Home Page Student Participant Faculty Mentor Graduate Student Advisors Project Description My Android Applications Weekly Journal DREU Final Report
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On Wednesday morning, at 9:00, I met Richard in the lobby of the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering to start my internship at the University of Washington. After a brief tour of the building, I went back to my office.
At about 10:30, one of the Graduate Students, Shaun Kane, whom I will be helping with his research project, came to meet me. Shaun's research project is studying the way that blind people interact with touch screen devices and involves creating new gestures as well as evaluating existing ones.
After lunch, I met the other undergraduate student, Tom Guo, who will also be interning under Richard. Tom will be working in the same office and on the same project, Mobile Accessibility, as me. He is going to teach me how to write applications for the Android.
Richard gave Tom and I Androids to use for the summer.
Thursday morning, I got my email set up, which took quite a while; the server names were giving the tech support and me problems. I spent most of Thursday reading about Shaun's projects.
Friday morning, I finished reading about Shaun's projects. I was also reintroduced to Chandrika (Shani) Jayant, another graduate whom I will be helping. I had met Shani while home on spring break when I was a subject for one of her other projects.
Tom and I worked on installing the components that are necessary for writing Android applications.
Around lunch time, Victor Tsaran, who is the senior accessibility program manager at Yahoo , came to see Tom and I in our office. He was at UW for 2010 Technology and Disability in the Developing World: Low-Cost Assistive Technology Research and Practice Workshop. We chatted for a while. Because Victor and his friend had IPhones, where as Tom and I had Androids, and all of us were interested in experiencing the other phone, Tom and I swapped phones with Victor and his friend for a little while. I found the IPhone with VoiceOver to be quite accessible, mainly because you can scan the screen with your finger until you find the correct button and then tap twice anywhere on the screen to activate it.
After lunch, and after we got everything installed, Tom helped me create my first Android application. I did not find it that hard, as Android applications are written in Java, and I have been coding in Java for several years. We discovered that the Android simulator for the computer is not accessible with my screen reader, JAWS® for Windows®, so I would have to connect my Android to the computer to test my applications. Then, we had trouble getting the computer to recognize the Android. We finally figured out that it was because the Android kept locking itself. After we got everything working, I tried to add speech to the application, but we ran into problems and decided to call it quits for the day; it was almost time for me to leave anyway.
Friday afternoon, I went home for the weekend.
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I spent most of the week working on my first Android application, which was a talking calculator that I called the Android Talking Calculator (ATC). Over the weekend, I had read parts of Hello, Android and looked at some examples that used TextToSpeech, and I now knew most of what I needed to know for my first application.
Around 11:30, Shaun came to meet with me to talk in more detail about his research project now that I had read about it. He restated--I had read it already--that blind people who volunteered to participate would be asked to develop gestures for certain tasks on touch screen devices as well as using existing gestures. Shaun and I also discussed ways in which blind people could find certain locations on a touch screen, such as having a sound play that changed pitch and some other characteristic as the horizontal and vertical position changed.
Monday night, at 6:30, MobileAccessibility had our first biweekly meeting, which included pizza. Richard was on travel, so we teleconferenced with him, but he only stayed on for a few minutes because the system was not working well with his cell phone. During the meeting, each of the team members talked about the current status of his or her project and future plans.
Tuesday through Friday morning, I worked on my calculator. I ran into a few bugs along the way, but all of them were easy enough to fix. I thought that I had found all of the bugs.
At about 1:00 on Friday, Shani and Richard came to talk to me. We talked about what application I would make next--perhaps a talking level--and me testing some of the applications that Shani was developing. After Shani left, Richard and I discussed DREU requirements.
Friday afternoon, I went home for the weekend.
On Sunday, when I was demoing my calculator for my dad, I discovered that there was another bug, but it was easily fixable.
On Monday, I discovered two more bugs.
