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.