Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Last Day

Today is the last day of the internship. We had a quick morning meeting where we discussed details of how the final presentations will go. I'm very nervous for it, but I'm optimistic that it will go well. All the interns rehearsed their presentations for each other, and everyone did really well. We had a quick meeting with our adviser and went over last minute changes to the presentation.
The interns had lunch together at Crossroads. We played "two truths & a lie", and "never have I ever" during lunch.
Then we had a last run through of the presentations in the afternoon.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Day 27 - Last Thursday

In the morning, Zihao and I met with our adviser to go over our presentation. He helped us fill out one table of data, and gave us lots of other helpful tips. It was a very productive meeting.
All the interns took a very short lunch today, because we wanted to run through our presentations for each other. We put our slideshows up on the projector in the freshman lab, and took turns presenting. Mine went better than I expected, but it still needs a lot of work. Everyone did really great, and I'm impressed with the work that everyone has done to get this far!

Day 26

This morning I researched alternative ways to date pigments so that I could fill out my comparison table for the presentation. I'm hoping to make a convincing argument as to why LFEPR is a good technique to use for dating pigments in historical objects.
The last Wednesday lunch talk was today. It was one of the best so far, in my opinion. Dr. Easton was happy to go in to details about his studies and show us lots of pictures of his travels.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Day 25

Zihao and I had a very quick meeting with our adviser about our presentation. It was only about five minutes, but he gave us some helpful information. I continued adjustments to our presentation, and I'm hoping to have the rough draft completed by Thursday, so we can run through it with the other interns in a more chill version of what our run through will be on Friday.
We continued watching the Batman movie, but still have not completed it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Day 24

We had an informative morning meeting in which Mr. Callens told us he had a arranged another Wednesday lunch talk, which I was very happy about. I think it's going to be a very interesting talk.
I continued work on our presentation. The slideshow is coming along pretty well, and I've been adding pictures to many of the slides. One big thing that we still need to finish is writing our actual talk that goes with the slides. 
Madi and I went on a really nice walk around campus during lunch. It was pretty relaxing, and I'm glad we got the chance to enjoy the nice weather.
Madi and I found motivation to work hard in the afternoon through a little stuffed hedgehog that we named Mo. (Yes, Mo is short for motivation).

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Day 23

Today was the undergraduate research symposium, so there was no morning meeting for the interns. Instead, most of them went to the breakfast at the symposium. I didn't plan on going to the breakfast, so I had gone to the CIS first. When I decided to go find the other interns I ended up getting completely lost. Luckily, I had Emily's number and was able to find out where they were. I went and got my name tag, but then decided to go back to CIS and get more work done. I did go to one talk, which was by an RU from CIS. I had actually helped with his research earlier in the summer, when I brought in my violin and Madi and I played notes for him to record. His project was on music, which I found really interesting. I hope he continues his work because his project is so cool!
Lunch was fun, especially because they had a special gluten free sandwich for me and a gluten free cookie! The talk during lunch was really fascinating, and it was on a topic I'm really interested in: solar power.
I got some more work done in the afternoon, and all in all I had a very productive day.

Day 22

Zihao and I had a meeting in the morning with our adviser, Prof. Hornak. We talked for almost an hour and he helped us rearrange our presentation to be more interesting and to grab the attention of the audience. The tips he gave us were very helpful, and I'm pretty with how our presentation is coming together.
Other than that, today was fairly uneventful. At lunch, all the interns played a game of Apples to Apples, which was fun but everyone took it pretty seriously. I think it probably went a lot better than the game of Trivial Pursuit...

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Day 21

In the morning, we took a quick trip to the library. We learned about all the different databases that can be used to find scholarly articles. There are databases dedicated to certain subjects like engineering or chemistry. I think these will be super useful for any research I need to do in the future.
I did some more work on our presentation, and I took a walk down to the color science building to participate in the cell phone camera study.
Today was the last day of the Wednesday lunch talks. It was on a specific lake and the surrounding area in Tanzania. The lake was very unique because the temperature at the bottom of the lake was higher than the temperature at the surface of the lake. This ultimately had to do with the fact that the lake was surrounded by volcanoes.
At around 3:30, we watched The Dark Knight (actually, we only watched about an hour of it because we ran out of time). I did homework while I half-watched the movie. Tomorrow we will probably finish watching it if we have the chance.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Bring a friend to work day! (Day 20)

