Week 10


I was locked out of the lab for a while again today but only for an hour. Then Sen arrived and he helped me distribute my thank you cards around to different people and we waited for Heather to arrive. We all enjoyed lunch together and took a few group photos and then departed. I have finished all of my assignments and projects and I can't believe how fast these weeks went by. I hope to return in the winter, but everything at this point is tentative.

I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to work on the BrainTrack project. Having this early exposure to web and mobile development was nice and will be useful in the future. What I enjoyed learning the most was database programming. It gave me a new perspective on math and programming and I hope to use the knowledge I've learned to help people in the future. I am very excited for the new school year to start and I feel more confident and ready than ever before.

Also, I can tell that I'm getting better at writing! Here is my final report Final Report


Investment banker people came today. I find it interesting that wealthy people hire other people to spend their money. A few people came by and listened to our presentation. It was a success! I am very happy it went well and it's a bit bittersweet that this is my last week.


I can't believe it's already week 10. This week, as expected, has been very stressful. I am wrapping up the project and tomorrow I am presenting my project to investors. This is a little problematic because this project inolves two pieces of development: mobile and web. I have access to the web development side of the project to showcase this tomorrow but I don't have a proper android device to showcase the mobile part of this project. Hopefully things work out tomorrow but if I am unable to show a demo tomorrow, I have a presentation prepared. In the next few days, I will be spending most of my time writing and working on my presentation.

Week 9


I am using inner joins and selecting max dates to display what I want from the database. The way I have written the website is that, when a user changes the stage of the patient, all the data is resubmitted so all that data is the most recent data. Therefore, we only need to check the max date of either cognitive or physical stage (because they should be the same).


I am working on trying to select certain things from the database based on the id that is saved from the webpage. I also have questions about larger issues like the algorithms that will be implemented. I don't know if I'll be able to contribute to that area of the project but I would definitely like to learn more about it. I'm glad I finally learned how to use javascript and ajax because I remember that I wanted to a few weeks ago and gave up trying because it wouldn't work. I am proud of myself for persisting and getting it done. Well done, me. :)


Today I spent most of the day trying to figure out how to use ajax and mysql to fill a chart using google charts api. I finally figured out how to do it! I spent the whole weekend setting it up but to no avail so it feels nice to have accomplished what I wanted to. The next step is figuring out how to select certain items from the database using sql and also using ajax and sql to implement a calendar picker on the patient page. I am glad to be setting the backbone of this project's website and application. I need to spend more time writing and designing though. Sometimes I just get too stuck on building and coding...

What I'm thinking about is including quantified self in my background for the report and I don't know too much about the related work for this project because I think this is a fairly new project. I will definitely discuss the design guidelines for building and website and application and that is what I'm most looking forward to doing.

My partner and I designed the application to be used with ease because that should be the standard for any application but we also wanted to ensure that it would be easy to use for a patient who has a concussion. These patients are our target audience and knowing our audience made the design contraints fairly straightforward. We needed something minimal, direct, and usable. I suppose that's the fundamental aspect of the research that goes into human computer interaction - usability. It's difficult to define what that is because I personally think the definition changes with time. For now, I think usability for our application is the efficiency and effectiveness our patients will feel when they use the application. Another important feature about this application is the ability for it to communicate with the server and send and receive data. I don't know much about data analysis but the more I learn about, the more interested I am.

Week 8


Wilmer and I gave our presentation today. I learned a great deal. During the presentation, I thought of many potential problems with our project. For example, patients are required to input their ID when they first download and load the application. What happens if they input their ID incorrectly? I am still thinking about this potential problem. I learned that explaining the process of what I went through during my project is insightful and interesting to others. Upon reflection, the process I went through was similar to trial and error. Most of the work I have done on this project was relatively new to me so I had a lot of learning to do during the process. As a result, I have made many mistakes but that just means I have learned a lot. I am still learning and I am eager to know more. I am glad to have participated in this projected and to have the opportunity to lay the foundation for such a great idea, and I am eager to see what future researchers have in store for this project.

I have also updated the DREU Project photos!


