took the time to read through it. Thank you to everyone who has been there through all of these times the good and the bad. Thank you to my family, friends, coworkers/interns, and just anyone who I’ve had the chance to network with. All of you have been apart of my journey and I have learned so much from each of you and I’m so grateful for that.
Week 2 Overview June 4th – June 7th, 2019
Ok so I have missed a few days of blogging but its because I’m writing a very long post about my story through my undergraduate schooling and just my career search in general. Eventually Ill post the long blog post (I call it my novel lol)
Lets see where do I start? Ok so it looks like my last post was from June 4th.
June 4th – BBQ, Geocaching, and Photos with Paul
So the rest of the day after the luncheon lecture with Eliot was pretty great. I think my favorite part of the day (besides the luncheon lecture) was the BBQ and group pictures! Both were super fun and great. They both caused us to walk a lot and it was pretty tiring but the photos that Paul took were great! The food at the BBQ and the company was awesome. The path we took at the park with geocaching had some beautiful scenery. As usual I took about a million pictures of it and the flowers there were gorgeous (just in general Ames has gorgeous scenery and wildlife). It was just overall a super fun day with the group and it was honestly a much needed fun time with them.
Photos with Paul
BBQ and Geocaching
June 5th – Not the Greatest Day.. but it still turned out alright
This day was just the usual with two courses in C++. I want to be honest though and say I felt a bit embarrassed and misunderstood today. So today was the day that my team decided to ask the C++ instructor if we could go to our lab and get a head start on our project. The reason we had asked this is because we felt that we have been the one group that has had to stay until 5:00 every day since every free hour that we have our group schedules us to meet with them. However, the way we had asked made it seem like “we already know everything and this is too easy for us so we don’t want to waste time on this” though this is NOT the case. I personally am not a fan of programming as I tend to get frustrated over the smallest things. I just felt since I have taken the courses in school I had learned this all but I in no way was saying that I am an expert (on the contrary I feel quite the opposite). I just meant that I would be able to sort of get through the exercises with the knowledge I have gained from courses I have taken in C++ at my university though I’ve needed a refresher on some of the more complicated topics. I want to apologize to Adam for making it seem like what he was teaching us was not enough (it definitely has been a really great refresher) and to my fellow REU interns for making it seem like it was too easy or that I was an expert. I hope this all was clear and hope everyone can understand where I am coming from. To end this post on a better note I finally went to the gym! I had some issues getting in at first but overall my workout was great and still feeling sore today(June 7th). Another not so great thing happened where when my workout was over I was planning to ride my bike but when I got to my bike the front tire was absolutely completely flat! I ended up walking back home instead as the cardio part of my workout. Ill mention what ended up happening the next day. I realize after rereading this post that this wasn’t the best day but there were definitely some good pieces to it.
June 6th – Evrim Baran, Scanning Galore, Game Night, and Bike Mystery Solved
There was actually a lot that ended up happening on this day. We had 2 hours free in the morning that I tried working on my “novel” blog post. Then we had the luncheon lecture with Evrim Baran and I really enjoyed it. I love how she is combining design with education and honestly it makes me wonder if it might be an application of design I would want to do. There are so many opportunities and its hard to know what direction to take. I’d love to talk with her more because I really admire her work. I particularly liked the statement she made about people creating their own majors which I totally wish was a thing. I feel like when I look at my degree or even possible Masters degrees I always look at the courses and wish I could choose certain ones and make my own courses that I think I will enjoy and learn a lot in. After we met with Evrim we pretty much went with our mentors and had to do all sorts of stuff with scanning though when we did the scans they came back and told us that the range was too small so certain areas didn’t get scanned… It turned out alright and we instead went to the other lab to use the other scanning system and learned how to do it in 3D (hoping I can remember how to use it again next time) but the process is very long even though the scans come out a lot clearer and the window is super small in comparison. it seems like the second machine is going to take us a lot longer to scan everything. I think the calculation was we will have to scan 150 times with different samples and windows and trials… Each scan probably taking a good 3-4 minutes.. Anyways after we finished the demonstrations I came back to look at my bike with Alex (he is seriously great with bikes). He helped me figure out that the tubing in the wheel that was flat had a big hole in it. I now have to go back to Val’s to see if she can replace it and Lucas was nice enough to drive me over there today (June 7th). Everyone here is so nice and willing to help and I feel like its so different then back in Florida. Most people in Florida have that I have to help myself first perspective. Last but not least to end the night we had game night! It was super fun as we played apples to apples, pictionary, and got to draw with my roommate Karina for a little bit. Our group (Kelsey, Lara, Karina, Vrinda, Andrew, I) had a blast and we really had a lot of fun together.