Around 10:00, Shaun met with me. He said that he would send me some more documents for me to read. He also turned on VoiceOver on the Mac in the office so that I could experiment with it and test VoiceOver; I actually found that VoiceOver worked quite well
I finished the calculator, but then decided that it would be a good idea to separate the talking and input protocol from the rest of the calculator so that I could use it in other applications. I ran into problems with the R file configuration in Eclipse.
On Tuesday, I solved the problem by starting a new project in Eclipse and configuring it differently.
On Wednesday, I worked on my website. I then decided to fix a tiny bug in the talking interface that had to do with not having a time delay. I ran into the problem of the Android classes not having all of the Java classes.
On Thursday, I tried creating my own class for the missing class, but ran into problems with threads.
On Friday, I continued working on my class as well as working on my website.
Friday afternoon, I went home for the weekend. After getting home, I received an email from Shani that I thought linked to a class that was what I was looking for.
On Saturday, I followed the link in the email, only to find that it led to a similar Java class to the one that was not available, but it was not what I wanted; I had already found it when I was searching and had decided that it would not work, so I decided to keep working on my class. After fixing some of the problems with Threads, I was able to get the class to work right; that is, testing it on a simple Java application on the computer and not on the Android itself. I would do that the next morning.
The 4th of July was uneventful, actually rather boring. The weather was still in the 60's. We did not go see any live fireworks, but rather watched whatever we could find on television, switching between programs to find the music that we liked best.
Monday was not only a day off but also the third anniversary of receiving my guide dog, Lexia. Lexia, who is my first guide dog, is a female black lab. She was born at the Guide Dogs for the Blind campus in San Rafael, California, and trained at the campus in Boring, Oregon, where I also trained for four weeks after receiving her. For more information, go to: www.guidedogs.com
I spent most of the week working on my next Android application, which was a level, as Richard wanted me to write a program that used a sensor. At one point, when I was first testing out the sensor readings, I set the phone to say "moved" every time that it registered a movement. However, I did not realize that it registered a movement even if the phone was not moving, so I got it stuck saying "moved, moved, moved" and could not get it to shut up. I ended up taking its battery out.
Wednesday evening was our second biweekly meeting, which was on a Wednesday because of the Monday holiday. I demoed my talking calculator, but, for some reason, the one that was on the Android was not the final version. Tom also demoed part of his project. The overall goal of Tom's project is for a sighted person to take a picture of a touch screen appliance, such as a microwave, in its different states and then for a blind person to take a picture of that same appliance and the android be able to tell the blind person information about what is on the sccreen. As a starting point, Tom designed an application that counts dots.
On Wednesday, I had somehow messed up some of my code when trying to improve the Talking Tap Twice. I was not sure what I had done. On Thursday, I started over with the level, working from the calculator and changing the code. Also on Thursday, Shani, Richard, and I met to discuss plans for the trip to the NFB Junior Science Academy. We decided that we would bring some Androids with us to show the students and parents some of the applications that MobileAccessibility had written.
Friday afternoon, I went home for the weekend.
On Saturday, I decided that the problem with my code had something to do with trying to initialize all of the buttons at the beginning of the program, when only certain ones show at the first screen.
This week, I was still working on the talking interface. On Monday, I went back to the code that was working before. Shani also brought me the IPhone. On Tuesday, I realized that the new code was not working because I was missing a crucial line of code from the old code. Friday, I thought that I had the code running, but ran into more problems with the XML and custom attributes.
Friday morning, I went to the Astronomy/Physics Building to help with ASI. Another blind student who had just graduated from high school and whom I knew from a past event was also there. We went through parts of what would be the first lessons, which were on the Solar System and the Sun. We felt some of the tactile materials, including a topographical globe of Mars that was made from a styrofoam ball covered in a type of clay that did not have to be baked to harden. We also used the Touch the Stars (I and II), Touch the Universe, and Touch the Sun books, which are Braille astronomy books made specifically for the blind that have tactile pictures. There were several different wooden balls to represent the planets (Saturn being complete with its rings) and an earring about the size of a pea for Mercury. They also had a five foot Sun balloon, but it was deflated; they said that it took ten minutes to inflate it with a noisy air pump. When we were going through the lesson, we decided that some of the segments of reading that were multiple pages long and contained more than one picture and more than one subject matter should be split up into smaller sections, particularly for elementary school students who were not that familiar with astronomy.