It's week 8! Time flies! This week I'll be preparing for my presentation for Wednesday and working on the website. I am learning a lot about SQL and I find it very fascinating. I arrived to the lab today to find a large SQL book on my desk. I thought it was very kind of Heather to leave it for me. I have also been working on the poster and my final report. I still have a lot of work to do with the website but I know it'll be fun :)

Week 7


Today, I mostly worked on learning SQL and learning how to join tables. It took a while but I'm glad I figured it out. I think the hardest part will be displaying in on the interface, but I'm absolutely positive that I can do that too! Next week during the weekly meeting, Wilmer and I are going to be giving our demo of our project, which is exciting. And on September 9th, we will be giving another demo to people who aren't a part of our research team. I am very excited to give these demos!

In other news, today I registered for GHC! Woohoo!


I am thinking a lot about a human-computer interaction perspective on machine learning.


I went to a seminar today and I listened to a presentation about colon cancer and colon cancer research. It was very interesting. I regret not going to these weekly seminars sooner but, to be fair, I had only just heard about them last week! It was nice to see other parts of the campus and it was really interesting for me to learn about colon cancer and about the colon. There is a lot of biology I do not know.


Today I met with one of the the PhD students, Heather, and she taught me a lot about databases. It was very inspiring. I am beginning to make connections with what I'm learning from my REU with what I've learned in school and it excites me. I am eager to explore all I don't know. Today was a good day! I find the meetings with my advisor and colleagues highly necessary and it's nice to be surrounded by graduate students who are filled with information and are, typically, ready to divulge it. What my next step will be in my project is to learn more about the union and intersection of tables and databases and learning how to optimize a database. Apparently, learning it should be quickly because it's all typically straightfoward. The hard part will be displaying it on an interface. Good thing I can ask for help! Because I, too, know that the display is the trickiest part. For now, I will rest. Goodnight, all!

Week 6


I have learned a lot about styling a website, which I'm happy about. I am also learning how to break down assignments into several pieces so it's easier to do and it's not as intimidating. I often delay starting assignments and certain tasks because of fear but I have learned that if I break it apart into several goals I want to and can accomplish, it becomes much easier. I think I will apply that to everything in life. As long as I remember to...Persistence!


I've been reading some papers about "quantified self" and they are very insightful and interesting to read. This week has been mainly working on the website and the application. I try my best to get reading in because I find it the most amusing - learning and absorbing like a sponge. I'm learning a lot about design and functionality but I'd like to know the bigger picture. I still can't believe that I will be presenting a poster at GHC. I don't own any Android devices and I was wondering if I would be allowed to borrow the Microsoft Band and the Android tablet for my presentation. I have tried beginning my final draft early but it seems I don't have enough information quite yet to write a final report. And it's only week 6! I have four more weeks to go. I'll read and absorb and continue on in the same pattern.

I've spent the past hour working on the design of the website. I realize how much thinking goes into designing before implementation. Hopefully this knowledge will help me when I code in the future. I also hope to get better at designing. I need to actively think about certain things like colors and complements.


I've figured out the problem. I made certain values arrays and then just went through the indices to update each individual row in the table. Yay! I can't believe I did it! I am now trying to figure out how to do some design implementation of the website to add other pages such as individual statistics and survey answers. I will talk to my partner about that.

In other news, my poster was accepted and I will be presenting it on October 14th in Houston, Texas at GHC! Wow! I can't believe it!

Week 5


I've been stuck on a problem. I am populating a table from a database and constructing the rows using a while loop. This is problematic because I'll need to pull the ID's from each row and then find the input value and put it in the form and update the database. What it is currently doing right now is getting the individual ID's but updating it with the same value. I'm still stuck on this problem and will ask forhelp.

I have submitted my abstract and am hopeful that we will be chosen to present but I will lower my expectations so I'm not disappointed. I've been reading around about other areas of CS besides HCI. It's pretty interesting. I've been thinking a lot about data. And the power of it. The research I'm doing right now involves collecting a lot of data. I have been thinking about data and using it for social justice. It's just a thought.


I am writing an abstract to send the GHC for the poster session and I hope that I am picked! I asked all the people in my lab to edit my abstract and, so far, two of the graduate students replied (they are so kind!). I have a lot to learn about writing abstracts. I really like their constructive feedback and I can tell I have grown a lot more confident because their feedback doesn't make me feel sad. I know that's an interesting thing to hear but, I have to be honest, confidence is a hard thing to obtain but I have it and I will work hard to keep it! It's something my mom taught me. I once thought I needed to make great strides, but that isn't realistic. I need to take small and mindful steps. It's something my dad has taught me.

