June 4th~ Monday

Today was an awesome day. I got to meet my mentors Lori Pollock, Emily Gibson, and David Shepherd. It was a little nerve wrecking at first not knowing anyone and not knowing anything about the research topic. Professor Pollock gave me an overview of the natural language program analysis project and a small idea of how my project will fit into the big picture. Emily gave me a breakdown of the different ideas they had and what portion I would be focusing on. The nervousness faded once I had a better idea of what I am dealing with, but it also helps that the people I'm working with realize I do not know everything! I have learned so much already and spent most of the day getting my logins, passwords, etcetera to access the server, necessary programs and start working on my DMP website using HTML on Linux. So far there is a lot of progress and I look forward to what the rest of the week will bring!

June 6th~Wednesday

Yesterday and today have been very productive days! I haven't started messing with much of the functionality with the Eclipse program beyond doing test runs and seeing how the program handles the different stop words. Some of the scripts made to handle stop words more efficiently have not been given to me. The reason being is they want me to take the code and the NLP process apart and realize what it is doing, understanding why it executes that way, and what can be improved.

I am just getting my feet wet, so I'm trying to navigate and manipulate the different tools in Eclipse and get a better idea of what the role and relevance of stop words are for the NLP. Also, on the side I am playing around with HTML and making the GUI look better for my website. Everything has been from scratch, but I'm learning a lot more about how to code in HTML, which has been enjoyable as well.

The last interesting project is just simply reading material dealing with the NLPA process. I have selected documents that I read, review, and discuss with my mentors. They said I am on the right track, so these past two days have been amazing! Look forward to finding out more about this program!

June 8th~Friday

Today was interesting. I had some issues with taking in all the information, but my mentors feel that I have the jist of it. I am moving from reading about the project to seeing a little bit more of the action. I am becoming more familiarized with Eclipse (which honestly that in itself is a project, lol) There are several applications, but for now I am just looking at the ones pertinent to the research. This weekend will hopefully be beneficial, I am going to revamp and also have printed portions of code to gain a better understanding of extracting words and other smaller applications. The code is a bit over my head, but we'll see how it goes! Until next time!

June 11th~Monday

So, I got to meet with Emily today about the questions I had on the code I printed off last week and it went really well! She broke down some of the algorithm concepts and Perl regular expressions I was struggling to understand. I am going to try to pick up some Perl while I go through the code, right now its simple regular expressions, but I am told there will be other references that I will need to recognize. Thankfully Perl is not to hard to understand so that is actually going pretty well, still slower than I want it to go, but its a start.

Its getting down to crunch time as Emily wants me to look at the code and do searches for stop words and verify with code and reasoning why those would or would not be stop words to a programmer. This sounds easy, but it really is kind of tricky. So I have some work cut out for me! Luckily, I will be able to step back from the code today to sit in on David Shepherd and Zak Fry give their preliminary presentation to prepare for the conference in San Diego where Dr. Pollock, Emily, Dave, and Zak will give and overview of their NLPA.

I am a little nervous about tomorrow because I have to show my results to Emily of why I think the stop words are or are not stop words. There are still some fuzzy areas for me, and honestly it is reminding me a lot of fuzzy logic. So I might be able to use some of the applications from my course this past semester and put it to work to possibly define my own mini program for the stop words. We'll see, maybe if I have extra time this week I will play around with that. However, don't be fooled I am far from being the best programmer! I am just trying to learn more about the Java data structures used in the NLPA. So, I am doing my own little extra research! Its worth it though and I am seeing some things fall into place that I just couldn't seem to understand during my previous courses in Java. I'm hitting some road bumps, but I'm confident that things will smooth out more as I am studying the extra textbooks that have been given to me.

June 13th~Wednesday

Yesterday went surprisingly well! Emily was pleased with my word results and was glad to see that I unknowing, realized not every word on the stop word list belongs there (I was really scared at first because I could find cases where words could be considered relevant and irrelevant to debugging a program)! She said I even used a new approach that she had not previously thought of, which made me feel good for the simple fact that I am actually making a contribution to her project and others! I am a step closer to my goal guys!!!! WOOT WOOT!!!! Not only that, but we even found a different way to approach finding stop words which makes it more of a challenge, but also more interesting! In more exciting news, Emily, Dave, and Zak left for San Diego yesterday and will give their presentation today! Praying that goes well!