Friday afternoon, I went home for the weekend.
On Saturday, I searched on the internet for a solution to the attribute problem, but I could not find one, so I decided to email Shani to see if she knew anything about it.
Monday morning, I went to help with ASI again. We resumed where we left off with the Sun, finished the Sun, and started talking about stars. As part of the Sun activity, they had a large styrofoam ball with grommets for sunspots, some of which had flexible wire arches coming out of them to represent prominences. They also had a rubber ball, cut in half, one half of which had different materials glued on to represent the layers of the Sun. The stars lesson was incomplete because the person who originally started the project had run out of time. We decided to start reading the section about stars in Touch the Stars ii. Although it talked about different types of stars and their life cycles, it did not talk about how stars are formed, so they decided to find more materials about that.
This week, I finished the TTT interface--including extensive documentation--and resumed work on the level. Shani did not know how to solve the attribute problem, so I googled the error message itself, which I had not done before. I finally found the answer.
Monday night was our biweekly meeting again. Tuesday, I thought that I had finished the TTT and calculator, but I remembered two more things that I needed to add--including something missing in the documentation--both of which I added Wednesday morning. I then returned to the level. I had most of the sensor code written from when I had started it, but many of the controls were not properly configured yet, and it was still using the old TTT.
Thursday morning, Richard, Shani, and I met to talk about the trip to the NFB Junior Science Academy. Later Thursday, I ran into a problem with the level of trying to use a thread besides the one that had created it to modify a View, which, for some silly reason, is not allowed. I was able to figure out a work around, though.
Thursday afternoon, I went home because I had an appointment back home on Friday.
On Saturday, I ran into the thread problem again when working on the 5 second repeat feature for the level. I was not able to figure out a work around and decided to email Shani to ask her if she knew a work around.
Monday was ASI again. We talked about star formation, planet formation as part of star formation, the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud, Jupiter's bully role in the formation of the solar system, star life cycle, black holes, and planetary motion. When talking about star formation and the cloud moving faster as it got closer to the center because of angular momentum, we used a ball on a string to demonstrate angular momentum. We spun the ball in a circle and then slowly shortened the string, feeling how the speed of the ball increased as the string got shorter. The simulate a black hole, they had a piece of cloth stretched over a frame. Pressing an object down on the cloth to form a dent represented the way that black holes worped space and time. We also listened to a movie clip about being "spaghettified" by a black hole.
On Monday, I continued working on my level. I found that the x and y axis seemed to be switched; I guess that they expect you to hold the phone landscape since that is the direction of the slide out keyboard. I made the program where it would not switch directions, even if the phone is turned. I solved my thread problem by changing my code. However, on Tuesday, I found that my new code did not allow the thread to be interrupted when it needed to be. Finally, I decided to write the code where it could use either option. That afternoon, I finished my level. At one point, though, when I sent Shani the code so that she could fix the visual display, she accidentally removed an important line of code. Luckily, it was not hard for me to find and fix.
On Wednesday morning, at 6:15 a.m., Richard picked me up from the dorm to go to the airport for the NFB Junior Science Academy, which was in Baltimore, Maryland. We also picked up Shani on the way. The airport was not too crowded, and, although rather long, the flight was overall uneventful. Our flight left a little after 9, and we landed a little after 5. We took a taxi van to the Jernigan Institute. We checked in and went to our rooms. However, when Shani and I got to our room, it only had one bed in it. After some discussion, we found out that they had switched our rooms around, giving Shani and I Richard's room and vice versa. After dinner, we went to a welcome presentation where several people, including the NFB president Mark Maurer, spoke. We were introduced to the people running the program. I was delighted to learn that a college student whom I had met at an astronomy program in 2005 was a mentor at the academy. After the presentation, we chatted for a few minutes and agreed to meet at lunch or dinner the next day. That night, neither Shani nor I could get to sleep because of the time change.