June 7th – A Very Busy Day Ahead
Finally we make it to today’s blog post. Today so far has been pretty good as we started off our C++ course again. The plan for today since its only still just starting is lunch, continuing my “novel” blog post (and hopefully finishing it), more C++, meeting with our mentors again, then going to Val’s to get my bike fixed up. Wow sounds like another packed day haha though honestly this is everyday. It is great that we are keeping busy but definitely I truly enjoy the times where the interns are all hanging out enjoying ourselves.
June 4th, 2019
Sadly I couldn’t come up with a good title for this post but I guess it was bound to happen since we have to post everyday.
Anyways this week has been off to a great start I believe I already mentioned in my blog post yesterday about the C++ courses we had yesterday but never got to mention what happened in the afternoon. We had a meeting with our mentors to already start showing us the machines we will be working with and they chose me to go first to work with John in the other lab with the FVM system. It wasn’t that bad at all to learn and I am a visual learner so the fact that it was a demonstration I just followed what he did and was able to figure it out completely! I felt so proud of myself for figuring it out so quickly. Then we got a little sidetracked and talked about 3D printing as a whole and when that happened he had mentioned to me about 3D printing in metal, ink, and even food! It was all seeming very interesting and he mentioned that if I wanted he could show me the lab upstairs where the 3D printers are. I know I love UX/UI design but I think I want to try to learn more about 3D modeling and printing since it seems so cool and id love to learn more about what you can really do with it and its applications.
Today however has already been super great. We had our first luncheon lecture and when I saw on the website that it was Eliot I was super excited to hear what he was going to talk to us about as he is someone (along with Stephen) that I really wanted to talk to just about everything from career choices, learning more about myself, finding what could be my job that I love someday as well as just getting some advice. I honestly felt super connected to his story throughout the lecture on what he had been thinking and experiences he had that I feel like are super similar to how I’m feeling now. He talked a lot about how he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do, he thought he had a perfect idea of what job he wanted but then had a friend who basically got his dream job came back and told him about how he didn’t get to do what he thought, he was only working on a tinyy piece of the project that feels like you are barely contributing to a project and feel like what you are doing is so insignificant, etc. I feel that way, well actually I don’t want to feel that way once I get into a job. I feel like I could write an entire post about how I feel regarding this topic and maybe I will since it always feels like a lot to explain to everyone. I wont put all the details in here or my post would end up being a mile long but I just wanted to say that I really felt connected to Eliot and his past experiences as it relates a lot to what I’m going through now. I am excited to share my story and hopefully see if he can give me some advice.
Start of Week 2 – June 3rd, 2019
This weekend was a lot of fun and the week is off to a great start.
