REU Experiences

Bye Everyone!

My final week! This summer has been such an amazing experience for me. I want to say, for anyone in Nimbus who reads my posts, thank you all so much for an amazing summer. Everyone in the lab was so patient and willing to help me. From Ajay being the all-knowing mastermind, to Pedro who could always make me giggle, to Liam who was an honorary REU member, I had the best people to surround me while I worked on my projects. Adam (commander P-Rad) showed me that I am, in fact, as wimpy as I thought when he would let me tag along with him in the field. Siya showed me that I can me a woman in Computer Science and stand my ground, which I was never really good at before. Jean-Paul taught me the importance of patience when it comes to computers, and that accidentally pressing the space bar on the Vicon machine is the first thing I should check when troubleshooting. Carl showed me that you can simultaneously have a life and be a grad student, contrary to popular belief. Even though I only knew him for three months here, I know he will be a life long friend. Everyone in the lab taught me lessons that I will bring with me through the rest of my school and life. It was an amazing summer and I want to thank all of them for being there.

This week I started my trials! I actually had my first one of Saturday. It was a disaster. I was so nervous that I messed it up, crashed, and had to cancel the study in the middle. It’s ok though. Ajay and Carl assured me that these things happen to the best of us. I was still very embarrassed. Monday, I was stood up by one of my participants. I didn’t really mind because I was so nervous from my fail on Saturday, that I didn’t want to try again. But my afternoon participant came in and the study went fine! We had a little hiccup on the first flight, but Ajay was my backup pilot, so he calmed me down and helped me continue the study. He also noticed a little mistake that was making my drone not fly exactly how it should, so he helped me fix that. On Tuesday, I had my first trial bright and early at 9:00am. Carl came in and was my backup pilot (even though he was the backup pilot on Saturday when it failed epically) and the trial went very smooth. Carl didn’t even need to take control. I was feeling much better about the trial after having one perfect run.

My second trial of the day tested my confidence, patience, and social skills. The participant was extremely chatty to say the least. Many people in the lab made sure I was ok after the experience, as I was quite overwhelmed. It will someday make for a funny story. Wednesday, I didn’t have any participants coming in. This allowed me to get all the data onto the spreadsheet and work on getting the videos on the hard drive. We had a meeting at 12:30 – our normal time – to practice giving our poster presentations.

Thursday, I took time in the morning to finish up packing and pick up my dad from the airport. It was a nice time for me to think back at my summer and appreciate this opportunity. I want to thank anyone who is reading my blogs for my summer. If you are interested enough to get to this point, I’m positive you have played a role in my amazing time here in some way. It makes me sad that I will probably not see many of the people I have met here in the future. For those that I will see again, just know that when we meet again I will come back even more kick-ass than before!

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