In other news, I'm learning more about javascript and php. I realize that I'm not too interested in the design aspect of things - just the functionality. I do, however, greatly appreciate design. I am very tired tonight so this concludes my blog post. If anyone out there is reading this, I want to thank you for taking the time to do so. You, too, are a wonderful person.


I talked to Kate yesterday and she said some really inspiring things. She told me I'm on the right track to getting into graduate school and she also encouraged me to submit posters and papers to several conferences. She has been so nice and helpful lately despite being busy from pregnancy! I am so grateful to have her as my PhD mentor.

Yesterday, I also began working on the website. I am relatively unexperienced with working with PHP and databases but I think I'm getting the hang of it! Although, I am trying to populate a page using information from my database and it's not quite working. I'll possibly start working on my abstract and then move onto working on it again.

Week 4


Last night I asked my advisor and a few graduate students about how to set up the website and I won't be able to get started until one of the graduate students returns from NY. Today we have the STAR Group weekly meeting and I know that some of the graduate students will be presenting their research to the team and I'm eager to find out what they have done! I have been trying to get the Android application to compile but I know that my attempt is ultimately futile because my partner and I will be redesigning and starting new code soon.

The tentative name we are giving for our concussion app is BrainTrack: Concussion Monitoring and Recoery. What we plan to do is have the application send messages to the band for each stage. The user will be alerted when their physicians has changed their stage. Basically, when you get a concussion, you're placed in a stage which correlates to cognitive level. For example, in stage 1 there should be no cognitive activity. Cognitive rest such as sleeping and low stimulation activities help the brain recover after a concussion. In this stage, the patient would want to limit the amount of stress they encounter, avoid using electronics, and avoid studying for 1-2 days. However, prolonged cognitive avoidance can actually make recovery take longer so 24 to 48 hours of rest is what is really needed. Even if the patient feels increased symptoms, the patient should increase light cognitive activity.

HCI Research is pretty cool! I want to expand my knowledge on math and hopefully that will expand my horizons.

I remember a quote by Steve Jobs about how you must love what you do in order to do great work. I'm still trying to figure out what I love to do and I am also wondering whether or not I can force myself or persuade myself to love something. Anyway, it's just been something I've been thinking about.

Android applications are fairly straighforward because they're written in Java but, in addition to Java knowledge, one needs to be able to understand the activities. The activity in an Android application is the container or form for the application. An application must have at least one activity and, in the case that there are several activities, each of them are independent. Intents are what start activities and they connect various parts of the Android system. An intent is an action that needs to be performed and the data that must be delivered.

Developing an application requires learning about launching activities and coordinating them in on application. Managing life cycles of activities is also crucial because it defines the runtime of the application. There are four essential states: Active, Paused, Stopped, Resumed.


I started designing the website we will be using and I already have many questions about the tools I will need in order to make the design a reality. Currently, I am unable to contribute to getting a more-than-functioning Android application because the project isn't being pushed properly and necessary files are missing. I hope we will be able to sort that out quickly and easily.


During the weekly meeting I have with Gillian and Wilmer, Heather joined us and we clarified and discussed our goals for the Android application and the website we will be making. I am excited to learn more about databases, PHP, mysqli, and other things! I have already started learning about the process one has to go through after they get a concussion and learning more about the purpose of our project compels me to do even greater things!

Week 3


Today we met with the pediatric neurologist, Sharief, from CHOC and discussed the whole concussion app project. During this meeting, I realized that I wanted to spend the remaining weeks at UCI doing meaningful work and I decided that it wasn't worth my time to continue developing the application on an iOS platform because, to do so, I would need more time to complete that project. Instead, I am switching to develop on Android and will be working with the other undergraduate to implement as many functions of the application that we possibly can. I am skeptical that we will have the application finished by the end of summer to begin working on collecting and analysing data from the sensors for research but I am still trying to make the most of the time I have here. We will also be creating a website for the pediatric neurologist to access the data we collect.

This weekend I plan on becoming more familiar with Android Studio and developing on Android devices but I am confident that I will only need the weekend to learn the basics.


