Tuesday, July 19, 2016

July 19

I finally remembered to bring in my permission slip today to participate in Alice, Maria, and Nate's visual perception experiment. I was starting to get embarrassed about forgetting it because everyone else had gotten the slip in. Anyways, I participated in the experiment first thing in the morning after the regular intern meeting. Unexpectedly, the experiment required me to view many different pieces of art. Going into this internship, I never thought my art observing skills were going to be tested! The art was from many time periods and was of many styles, from cubism to classical, so I found it very interesting. However, it felt strange to know that people were going to analyze every one of my eye movements. Nate, Maria, and Alice were very helpful throughout the experiment, always telling me what to do if I didn't know.

There may be a small flaw in the experiment design though. While viewing the art, I think I spent more time looking for details in the painting than I normally would have if I was viewing the painting in a gallery. This is because I knew people were going to study my eye movements, so I thought there might be certain aspects of the painting that I was supposed to notice. These feelings are inevitable, so Nate, Maria, and Alice may have to just take them into account when analyzing the results of the experiment.

For the rest of the day, I worked on the app. I was finally able to figure out how to loop the moving star animation on the menu screen. Now it truly looks like there are hundreds are stars moving across the screen from top to bottom. In a way, it resembles what characters in Star Trek The Next Generation see when they look at space while moving at warp speed. I was also able to finish the code to detect collisions between objects in the game. Now, I can start to work on implementing the rules of the game regarding what happens to the user galaxy when it collides (merges) with different types of galaxies.

At the end of the day, several interns and I attended the entrepreneurship lecture by Roger Dube. This week, he discussed how to give science talks to non-science audiences. This is a very important skill for scientists because they all have to present their work to non-scientists at one point or another. If one is not able to clearly communicate their work to, say, an investor or grant committee, they will have trouble moving forwards in their career. Essentially, when speaking to non-science audiences, one must attempt to engage the audience, make them work, without letting them know it. If they are intrigued by what the speaker is saying and are trying to put two and two together in their heads, then the speaker successfully interested the audience in his or her presentation.

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