The next morning, at 6 o'clock, they played weird music, including Good Morning Baltimore; the rest of the songs had something to do with science. Luckily, both Shani and I were already awake. Breakfast was at 7, and our first session was at 8. After we let the student "crow" the alarms on their talking watches for thirty seconds so that they would stop playing with them (the alarm on most talking watches is a rooster, which can be activated by holding down the speak button), those who did not have talking watches simply crowing with their voices, Richard and I played a mental telepathy game with the students. One of the students would whisper a number to Richard, and then he would say a bunch of numbers, each time asking me if the number that he said was the right number. The cue for me that it was the correct number was that the two proceeding numbers were adjacent. The students kept trying to figure out how I was doing it, and some of their ideas were absolutely hilarious. After Richard told them that their was a pattern, some of their pattern guesses were funny, too. After one of the students finally figured it out, we changed the pattern to two even numbers, which took them a while to figure out. Even another professor could not figure it out. When the game was over, Richard explained that the idea behind the game was to show how computers can learn tby looking at examples and trying to find a pattern. Richard then had the students sort themselves by birthday, using the insertion sort algorithm (each successive element compares itself to the elements to its left), Shani helping to move the students. Richard then had the students sort themselves by cane length using the bubble sort algorithm (for each iteration, each element compares itself with only the elements beside it). As would be expected due to the nature of this sorting algorithm, this took longer than the birthday sorting. There were not any activities for us until after lunch. Shani and I went back to our room and started listening to the MP3 file of the audio described version of Batman Begins. After lunch, we went to the technology lab. There was too much for me to describe everything, but there was various book player/recorders that also played DAISY, various electronic Braille note takers, scanners, embossers, computers, Braille displays, and some of the new, more accessible Apple products. There was an IPad that had a plastic cover over it that had the keyboard marked in Braille. I got to see the new BrailleNote Apex. There was also a 48/64 pin Braille display for graphics with a one line display for text, but they did not know how to use it; it was made in Japan. At 2:30, we talked to the parents. Richard talked about his different projects and programs, his past blind students, and other blind scientist and people whom he knew and I talked about how I was able to be successful in school. The parents had a lot of questions for me. At 3:30 (actually, a little later), we had a joint session with both the students and the parents. Richard did an activity with string where strings are folded in half and held by the center so that their ends hang down, but it is not possible to tell which strings connect. Then, the students and parents randomly tied the ends of the strings together, the idea being to discuss all of the possible outcomes for a given number of strings. Shani and I showed the other group Android applications developed by MobileAccessibility, including V-Braille, the Color Namer, and my calculator and level. Shani and I finished showing our group cell phones before Richard could finish the string activity with his group, so, as another activity, I took the harness off of Lexia and let one of the adults hold the harness, so that the students could take turns pretending to walk with a guide dog, telling the adult, "forward", "right", "left", or "halt". I did this rather than letting the students walk with Lexia. This particular activity, called Juno, is actually done by the guide dog schools to help them get a feel for the way that a person walks and to let a person get a feel for what walking with a guide dog is like. The third session ended around 4:30. From about 5:30 till dinner at 6, Hoby and I chatted. I showed Hoby the IPhone, and he said that he was hooked on it now. There was not anything after dinner, so Shani and I finished Batman.
On Friday, Shani and I left for the airport after breakfast. Richard had left earlier because he had to fly to another conference. We had arranged the night before for the taxi that would be dropping people off to wait for us. Everything went well on the flight home, although it was slightly longer than the flight there. I let Lexia turn sideways under my legs instead of staying under the seat, and she kept creeping over toward Shani, bun Shani did not mind. Shani and I took Shuttle Express from the airport. I then took Access to the ferry from my dorm; my mom met me at the other side of the ferry crossing in Bremerton.