Today, was slightly frustraing! Emily set up the account on the Linux box before she left so that I could access all the files I needed to analyze the stop word lists and I had gotten far. When I got in today the computers had rebooted themselves and the account she set up, obviously was not there. So without her passwords, I couldn't get do anything with the stop word lists. To not waste time I have been reading some of the textbooks she gave me that will help in understanding the program more. Also, I tweeked my site a little and look forward to making more cool changes tomorrow. Until then I am reading textbooks and articles, and trying to see how much I can pick up on Perl. *Sigh*, back to work!

June 15th~Friday

Thursday was pretty cool! Sara Sprenkle (doctoral student) helped me learn how to use CSS to make my DMP website look like a college student made it, instead of a little girl! That was really exciting and frustrating because learning how to use the different tools can be tricky. I spent most of the day working on getting the homepage to work! I know you are dying to know what is going on with the NLPA! Well, the answer is nothing. I still cannot get past the Fedora screen so I am back on my computer trying to do as much work as possible without access to the files I need. Its a bummer, not going to lie, but since I have limited resources, productivity is slow. I am hoping that I can spend some extra hours each day to make up for the loss of time, but since I got a great start on it, then the last part should go faster!

Today was pretty awesome! Early in the day Ben Breech (another cool doctoral student) helped me to get back on Fedora and Sara Sprenkle helped me to get everything I need to continue my research for the NLPA stop words! Given, I still cannot access previously saved work, but I remembered where I stopped and just picked it all up from there. I also do not have all the files that Emily had on her account, but I can find the identifiers in a the test folder and go from there! Today, I got some things knocked out and might come in on Saturday and Sunday to get caught up and at least get that smaller project finished! In other awesome news, that web site is really coming together! Thanks to Sara's help I am really getting the hang of CSS and look forward to working on my site during breaks! YAY!

June 18th~Monday

Today was kind of a blur. Praying for Emily's fiance and the family. They had a recent emergency in their family. I'm attempting to pour my thoughts into my subproject. Things are moving along slowly. I'm not sure what to do, so I am making use of my time by researching graduate schools. I am also working on the word lists to get better analysis, but I am limited until Emily is able to return. Keep them in your prayers if you would!

June 20th~Wednesday

Things are not going so well. Emily just told us that her extended family has suffered the great loss of a loved one. Upon this grave news, Sara and Dave took up the reigns and are guiding me on the next plan of action for my research. I'm still in a rut, but am making the most out of it. Dave asked me to compile my research and then present it to him at 11am yesterday. That was really helpful! I was able to not only compile my data in a more presentable fashion, but also could tweek my presentation to be more prepared to present for Dr. Pollock, Dave, and Zak Fry.

I am really exhausted. I was finishing up the touches on my word list analysis presentation and the power went out. I saved most of my work, but lost the two hours worth of my presentation. I had to stay up until after 2 a.m. trying to refind my examples and make them more visually stimulating for the presentation at 9:15 a.m. I was extremely nervous at first, but after prayer and practicing several times, I felt ready to present.

The presentation went really well! They all thought it was a well-done! I also got a lot of feedback on what I should focus on and also Dr. Pollock and Dave came up with another subproject so I can continue working while Emily is supporting her fiance and their family during this time. It will be difficult without the final product of the software tool. My next assignment is to take the issues I observed during my stop word list case studies and work on making a defined rule-set. Once I make that rule set they said I need to work on implementing each rule individually and testing them with Emily's search tool. This should make for an challenging project, but hopefully a successful one!

June 22th~Friday

I am upset! I am have been chugging along trying to get an adequate algorithm to start just the pseudocode for my rule-set. It is not going as quickly as I had hoped. I'm having trouble trying to figure out how I would even integrate my code with Emily's if I am not coding within her platform. Also there are missing pieces that Emily might have already covered. I don't want to run in the wrong direction on this one. What if I go far into it and its completely wrong? It is a scary thought and I am concerned because today is Dave's last full day and I'm unable to really come up with more code. Him and Sara have been very understanding of the situation and we all are still concerned about Emily and Jayson's family. I hope I don't completely bomb this assignment. Its been really difficult trying to understand all of Emily's advanced code and then trying to think of algorithms that would integrate easily. I am also struggling with being able to see how I am going to approach Perl. Emily uses Perl expressions in her code, and I am trying to pick up what I need from the Perl language. Its a juggling act right now and hopefully things will come together next week.