This weekend we started off going to Val’s bike shop and we each got free bikes! It was a HUGE warehouse of two stories tall. On the first floor it was just pretty empty with a lot of renovations being done like putting in a cafe and other things as well. The second floor was jam packed with sooo much stuff! There were old torn apart cars, bike wheels with no tires, a skateboard ramp, tons of bikes (most of them needed repairs), and so much more. It was honestly really cool to see this place that is working for such a good cause. They try to get used and broken bikes/pieces to repair them and give them to the homeless. It was nice to see that they recycled used or broken bike pieces instead of them going to a landfill. Later that day, Karina, Lara, Roselynn, and I decided to go check out summer-fest. Andrew was nice enough to drive us to and from the event as well as hang out and show us around. We got dinner at Fuzzies (never had been but it was alright) and saw the petting farm a few minutes before it left. The baby goats we super cute and I wish we could have gone inside to play with them. I also got to hear a cow for the first time in real life! Sunday we had completely off and it was time to start looking over the research papers our mentors provided us. They actually had already explained some stuff to us beforehand and it helped to read the papers afterwards. The reading was still pretty difficult with the technical terms and if I’m being honest and vulnerable, having to read and write a lot makes me a little anxious since I’ve never been the best reader or writer nor the fastest reader. It is definitely something I’m trying to work on but definitely something that challenges me.
To end this post ill just talk about what is to come this week. We are mainly going over the C++ courses finally though I have had some experience with it before. I’m more excited about the Maya and Solidworks courses as well as the HCI courses since its all new stuff. I am really interested in UX/UI Design and I’m still wondering how all of these projects will relate to that in some way if they do at all. I’m looking forward to all that to come along. I also forgot to mention that our group mentors have added time in our calendars to meet during the free time up till 5:00 everyday. They seem to really want us to get started compared to other groups that haven’t really met with their groups as much. We will be meeting them this afternoon and I’m excited to see what we can accomplish.
Until tomorrow 🙂
Blog Post 2 – May 31st, 2019
Let’s start with yesterday. It was filled with a lot of fun but exhausting activities. We first started the day off with learning about our projects and more specifics on it. When my team presented I was really confused on how it all was going to work and what exactly we would be doing. We then went to lunch with our mentors and it actually was a great time with all of them! They were all super nice and understanding and helpful. I feel like when we aren’t sure of what we are doing they will help us but will still allow us to try to figure it out instead of them giving us the answers which is great learning experience. We also had the craft of research lecture with Andrew and he did a great job explaining to us the different kinds of research papers and research methods. After the lecture our team specifically had the chance to get a lab tour upstairs and see some of the 3D scanning technologies and we each got to scan our hands (picture to be shown below). Last but not least was the scavenger hunt which was really cool seeing the campus more and getting used to where everything was. After writing all of this I see now why I was absolutely exhausted at the end of the day.
Today is probably about half way over and we have done a lot already! We took the Myers Briggs test which I actually had taken before and this time got ISFJ instead of INFJ. We got to talk to our teams on what our strengths and weaknesses are and I actually feel pretty good about our strengths and weaknesses and feel they actually complement each other very well. After we got to learn more about the library services and it was super informative. Now when I go to my university ill have to check it out and see if they are similar. Finally, we got to test out the VR equipment which I have never tried before but surprisingly it wasn’t that bad. I feel that I get dizzy a little easily and the C6 room I think I felt worse about then the goggles but the goggles were better than I expected. The next part of the day after this blog post will be ARG training (no idea what this is yet) and a tour of the State gym (which I need to actually go to soon).
This summer is off to a great start already and I cant wait to see the amazing things we all do.
A New Adventure – May 30th, 2019
This week has already been absolutely amazing and its only the third day! So many new sites to see, new wildlife here, and great people I’ve met. I am originally from Coconut Creek, FL (close to Ft. Lauderdale) and I am a rising super senior at the University of South Florida in Tampa studying computer engineering. This is my first time ever in Iowa and there is a lot that is different in comparison to Florida. There’s a lot more hills, all different types of plants and animals, and the weather is much nicer around this time of year in Iowa. Yesterday I saw a wild rabbit, a robin bird, red squirrels, and a few chipmunks (which we don’t have in Florida). The main animals you will find in Florida are gators, squirrels (brown not red), blue jays and crows mainly, and lots of butterflies. I can’t wait to explore the beautiful city of Ames and work with my wonderful peers on the upcoming research.
My goals throughout this research internship are:
- To make new friends
- To learn as much as I can with the mini courses and research project
- To apply my knowledge from my classes to help with the research project
- To learn more about HCI and see if I want to pursue it for grad school