Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Week One Complete!

Although it has only been one week since I began the internship, I really feel like I have developed a solid daily routine. As usual, we had our intern meeting in the morning. There, Mr. Callens encouraged all of us to attend the weekly lunch talk given on Wednesdays at noon. Each week, someone from one of the labs at the center gives a talk about research being done in their lab.

For the rest of the morning, I spent most of my time reading more of The Essential Cosmic Perspective. I am now almost done with the chapter about extragalactic space and how galaxies interact with each other. One of the most interesting parts of the chapter so far was about the many methods humans have developed in order to observe galaxies and objects farther and farther distances away from Earth. We can now make observations of galaxies billions of light-years away!

Just before lunch, I met with Dr. Kartaltepe to try out STIFF. I was already somewhat familiar with it because I practiced using it last night. Dr. Kartaltepe showed me how to create three color images using a function in the program I had not yet figured out how to use. After I play around with STIFF a little more to figure out how to create the best image possible, I will try to write a script to create hundreds of color images at a time.

Before the lunch talk, drinks and delicious pizza were provided (the buffalo chicken pizza was especially good). The talk was given by a professor from the visual perception lab. He gave truly remarkable examples illustrating that the way we generally think of everyday vision is wrong. The talk was very interesting and it made me excited to volunteer as a test subject for the visual perception lab's experiments.

I also made progress on the game mechanics of the app today. I designed the size and shape of the area in which the user will be able to move, and I made it so that objects will spawn just outside the visible screen in the direction the user is moving. This way, the user will always encounter new objects.

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