This day was filled with trying to solve the puzzle of finding the number of steps taken in a day based off of the variable (totalSteps) given to me by the Microsoft Band SDK. Needless to say, it took me 7 hours to do. So, what I had to do was use defaults and make it so certain values were set at the first launch of application and they will be reset every 24 hours. It was very gratifying when I figured out how to fix the issue. What I also did today was unsubscribe to the sensor when the view disappeared. Two very simple functions took such a long time to do! It makes me appreciate the simple things that are taken for granted in programming and in iOS applications. My next goal will be to make beautiful graphs using the data from the sensors! Although I am aware that I will have to make many changes to my application after the lunch with the pediatric neurologist, I am glad I am learning a lot about iOS development and I am certain it will be useful in the future.


I have decided to start writing daily blog posts because I feel they would be more useful for me and, hopefully, for others. I think daily blog posts will prove to be more introspective because I am not trying to remember everything about the week when it is ending.

Today I spent the whole morning re-doing my app so I deleted the whole "canvas" and started with one view, another scroll view, and a content view. From there, I started adding all the necessary constraints but with so many components on the interface, the number of constraints was already getting out of hand. It took a while for me to make the application universal on all iOS devices but I did it! Hopefully I will be able to do it again when I make a new application. I know I can, but I don't know if I want to... Another difficult thing about iOS development is getting it to scroll! It has to be done in a very particular way in order to function correctly. I spent most (if not all) of my weekend trying to do this and... I succeeded!

I was working on my application when Erick, the PhD student who works across from me, started asking me about my progress. He was eager to give advice and even let me borrow a book so I could enhance my designing skills! I thought it was very generous of him and I am so grateful! It's called Sketching User Experiences. I'm about thirty pages in and I'm eager to see what I learn. My colleague Wilmer and I, along with our advisor Gillian will be meeting with a pediatrician at some point so we can learn more about what kind of application we are supposed to make. That should be fun and informative!

Week 2

This week was filled with learning Objective C and getting more familiar with app development and XCode. Before I was even able to get started, I had to spend a good deal of time getting added to UCI's developer team and so I had to e-mail a graduate student several times before I was able to start developing my app. I spent a good deal of time reading documentation and learning more about the sensors on the Microsoft Band. I have been reading about the libraries available and the environment where I coding is new to me but I think I'm getting the hang of it now. So far, my application is able to notify the user if their band is on or off, it requests permission to subscribe to the heart rate monitor, and it also tracks X, Y, and Z coordinates through the accelerometer. It also displays the total step count of the user. It gathers all of this information from the sensors on the band and the application is just a way of giving a thorough description of the user's health based on the data it collects. I hope to learn more about how I should modify it so I can make my application have a more specific purpose instead of a general one. During the process of learning how to develop apps on iOS (which is more tedious than it should be), I made an app that creates tiles on the Microsoft Band.

This week I also got the chance to eat lunch with my graduate student mentor and I learned a great deal about her and about graduate school. It was a very enjoyable experience. I have been wearing the band every day, every hour as was requested by my research mentor Gillian Hayes. She said she wanted to learn more about my experience wearing the band during the day and to sleep because I have "child-sized" arms. I thought that was amusing. One day during this week there was no air conditioning at work so it was a solid 78 degrees Fahrenheit and many people did not enjoy that. I, however, believe that 78 is perfect so I really enjoyed it.

Here are some images from my week at work!

Week 1

During lunch on the first day of my first week at UCI, I got lost on campus. The Dalai Lama came to visit for his 80th birthday so campus was very busy. I met my advisor, Gillian Hayes, in person as well as my PhD mentor Kate Ringland! I got my own desk in the LUCI Laboratory and I was directed to research papers and projects they have and are currently working on.

I was given the Microsoft Band to develop an iOS application which helps patients, particularly children, with concussions heal effectively and quickly through timed exercises and resting periods. Most of the first week was spent updating software and writing code for my website and for my iOS application. I have learned many things so far including developing on smart phones and smart devices and, after reading many research papers this past week, I definitely understand how techonology can be manipulated and utilized to help patients and people with physical or mental disabilities.

The paper which compels me to work with the Microsoft Band to develop an application to help children with concussions is titled In Situ Cues for ADHD Parenting Strategies Using Mobile Technology and anyone interested in HCI (Human Computer Interaction) should read it.

Other note-worthy and unrelated news is that I have now become more familiar with driving to and parking on campus. The permit system at UCI is a bit different than UCSD and I still have parking issues to figure out. I have visited the park here on campus and I have discovered a gazebo which is close to Donald Bren Hall, where I work.