Now its off to Philadelphia to see the Philadelphia Orchestra perform parts of Tchaikovsky's masterpieces! Something to definitely brighten the day a little bit!

June 25th~Monday

AH THE MADNESS!!!!!! I was not able to sucessfully get anyting accomplished this weekend! I did not want to reinvent the wheel on code that Emily extracted, and I have been focusing on how to remove comments from a program based on their word usage. The indicators of differences in program comments are becoming more clear, but thankfully Emily got in contact with me to sort through things. Emily said what I was working on is not the subproject that she wanted me to focus on. I feel like I wasted some valuable time last week. I am trying not to focus too hard on it and will be meeting Emily tomorrow at 7 a.m. and then the big meeting with Dr. Pollock and Emily will be at 8 a.m. tomorrow. This is kind of scary, but I am looking forward to sorting through this chaos. Until then, I am going to meet with Dr. Pollock and Zak Fry to discuss graduate school, GREs, and all that fun stuff!

The meeting with Dr. Pollock was awesome! I feel really good about preparing and applying for graduate school. A great deal of that was everything I picked up from the Ph.D candidates in the research lab, Sara Sprenkle (HUGE thanks to her for walking me through the different options and processes!), and also just doing research of my own and networking remotely (aka online). I am a little scared about graduate school, but at the same time its really exciting! I look forward to continuing my research!

June 27th~Wednesday

I am exhausted yet again!!! However, I met with Emily and she got me back on track! I am really excited! We talked through what I have been doing and it relates to what I need to be focusing on! Its not directly related, but it definitely was not a complete waste of time! The meeting with Dr. Pollock went really well! We are all on the same page now!

Emily and I worked on making frequency files for each stop word on the English list! The unfortunate thing is that I have to redo all of my previously retrieved data. I misinterpreted a file that I was basing my research on and I want to have the most accurate data possible, so I will have to go back through the list from the beginning. It is a step backwards, but I know it will be alright! This is the wonderful part of the unknowns in research! So I am even more excited now that I am back on the right trail and getting a lot of work accomplished. Its going to be interesting the rest of the week! Emily is going on vacation, which is much needed! I am excited for her and am just glad to get more accomplished!

Later today I am going to the Undergraduate Enrichment Session! They will be discussing how to apply to graduate school and some inside tips on what universities look for when applying! This will be a very awesome experience! Until next time, blessings!

June 29th~Friday

The Undergradutate Enrichment Session was informative. I had already covered most of that, but it was nice to refresh some of the concepts. The stop word project is picking up more and I am refining my examples while thinking about the possible avenues of implementation. Progress is still a little slower than I would like, but I am glad that all my data will be well organized for the next phase of the project.

July 2nd~Monday

Today I went over examples with Emily to see what needs to be improved and what is acceptable for the case study for each word. Basically, Emily reviews all the examples with me and we discuss relevance to the programmer and analyze the data. It has been a really productive day to ensure that everything is going in the right direction. I am continuing to go through the English stop word list (about 500 words) and hope to make some leeway by the end of this week. I will lose one day (the 4th of July), but I know it will be nice to come back on Thursday refreshed.

July 4th~Wednesday

HAPPY 4th of July!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry, no work was done on this day!!!!! :-P

July 6th~Friday

I am really upset today!!!! I am getting really sick and have not been able to be as productive as I had hoped for the rest of this week. I have continued meeting with Emily both yesterday and today. I am just not feeling so great and actually need to leave a little earlier from work!!! I am afraid of getting behind, but tell that to my body right? Sigh* Well, maybe this weekend will refresh my perspective for next week. I have to try and stay positive and just prepare for next week.

July 9th~Monday

TODAY WAS AMAZING!!!!! Emily and I implemented a baby software tool to help with the speed of searching and analyzing the code. Now I do not have to manually search through thousands of line of code to locate stop words. I can now use this handy mini search tool to help me find the files within projects that contain the word I am looking for and the frequency within that file. I am really excited to see how this will speed up progress!!!! Just a really great exeperience to work through the code and see some higher level tricks I got out of touch with in Java.

July 11th~Wednesday

Today, I got to watch the doctoral defense for Dr. Sara Sprenkle. It was pretty amazing and gives me a more accurate picture of what to expect when I need to give mine. I learned a lot from her talk and have taken some notes that are general enough to help me with future presentations. The next step of action was to meet with Dr. Lori Pollock (my mentor) and Emily Gibson. This was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What happened is that I got to formulate more of the theory of approach for my project. It has gotten a boost of just how applicable my case studies and research will benefit the overall picture of NLPA in computer programming as well as other computing concepts dealing with maintenance. I really am crazy excited about what is to come and look forward to learning more and developing some of these ideas!

