After writing yesterday, we had the Unity course. When we got to the coding, I honestly got really lost. I think coding C# is really holding me back from doing well in Unity. I had some ideas on how to change up the code and get it to work, but all of my attempts were unsuccessful. It seemed, from the looks of the other bloggers, that they liked Unity, and I saw that many of them were able to code their cube right. I feel behind now, but I can try to make time to practice, and I can make sure to ask a lot of questions at the next class.
After Unity, I did the readings for the Craft of Research class that’s happening today. I read the first article as we were supposed to, but I found the second very interesting, although it was actually a guide on how to read research papers. The second paper was on conformity and distinction within gender. I read the notes to the side, and it described each part of the research paper, paying close attention about how each of the components are written. After reading many research articles this summer, I’ve been getting an idea of each of the parts and the style in which they are written. This second paper helped clarify the parts in a set structure, and I will likely use it for reference when I help write my project’s paper.
Yesterday, I went back to Freddy and read some of the Mansfield (see, writing out my goals yesterday has helped me be accountable to myself!). I’ve been using the post-it notes that we got on our first visit to VRAC. I’ve been writing big theme questions about the book on the cover, and I’ve been referring back to these questions as I read. It occurred to me that I could actually ask the author these questions if I were to email him. Mansfield’s old, but he’s technically still a professor at Harvard, and his email is listed on the website. And if he doesn’t get back to me, I can always just ask Dr. Bailey at UH.
That brings me to my next point: email is a very helpful tool in this time. It’s not hard to find the emails of academics, and if you have something substantial to ask them about grad school, why not send them a message? My mom gave me this idea when my boyfriend didn’t get into his dream PhD program, and he was planning to reapply this fall. She encouraged him to ask the faculty he would want to work with (not necessarily the people who will be deciding on him for his committee), about what he can do to improve. I asked him yesterday if he had gotten any responses back, and he said that most of them had replied. I think that’s awesome. It makes me want to email all the professors I want to work with someday! I think they would give some practical advice about my near future that I would have never thought of, if I hadn’t asked.
This morning, I walked for a change. It was rainy and wet outside, and yesterday when I had biked back in the rain, I was very wet by the time I got to Freddy.
After I got to VRAC, I searched for and read articles on the World in Miniature (WiM). Honestly, coming in to the last project meeting having read only 2 articles on WiM, I wasn’t very convinced that the idea would help us determine anything specific about spatial navigation in VR. After reading more articles this morning, I’m finding more evidence that the WiM really helps people perform better at the spatial navigation tasks, and now I’m more open to exploring the idea at the project meeting today.
I searched Jing Dong on the Iowa State website before the lecture for an idea of what her talk would be about. I was admittedly disappointed when I found out she was in civil, because I left that field for my lack of interest in it. Despite my previous thoughts, she talked about something that is of high interest to many of us growing up in a transforming transportation industry — shared electric autonomous vehicles. There’s so many things to consider when transportation sales become transportation services. I gravitate first towards the social and ethical concerns, such as: who is responsible for a crash? How would insurance work? Jing said that there’s much that needs to be done before we can achieve fully autonomous vehicles — which a large step from its stage 4, the current stage. I think my generation is an interesting position to see this transformation in transportation.