Today was the long awaited bring-your-friend day. I decided to bring my brother, so I could show him what I am working on.
We started off with everyone introducing themselves. The morning meeting room was packed with people, which was pretty unusual. We then went up to the freshman lab to peer review outlines for our presentations. Everyone already had a great start for their presentations! There's only two weeks left until presentation day, which is simultaneously exciting and nerve wracking.
Zihao and I decided to take a group of the visitors down to our lab, because it is the coolest lab ever (literally and figuratively). We ran a spectrum to demonstrate how the spectrometer works. I also took the opportunity to photograph each of our pigments. I'm hoping to include pictures of them in our final presentation.
We had lunch at Salsarita's again. It was really delicious, as usual. Madi and I exercised our mind reading skills again, and I'm pretty sure everyone was super impressed at our ability.
We briefly played volleyball, but quickly realized it was just way too hot to be active. So instead, Madi and I taught everyone how to play a game called Contact. (look on Madi's blog for instructions on how to play).
I had a little bit of math homework that I didn't understand, but the other interns were able to quickly explain it to me, which was so helpful. Alice even taught me a cool fact about the tan function.
I worked on our final presentation some more today. I'm hoping to finish it within one week, which will leave us with one week to practice it before the actual day. It's going pretty well so far!
The day ended with my brother Nico participating in picture quality study, which only took about 15 mins.
It was really fun to have all the interns' friends and family join us for the day!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Day 19

It feels good to be back at the internship again. In case you were wondering, I was in Boston last week on a mission trip.

The intern group was a little smaller than usual, because Madi was still away on a family trip and Emily had a migraine. (Feel better soon, Emily!)

We had a pretty quick morning meeting in which we discussed the bring a friend day tomorrow. I am 90% sure I am bringing my brother Nico.
After the meeting, I did some final edits on our outline. Zihao did a great job on it while I was away, so there wasn't a ton of editing that needed to be done. Then I uploaded it to my blog (see last post).

I've also started working on a rough draft of our final presentation. So far, I've just got all the slides in order. I haven't started writing anything yet.
Prof. Hornak found a spectrum of Victoria Green, which I was very happy about because I had been looking for one for at least a week.

Allyse and I went to participate in an improv activity with some of the RUs. It was really fun, and I was glad I got to take a break to do something creative.



Title: Development of a Low Frequency EPR Spectral Library of Pigments

Background: (3 slides, ~ 2 minutes)
Define EPR, maybe include a picture of our spectrometer
Why we are using low frequency EPR
What the graphs can tell us i.e. their applications

Theory: (3 slides, ~ 4 minutes)
Spinning e- = magnet. There are transitions between the two energy levels
Graph of E as function of B – audience will see as B increases, energy difference increases. Explain that the graph is different for different substances
Explain that when input energy matches the energy difference, there is the max amount of transitions. Our spectrometer measures how many transitions there are.

Results: (8 pages, ~ 5 minutes)
Each page is devoted to a pigment. Compare spectra from different frequency, if applicable

  • Include pictures of each pigment in the test tubes
  • include graphs of each pigment

Conclusion (~ 2 mins)

Questions & Answers ( ~ 5 mins)

Total: ~18 mins

Friday, July 22, 2016

Day 13

This morning we had our meeting as always. We talked about a library tour on August 3.
I visited the MVRL lab again today to participate in their research.

Hello, guest blogger here.
This is Madi from Fairport NY reporting live on Cici's blog.
Right now, Cici is engaged in an important discussion regarding the future.
Thanks for tuning in!
Back to Cici now.

Emily, Madi, Allyse and I went to find a piano on campus. Allyse and I brought our violins too. The reason for this was that an RU needed to record us playing scales for his research project. It was a nice break from working at the computer, and it was nice to have the chance to play my violin again.

The cookout was pretty messy this week. Zihao brought in a giant watermelon, which Niels started to cut and then Madi finished. It kind of got everywhere, but it was worth it. We didn't play volleyball this week, because we needed to... never mind I can't think of anything funny to write.
It was really windy during the barbecue, and Madi's plate full of ketchup flew away and covered both Madi and me in ketchup.

