Because it fit better into our schedules, I am doing the work of ten weeks in what is actually nine. Due to this, I will work every other Saturday. The weeks listed below are therefore sets of five workdays.

Week 1(May 16 - May 20):

This week is mainly focused on learning all of the background information necessary to conduct research in this lab. Monday we had lab training and got to know the rules and locations associated with the lab. I also needed to complete the CITI program training, which teaches me the ethics and rules associated with working with human subjects. I completed that, so I am now able to conduct research with people. I chose a modeling project to work on, and started doing background reading for that. I also read a lot about various other aspects of projects in the lab. Since we will be doing a behavioral study this summer that extends on previous research done here, I read the papers that have already been published on the subject. The team for the behavioral project I’m working on met a couple of times this week and finalized our experimental procedure. We also discussed what we want the data sheets to look like. Despite the terrible weather all week (it rained every day and even hailed one day), I got a lot done and am now ready to start the actual research.

Week 2 (May 21 - May 26):

Over the weekend the weather finally got nice, so I went out and explored Boulder a bit. I went to Pearl Street Mall, an outdoor mall that is a few blocks that is blocked off so cars can’t drive through. There are street performers and many other interesting things going on. I got some frozen yogurt and sat and read my book in the sun after exploring the many shops. I also went with a couple of people from the lab to two different malls in the area. Both are very nice and have a wide variety to stores. In the weeks to come, I plan to visit many other places in the area.

This week I actually got into working on my research projects. I spent time preparing the exemplars for the behavioral study. I also put together the data sheets for the study. We have our first couple of kids scheduled so we can pilot the study as a whole. I also spent time preparing for the modeling project, as well as actually working on it. The problem seems very difficult to actually write the code for, but we have managed to more formally identify the problem and the components of it. We will continue to work on it and will hopefully reach a breakthrough shortly!

Week 3 (May 27 - June 2):

Over the holiday weekend I had to switch dorms to go to the place that the students taking classes over the summer live. In addition, I went to the Boulder Creek Festival, the unofficial kickoff to summer here. There is an art show and a carnival, tons of food and five stages with various musical acts performing sets. It was tons of fun and I found some really nice things at the art show. I enjoyed sitting in the sun and watching the groups perform as well.

This week we actually got into the projects more seriously. I worked on my modeling project and put together some code that outlines the basics of the task we are trying to implement. Also, I ran the first child for my part of the behavioral study. Our age range is 20-26 months old, and he was only 20.5 months, so it was a bit of a challenge to get through all of the trials. We did manage to complete it though. As a whole, he did a pretty good job of answering questions correctly, but he did a few how we expected (but not how an adult would answer). I will be looking over the video of the trials with my professor soon. She will then give me feedback on what I should change to make them run more smoothly. Once that happens I can run as many kids as can be scheduled for me. This week I also learned two new programming languages, R and S-Plus.

Week 4 (June 3 - June 8):

This week was quite busy. I spent a lot of time on the behavioral project, both in running experiments and in the other aspects of the project. The kids that I ran went well and we are receiving some interesting trends from them and the other experimenters’ results. We are going to be looking at some initial data shortly to see if there are any necessary modifications to the procedure or method of data collection. I also met with my professor and modified my modeling project. There is an updated version in the Research Project section of my website. I think that this version is much more clear and I feel more confident in accomplishing it. In regards to that project, I spent a lot of time during the second half of my week preparing the raw data into a usable form. I will be continuing that in the coming week, and will move on to the next stages as well.

Week 5 (June 9 - June 14):

Over the weekend I enjoyed the beautiful weather. I also spent some time in the regular and music libraries here on campus reading and choosing potential songs for me to play on my oboe.

During the week in the lab, I worked on both the behavioral and modeling projects. On the behavioral side, we modified the study down to have fewer trials and fewer conditions. This means that we need to run fewer kids, which is easier on all of us. I continued to run kids, and we’re finding some interesting trends thus far. We will be able to analyze some of the data by the time I leave. For the modeling project, I have finished most of the preliminary data manipulation and we have been able to look at a few networks. This gives us an idea of what statistics we should be running. I will next be writing some code to run these stats as well as write a script that can do much of the data manipulation for me. This will allow us to run networks for many more kids than we could otherwise, so we can find some interesting trends and analyze a lot of data.

Week 6 (June 15 - June 21):

Over the weekend I signed up to participate in a Community Play-In during the Colorado Music Festival. This is a group of individuals with a wide range of musical abilities preparing a program of classical music mainly on our own. We then meet briefly before we perform to rehearse. The program looks really good, and I’m excited to participate in the weeks to come.

During this past week I continued to work on both the modeling project and the behavioral project. I wrote some code to be able run the data manipulation for me, so we can now run many more kids than we would be able to do otherwise. We also automated the data analysis process for each network, so we can then analyze these numbers for all of the kids across the two different groups (early talkers and late talkers). In the behavioral project I continued running kids. By the end of next week I should have run pretty much all of the kids I need to run, so I will be able to start looking at the data and analyzing it, in a preliminary sense.

Week 7 (June 22 - June 27):

Over the weekend the lab went Laser Tagging. It was a lot of fun, and we won both games we played. We also had a picnic, which was nice despite the hot weather. Sunday evening I went to see the Boulder Ballet give a performance in Central Park.

During the week I spent a lot of time running kids for the behavioral project. Although we cut the number of conditions in half (and therefore the number of kids) a couple of weeks ago, I still have to run several kids. In addition, I prepared data for the modeling project. We are mainly looking at early and late talkers, but we also looked at a couple of hard of hearing kids and some average talkers to get an idea of how they perform. The goal is to start analyzing some data in this coming week.

Week 8 (June 28 - July 4):

Over the weekend my family came in for a visit. We went to Rocky Mountain National Park and toured Celestial Seasonings, amongst other things. On July 4, we went and saw the fireworks at CU Boulder’s Folsom Field.

During the week I ran the rest of my kids for the behavioral project, although I may need to run a few more due to scheduling issues for some of the other experimenters. I also spent a lot of time running the models of the MCDIs for the modeling project. We are now prepared to analyze data and see what we actually found!

Week 9 (July 5 - July 9):

Over the weekend I participated in the Colorado Music Festival’s Community Play - In. It was a lot of fun, and it was exciting to play with so many really good musicians. I also went and saw one of the Music Festival’s performances called 8 Seasons with Karen Gomyo as solo violin. During the week I went to a talk about Food and Science given by Dr. Michael Brenner from Harvard. It was part of the summer school here for the physics department. It was really interesting and cool to think about learning basic science concepts through food.

During the week I spent time analyzing the data for my modeling project. We are also considering any other statistics we should run before I leave. In addition, I ran another kid for the behavioral study because of scheduling constraints for the other researchers.

Week 10 (July 11 - July 15):

This week I analyzed data for the modeling project. In addition, I presented the project at the lab meeting this week. This allowed the lab to be caught up on what I’ve been doing the last several weeks, and allowed me to find out if I was explaining the project and the background information well enough. I then spent the remainder of the week writing my final report.