Week 5


This week, I collected data, which sounds boring but was actually kind of super exciting (read: I have been waiting for a while to collect data). Towards the end of the week, Timo, Florian, Yoichi, and other important people flew to California to chat with Yahoo about the InMind project, and the lab was like a ghosttown.

Things I Learned

  • SARA now officially (officially?) stands for Social Aware Robot Architecture, which means that Sara (the phone lady) doesn't actually have a name. I'll keep calling her Sara, though
  • there are two more outdoor eating places on campus that we haven't tried yet
  • quinoa is difficult to eat in wrap form
  • how to sort of use Google Slides
  • Pittsburgh has a citywide slacklining club of sorts


In terms of data, I recorded (as in, collected both audio and log files for) conversations that other interns had with Sara. In terms of fixing up my analysis tool (which I am constantly doing), I altered some more functionality and--more excitingly--figured out a nice timeline visual with click options (click options are the best). Since I'm presenting my results next week, I also started brainstorming for/struggling with that.


Coffee Chat

Samantha chatted with Max, Linh, and me about grad schools. Max and Linh, by the way, are two of the four DREU interns here, and our conversation was particularly exciting because Max will start PhD-ing this fall (!).

Reading Group

This week, we had reading group outside near Dippy the Dinosaur; afterwards, we played this cool, three-round version of taboo.

Daily Logs

These are more or less lifted from Bitbucket, where I keep a README of these things.

Mon 6/19

Fixed time discrepancies through new phone log methods/process, bug; added function to collect incremental ASR results.

Tues 6/20

Altered timeline functionality (and added a click option to histogram); collected data from interns' conversations; coffee meeting with Samantha.

Wed 6/21

Collected, compiled, and analyzed general data; discussed presentation with Timo; collected some ASR output data.

Thurs 6/22

Gathered findings from data; started draft of presentation; went to outdoor reading group.

Fri 6/23

Continued presentation work; collected supporting results; added a bit to this website.

Not Work

Best-Laid Plans (sans Mice)

Sarah, Linh, and I were all set for a DREU interns bonding trip to Frick Park for a Friday festival...until it poured buckets and said festival was canceled. (Pittsburgh has been in quite the rainy mood these past couple weeks--or maybe that's the norm?) The good news is that Frick Park does Friday events every week during the summer, so we'll get over there eventually.

Also unexpected (though in a different way): my writer's block streak of 27182 days finally crumbled. This means I spent the weekend typing, backspacing, shuffling words in my brain, and being annoyed because non-writer's-block never lasts long (I guarantee I'll be stumped within the next three days).


  • accidentally read half the Harry Potter series (I was trying to look up a reference, but I can never put down a book) ((also series are dangerous))
  • Le Petit Prince is on hold, because my vocabulary is horrible and I'm too lazy to query the Internet (I need a dictionary)
  • woke up at 6:30 on Saturday without an alarm clock?
  • discovered that I forgot to bring Band-Aids to Pittsburgh, but I did pack a squishy, color-changing nightlight lamp thing

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