Monday morning, Tom and I each gave a presentation about our projects to Richard's Summer Academy of deaf students. Some of the students were still in high school, others would be in college in the fall, and still others were already in college. I talked about why most touch screen devices--including smart phones--are inaccessible if they do not have additional software, how to make touch screen devices accessible, the Talking Tap Twice, my calculator, my level, and DREU. After my presentation, the students had questions, including how I was able to access the computer. We passed the Android around for them to try the calculator, but they entered numbers on it faster than the speech could say what they were entering.
After the presentation, I went to help at ASI. We talked about stars and star formation. They had an HR diagram that was a piece of cardboard with thumb tacks representing stars. We all agreed that it was not the best representation. We then went out to lunch with one of the team members who had been teaching in Shanghai and was back for a few days.
Monday afternoon, Richard brought me the tactile covers for the IPhone. They are like regular screen protectors except that they have raised dots for the keyboard and some of the other buttons. Richard did not know which one I would find easier to use, so he had ordered both the one with more markings and the one with fewer markings, which I found easier to use. Monday night was our meeting. Tom showed the rest of the team his application, which, at that point, could recognize the display of a small thermometer that showed the current temperature, the high temperature, and the low temperature. The application is able to recognize the picture even if it is not perfectly aligned. In the initial picture that is used to train the application, the application locates three dots--placed on the appliance by the user--and then uses those dots in subsequent pictures to perform a transformation to get the picture to match the original picture.
On Tuesday, Richard invited me to have lunch with the Cs4Hs: Washington program for high school teachers. Also on Tuesday, Shani helped me connect to the Google code repository where MobileAccessibility keeps its code. For some annoying reason, the secure sign in to submit was not working with Eclipse using Subclipse, so I had to just use the command line version of Subversion (command line does not work very well with screen readers). I decided to add another feature to the TTT. The Android has two optional features called SoundBack and KickBack, which allow a sound to be played and the phone to vibrate, respectively, when a button is pressed. However, the two aspects that I do not like about them is that they have to be installed and they have to be activated. I wanted to add something similar to the TTT, but I wanted it to be part of the TTT.
Wednesday morning, I received an email from Richard saying that we had been invited to speak at a lunch at Microsoft. However, as Richard was at the second session of the NFB Junior Science Academy, he could not go. He asked if I would be able to go on my own, which I could. /Also on Wednesday, Shiri came to see Tom and me. She is another graduate student who is on MobileAccessibility. I had met her when she worked for Yahoo in California. Richard had come down to California for something and had visited me at Stanford while he was there. When he visited, he brought Shiri to meet me, so I knew her from then.On Thursday, I went to Microsoft to speak at the lunch, which was for the research interns and their managers. The person who had invited us had actually interviewed me to possibly intern in the research department, but I could not as research internship weres only open to graduate students. After the lunch, I went home for the weekend.
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Monday morning was ASI again. Now that we had gone over all of the lessons and they had made changes, we started over to see how the new lessons would work. We reviewed the solar system lesson. We made a fake comet--or "dirty snowball" (which is basically what a comet is)--out of water, salt, sand, charcoal, vanilla, ammonia, and dry ice. We then went outside to do an activity that involved walking to convey the distance each planet is from the Sun. We did not do all of the planets, though, as that would have taken too long and would have been too far to walk. In the activity, one foot represented the distance that light travels in one second, which meant that we walked five hundred ten feet for the distance from the Sun to the Earth because it takes light eight and a half minutes to reach the Earth from the Sun. I took the fake comet with me in a plastic bag. The fake comet had formed as a kind of ball made of smaller balls. This meant that, as it melted, crevices and cavities formed on its surfaces, and chunks broke off. At one point, a little before it was completely melted, it was a bunch of smaller balls.