We had a really good discussion about what each of the interns is going to do with their life. I would post our predictions for each, but I don't want to influence anyone's decisions.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Day 10

At the morning meeting each group talked a little about what they've been doing. It was interesting to hear more about everyone's projects.
I participated in the MVRL interns' research, which I actually can't say much about. It was kinda fun though. I'm looking forward to hearing about their conclusions later in the summer.
I did mostly researching online today, in an attempt to find useful spectra of victoria green pigment. I found something about green fluorescent proteins, which are apparently from jellyfish. I don't think that's what I wanted though, so I'm continuing my search. I also found that victoria green is otherwise known as malachite green, but I still didn't find quite what I was looking for.
I went to the afternoon talk, and it was on presenting to non-science audiences. I learned that you should turn your presentation into more of a story, to make it interesting and to keep the attention of the audience.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Day 9

We had our morning meeting upstairs so we could look at everyone's abstract on a big screen. We went through each group's abstract and commented on what we thought they did well and how they could improve it. All of the abstracts were good, and only needed a little work. Zihao and I wrote our abstract with the help of Prof. Hornak, so it was already pretty much finished. Everyone else seemed to think it was great, so I hope that they will like our presentation that much too. 

Also, today a few of the interns participated in the visual perception research that Maria, Alice, and Nate are working on. I didn't get to do it today, but I will tomorrow.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Day 8

Niels taught Madi and I how to make good paper airplanes. They went through several stages, and the end result was pretty epic. We named them Trenton and Volley, and they both spin when they fly. We sent them down four flights of stairs, to see how far they could go. 

During the picnic today, we played more volleyball, in preparation for the Olympic Games 2016. Our practice went well, but I won't say too much. I don't want the other teams to feel intimidated before we even begin. 

Of course, I also did do some work today. I edited the abstract a little and then uploaded it to my blog. (see last post). I searched around for some more spectra online, and read more of the EPR reading material that Prof. Hornak sent us. It was nice to work in the reading room today, as opposed to being down in the basement. 


Abstract Abstract
Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy can be used to analyze paramagnetic substances, that is, substances with unpaired electrons. Electrons have two different energy configurations or levels when placed in an external magnetic field. The electronic energy levels vary in energy depending on the substance the electron is in. Researchers can record a spectrum for each substance by sending fixed frequency photons into the substance and sweeping the magnetic field.
Conventional EPR spectrometers operate at 9 GHz and tend to be destructive to the sample. On the other hand, an EPR spectrometer operating at a lower frequency (0.441 GHz) can be nondestructive, but very little work has been done on these instruments. Therefore, we have created a library/database of low frequency EPR spectra for common pigments used in paintings. Pigments, even ones with similar optical properties that are hard to distinguish from each other by traditional methods, possess unique EPR spectra that can be used to identify them. The database also includes information about the history of each pigment, therefore, it can be of use to museum curators and art collectors and historians to determine the authenticity and the age of a painting.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Day 7

We edited our abstract this morning, and it's come a long way. It will probably be ready to be published on this blog tomorrow! 
We decided to go to a thesis defense at 10, but we accidentally went to the wrong room. (We were three floors down from where we were supposed to be). We did eventually find our way to the correct room, and the talk was pretty interesting. It was about getting nutrient information from wine grapes through remote sensing. I only understood about half of it, but it was really cool to see what exactly a thesis defense is.
For lunch, all of the interns went together to Global Village. That was really fun, because I got a chance to talk with the other interns and get to know them better. Madi and I had a really hard time deciding what to eat, but somehow we figured it out and we ended up going with what we got last week. Also, on our way to Global Village we got lost and had to look at a map, but that didn't work so we had to ask someone. It felt kinda like another team building exprience...
In the afternoon, we finished running a spectrum of our last sample. Zihao took over the spreadsheet work and adjusted the graphs so they were easier to read. Then we attempted to find graphs online to compare. I didn't have much luck, but Zihao had found three yesterday which was a pretty good start.
Emily, Madi, and Allyse decided to visit us and they said we definitely have the coolest work space. We ran a spectrum of ultramarine to show them. They also got really excited about looking at the pigments and choosing their favorite colors. 
I took these pictures last Friday when we organized the pigments, but I forgot to upload it until now:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Day 6