The rest of the week at work, I worked on the TTT more. I had not been able to find a sound that sounded like the SoundBack sound, so I ended up recording another sound the previous weekend. I then had to learn how to play a sound file on the Android that was not part with the system, which required some trial and error and time, but it worked well when it was done. The next thing that I decided to do was change the way that the resources were linked. I wanted to have the TTT where the programmer could just linked to folders in the TTT directory without having to have a separate copy for every application that he/she developed. That took some time, as package and Eclipse linking are not always that straight forward.
Thursday night, my friend and her husband picked me up at the dorm to go to dinner. I had met her about seven years ago when she was my counselor at a camp for people who have or have had cancer (I had cancer when I was four, which is why I lost my sight). We went to Costa's Restaurant for dinner.
On Friday, at ASI, we talked about the life cycle of stars. We also talked about density. On Monday, we had reviewed fact sheets about the planets. The radius and mass of each planet was given as a ratio to that of Earth, but the densities were given as they were. My comment had been that I thought that it would be a good idea to have the densities listed in comparison to Earth to help emphasize the relationship between radius, mass, and density. I had calculated and emailed the relative densities. Having received my email and calculations, they now had several balls. Three of them were the same size with different densities, and two of them, both fishing weights, were different sizes with the same densities; there were four balls total. we also talked about black holes. To simulate the way that a black hole warps time and space, they had a cloth stretched over a frame, which would "warp" when an object was placed upon it. We placed the different balls on the black hole, with the more massive ones warping it more. We watched again./p>
That afternoon, I did not go back to work but rather went home.
That afternoon, I did not go back to work but rather went home.
Monday morning, at ASI, we talked about stars again. To simulate look back time (what we see of objects in space is the way that they were X years ago, where X is the amount of time that it took for light to travel from the object to Earth), we did an activity with toy snakes; the original instructions said to do it with pictures with snakes, which obviously would not work for blind students. One of us was the star, one of us was Earth, and the rest of us were points in space, the distance/time between each point being two light years. Rather than use the lifetime of a star, we used the lifetime of a gardener snake, which is about five years. Each "two year period", each person passed the toy snake onto the next person, with each snake becoming bigger and bigger until there was no snake at all. Because of the distance from "Earth" to the original star/snake and the lifetime of the star/snake, by the time that Earth received the newborn star/snake, the actual star/snake was already dead. We talked about the birth and death of stars, which, ironically, both often involve nebulas. We also talked about gravity. They had different strengths of magnets. Some of them were very strong ones from the inside of a computer; I could not separate them. We agreed that those particular magnets would not be good for the actual lesson, as someone could very easily get their fingers pinched between the magnets.
This week at work, I made more modifications to the TTT. One is always finding something else wrong with or more ways to improve an application that one has developed. In my initial design, the main controller class stored information about all of the controls, and, when one was invoked, looked up information about it. However, the standard model is for the controls to store their own information and then to notify the main controller when they are activated, passing the main controller information. The main controller, in this case, is called a "listener," as it "listens" and responds to "events" that are "fired". This took most of the week, as it affected a lot of my code. (It is easier to change a module than to change the modularity.) I also wrote documentation for the TTT. Then the documentation was not working correctly; some of the subclasses were showing the documentation for their super classes/interfaces rather than their own documentation. I got most of the problems fixed, but had to leave some of it as I just could not get it to work right, and I had other things that I needed to do.
On Thursday, Tom, Richard, Shaun, Shani, Shiri, and I went out to lunch at the Shalmar, an Indian restaurant, because it was Tom's last day. On Monday, he was going on vacation to China, and he was not coming to work Friday. He would be back for the start of the quarter and still be a member of MobileAccessibility, but his internship for that year would be over. Before Tom and I went home that day, we said good-bye and thank you to each other. I had given him my cell number and email before, so we would be able to stay in contact. I also made him a Braille peel-and-stick name tag.
On Friday, at ASI, we talked about stars, constellations, galaxies, and dark matter. We talked about the Big Dipper, Lyra, the Summer Triangle (Lyra is in the Summer Triangle), and Orion as well as the Ring Nebula, which is near Lyra, and the Orion Nebula, which is near Orion's belt. Although both nebulas, the Ring Nebula is the result of a dead star blowing off its outer layers where as, in contrast, the Orion Nebula is one place where stars are formed. We also talked about the stars Vega in the Summer Triangle and Betelgeuse, Rigel, Bellatrix, and Saiph in Orion. We decided not to use the Eagle Nebula and Eskimo Nebula, birth and death places of stars, respectively, which we had talked about on Monday; they were the only two images from Touch the Universe, and we thought that having one less book would be better. We talked about star sizes. The size of our Sun was represented by a three millimeter bead. A ball with about two hundred times the radius was still not big enough to represent Betelgeuse, which has a radius about one thousand times that of the Sun. They did not have them yet, but they were working on printing and cutting out circles of foam board to represent the sizes of different types of stars. There was also a new HR Diagram with balls instead of thumb tacks. We agreed that having one diagram with just the main sequence and then another with white dwarf, regular star, and red giant would be a good idea as it would emphasize the difference in different types of stars on the main sequence rather than different stages in the lifecycle of a star. The term "star" as rather loosely defined, as it includes dying stars (red giant) and dead stars (white dwarfs). Star types refer to stars that have not started to die yet and that are classified based on mass and luminosity. For galaxies, they had styrofoam models of the different types of galaxies. For dark matter, they had a piece of cardboard with magnets under it. Touching the surface, it seemed as though there was nothing different about the cardboard. However, when you ran another magnet over the top, it was pulled toward the "invisible" object. Thus, the idea was to emphasize that, although dark matter is invisible--it neither reflects nor produces light--it is still detectable from the gravity that it exerts on objects around it.
That afternoon, I went home for the weekend.
This week was my last week. On Monday, there was no ASI because the people who ran it had other things going on. At work, I checked out the code for the dot locator and looked at modifying it to locate objects in general. I also worked on my website. On Tuesday, I worked from my dorm room in the morning since no one needed to meet with me in the morning. I figured out that the CheckBoxes in my Level and Demo were not working correctly because I had forgotten a line of code in one of the fire action methods that signaled the listener. You can pull your hair out over trying to figure out what the problem in code is, and it comes down to one character or line. Tuesday afternoon, Shani met with me to have me test her portrait framer. It is an Android application that counts how many faces are in the picture that you take, tells you how big the face is compared to the screen, tells you which way to move the camera to center the face, and vibrates when you run your finger over the face in the picture after you have taken the picture. It was not working well, though, because of bad lighting. Shani tried turning on the flash in the regular camera on the Android, but it turned off when she went back into the application. Shaun also met with me that afternoon. He had me do some gestures on a tablet PC, which he recorded. There was supposed to be sound feedback when you touched the tablet, but a bug in the code made it go off all the time, so he turned off the sound feedback. He had me flick righ and left, up and down, and diagonal; draw a square, draw a triangle, draw a star, and trace letters. Although there was no visual feedback on the tablet, he could kind of tell where I had put my fingers from the smudges left. He also had me do some kind of turn knob gesture with two fingers that I had never done before. Then I tested a diagram builder application that he was making. Most of Wednesday, I worked on my website. On Thursday, when I was doing the final testing on my applications, I found a bug in the parser for the calculator. I fixed it, though. The only problem was that I could not upload my applications to the server because I had messed up something before and was now locked out. I ended up putting them all into a zip file and emailing them to Shani.
Thursday night, Josh (another MobilityAccessibility member), Richard, Shaun, Shiri, Shiri's sister, and I went to Pallino Pastaria for the end of my internship. We had fun, and everyone enjoyeed the food. Unfortunately, Shani could not come because she was sick.