This morning Zihao and I went over our abstract with Prof. Hornak. He helped us with editing it, and making sure it made sense. This is only our first draft of the abstract, so it may end up changing a lot. I'm happy that we got it done already, even though it's not due until Friday. We're just total overachievers, I guess. ;)
After that, we went to the basement to start running the spectrometer. We only worked for about an hour, and then we went to lunch. Today there was a special lunch talk (there's one every Wednesday). The talk was on optical illusions, which I found really interesting and entertaining. I spent the rest of the afternoon putting together more graphs from each of the samples. I finally got the hang of making them, and I can do it a lot faster. Some of them turned out really well, and some still showed nothing. Over the next few days, I will continue to work on organizing the spreadsheet.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Day 5

This morning we got another short lecture, this time we learned about how different parts of the spectrometer work. We then followed the instructions we made yesterday to turn on the EPR spectrometer. After about an hour of working, the fire alarm went off and everyone had to exit the building. It turns out it was not a drill, but it was just a false alarm. There was a firetruck there though. After that, we worked on filling out a spreadsheet that can be used to plot the readings for each sample. I had lunch with the other interns, which was really chill. This afternoon, Zihao and I started writing our abstract so that we can have it done by Friday. We then ran more samples through the spectrometer, and plotted their graphs. A lot of the samples don't seem to have a spectrum, which has been a little frustrating. Even one that we thought would have a spectrum (Victoria Green), didn't. So, in conclusion my day was prefominanlyu. (@ Madi)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Day 4

This morning we learned how to get the spectrometer up and running. I recorded the steps to turn each part on while Zihao carried out the instructions. Then we attempted to get it tuned. The whole process took up the entire morning, about 2.5 hours. While we tuned, we ran several readings and learned to adjust some of the settings. After lunch, we got to look at more pigments with the spectrometer. Only some of the readings turned out right, and many of them did not appear to have a reading. We spent the afternoon looking at almost all of them. It was really cool to be able to learn how to tune and use the EPR spectrometer.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Day 3 (maybe I should come up with more interesting titles)

Today was really fun and interesting! So far, we have done a different thing every day. I have really enjoyed that because I have learned a very wide range of things within a few days. This morning, after the staff meeting, Zihao and I had another lecture by Prof. Hornak. The lecture was mainly focused on the difference between low frequency EPR (what we are using) and standard (high frequency) EPR. This will be important to our research project this summer.
After that, we went into the chemistry lab in the basement. There, we started to organize pigments that we will later examine with the spectrometer. We put each of them into separate test tubes, which took some careful handling because the powders tend to go everywhere. We labeled the tubes with the type of pigment, and then recorded our total collection. One really fun thing we got to do was make our own pigments. We made three: coal, charcoal, and hematite. We put them in plastic bags and smashed them to make a powder. Then we packaged and labeled them.

Lunch was a picnic, and I got the chance to talk with the other interns more. I really enjoyed playing volleyball with them after lunch, even though none of us were very good. I'm pretty sure we will be pros at the end of the summer though.
After lunch, we finished making pigments and creating our list. Then I put the list into a spreadsheet and Zihao and I researched information on each of them for our database. This took most of the afternoon.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Day 2

This morning, we got more info on the timeline of creating our projects, which we will present at the conclusion of the internship. We also discussed the preparations for lunch tomorrow, which I'm definitely looking forward to. After that, Zihao and I met up with Joe Hornak and he gave us an interesting lecture  on EPR. I definitely understand more about the topic of our research now.
After the lecture, we cleared up some tools and remnants of our projects from the desks
Before lunch, we started looking for power amplifiers to make the LFEPR machine work better. We collected a lot of information from many different companies on different types of amps. We spent a lot of time on that, and almost forgot to get lunch. After lunch, we continued to search for the amps, and then at 2:00 we met up with Prof. Hornak. He took us to go and see the filling of another MRI machine with helium. It was really cool to watch because the helium was really cold and when it hit the hot, humid air it made a big white cloud.
Later, we continued to look for better amps that were full units rather than little things we would have to spend time to attach. I think we found some that will work, but we'll find out for sure tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

First Day

It was a pretty good first day of the internship. I really enjoyed doing the team building activities in the morning. All the other interns are friendly and I'm excited to get to know them more!
One of the coolest things I got to do today was learn how to take apart and put together parts of a low frequency electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometer (LFEPR). I don't know very much about this yet, but it was pretty fun to get to work on it. I even learned how to solder, which I think will be very useful.