Friday morning was ASI. We went over the star lessons again. We talked about look back time again and did a modified version of the snake activity. This time, we said that a person from Earth was sending one picture a year of a sunbeam snake to space stations, each one light year apart and the farthest one three light years from Earth. By the time that the farthest space station received the picture (or rather plastic toy) of the newborn snake, the toy snake on the pretend Earth had just died. We reread the section from Touch the Stars II on stellar evolution. We also reread the section about the constellations. They had a paper circle about the size of a quarter, which we eventually swapped out for a quarter (they had lost the foam disk that was supposed to be there), that represented the size of the Sun. They had a foam disk about two and a half times wider that represented Vega. There was a sand paper disk that was seven times the width of the quarter for Rigel. Finally, there was a cardboard disk ten times as wide as the quarter for Betelgeuse, but this obviously was not a true representation of its size compared to the Sun as it is one thousand times as wide as the Sun; a piece of cardboard that big would have been too big to handle and transport. They had made a new diagram that showed the different phases of life for the Sun, from one to eleven gigayears (giga is one billion). They had labeled the first nine, but the one label was rotated a quarter turn clockwise, so I fixed it. The first nine phases were small beads, and the last two phases were halves of styrofoam balls. There was actually a twelfth phase, which was a white dwarf that was represented by a bead. We also looked at the HR diagram again, which now had labels on it. They had decided to exclude it from the main lesson and make it its own optional lesson, as they thought that it might confuse the students about what were actually different types of stars and what were phases in the life of a star. There was also a tactile graphic embossed larger HR diagram that had more labels with actual numbers for luminosity and temperature and more types of stars. We reviewed the galaxy and dark matter lesson. They had a tactile graphic of the Hubble Tuning Fork, but either the graphic was not very good or two of the shapes somehow got swapped. Also, the graphic was not verry raised. They agreed to find a better representation. We were given paper cut outs of the different types of galaxies that we were to classify. They had the same dark matter activity as before with the cardboard and magnets except that they had put a back on the cardboard so that you could no longer just flip over the cardboard and feel the magnets. We then talked about the number of galaxies. We talked about a particular image that was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. We were given a square of fabric covered cardboard that had a few stars (mine had one) and beads for galaxies, with some galaxies more prominent than others. We counted the number of galaxies. Although there were not exactly twenty on some of the pieces, we rounded up to twenty to make the math easier. We were then given a larger piece of cardboard, which we determined to be twelve times as large as the first. We accordingly estimated that it would hold about two hundred forty galaxies, which we rounded up to two hundred fifty. The final piece of cardboard was four times as large as the second one, so one thousand galaxies. The actual image was ten times as large as that, so about ten thousand galaxies in that one image. That image of approximately ten thousand galaxies was the size of the end of a stir stick--about a millimeter--compared to the size of the entire universe! When we finished, we made liquid nitrogen ice cream. We were joking about it being a commet, saying that we had bits of brownie instead of charcoal, chocolate powder instead of sand, sugar instead of salt, and half and half instead of water. The liquid nitrogen hissed and puffed as we dumped it in. We also had brownies.
I went back to the dorm for lunch. I ate the fish and chips one last time; they were very good. That afternoon, I went to the Reboot Cafe at work to get my last mocha and to tell the lady who ran it good-bye. I knew her before coming to intern because she also worked at the cancer camp (see Thursday night of week 8).
Richard met with me at 3:00. We both agreed that everything had gone very well. We had decided a few weeks prior that I would take one of the Android phones with me so that I could continue working on the project remotely. Shaun was also there. We were going to work on his project more, but ran out of time.
As I walked out of the office, I thought about my experience that summer. Like all events of this sort, part of me was ready for it to end--but not for any bad reason--where as another part of me wanted it to go on longer. I had not only learned a lot and gained valuable work experience, but I had also had fun, made new friends, and spent time with old ones.
Saturday morning, my parents came to move me out of the dorm
On Tuesday, I went back to work because Shaun had needed to fix some bugs in his code before I could be his first participant. Shaun had a tablet PC set up with his code. He would tell me a task, such as send email, cut, paste, or go back a page, and I would make up two different gestures for that task. I then rated all of my gestures from one to seven on how good they were and how easy they were. He then asked me to perform existing gestures, again rating each on how good it was and how easy it was.