July 13th~Friday

There is not much to talk about today, just continuing the process that I discussed with Lori and Emily on Wednesday. I am still pretty excited about getting to the part of analyzing methodology. We'll see what next week brings!

July 16th~Monday

Continuing to go deeper into my case studies...its going to be a busy week, so sorry things are so scarce. Have to make more time for my projects.

July 18th~Wednesday

I am kind of disappointed with myself. I am not sure if I am putting outrageous short term goals. I am making some progress which is better than nothing at all. Right now I am analyzing all the similarities, methods used for extracting data, and focusing on the study of looking at word lists that Emily gave me to go through and see which words are the most useful for the analysis we are going to run. Yes I realize that last sentence was massive! Basically there is a lot of things going on and I am dividing my subproject into smaller portions to try and take down one part at a time. Welp, now its back to work! :-)

July 20th~Friday

I am a little concerned. I am suppose to be programming a way to extract the method names from a tester program that Emily created. However, for some reason everything from the simple code to the complex (aka, I studied my Java books and had to scrounge around online) did not help me at all. The code seems to be giving me the same results no matter what I type in...something is screwy and I'm not going to lie to you all, this is EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING!!!!!!

I have thrown everything I can think of at this copy of the original program and its just laughing in my face. I have a deadline on Monday and I'm just really struggling with this. I know my Java skills are breathe-takingly wonderful, but this is ridiculous...this code should work. Sigh*, well all I can do is take occasional breaks and go at it again on Monday...its suppose to be done though! Grrr!!!! Well, thats all for now I need to get back to this code. Praying Monday goes a lot better.

July 23rd~Monday

Well, its Monday and things are not going any better than Friday. I just cannot understand why this code isn't working. I know what you are thinking...sometimes there is the little things that don't work, but this is simple printing of method names here...its not extreme modularity at all. Well, going back to work and hopefully I will get something before I meet with Emily...we'll see. Just gotta stay positive! :-)

LATER THAT DAY: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! :-( I had the right code on Friday and Emily checked to see what was wrong. The answer is...Eclipse was running the wrong code for testing!!!!!! I could SCREAM!!!! Emily came over and typed in code that I had written and erased on Friday!!!!! I'm sorry...I'm really upset. It is bittersweet. Sure I figured it out earlier, but I cannot prove it. Since the output wasn't changing I thought it was something wrong with what I wrote. It wasn't running anything I wrote, and now I know why.

ADVICE: If you run into a problem like I did, for more than 3 or more hours, please seek IMMEDIATE MENTOR HELP!!!!LOL :-P If only I had asked for help on Friday when I first noticed the weird results, I could have saved myself SEVERAL HOURS (12 hours to be exact)!!!!! I am trying to so badly to help that I forget that it does go faster with a more knowledgeable person's help (aka YOUR MENTOR). I am sort of glad that I had this experience because now I know better. I just thought it was my own shortcomings of why this program wouldn't execute properly. Well, enough belly-aching I need to get back to (PRODUCTIVE) work! :-)

July 25th~Wednesday

Yesterday was rough, but it was my fault of course, lol. I have not kept up with my Java programming for nearly one year now. You would think that would not matter, but unfortunately I have forgotten even some of the basic processes. It was ridiculous today. I had to run to the internet several times for some of the lower level modulars. Thankfully, Emily was extremely patient and wasn't disappointed. That really helped out a lot. I was already criticizing myself like crazy and trying to hold my compsure. It was a great rememberance that I need to keep up on the different programming languages that I learn. I'm telling you all, it is PERTINENT to stay in the know about the new methods, processes, etc. in the languages that you know. It gets extremely embarrassing when you have to remember how to efficiently iterate through an array.

If you happen to forget something that would be considered like learning the alphabet in kindergarten, don't be dismayed. Things like this happen and you cannot be an expert in every programming language...especially if you mix VisualBasic.Net, C Language, and Java together like me! :-P This is where the learning begins....with application of what you have been taught in your coursework. Its bittersweet, and occasionally will feel humiliating, but you get through it! Hope you all are having a blessed day! I need to, (yep you guessed it) get back to work! :-)

July 26-30th

Going with Emily to visit her family and so much more!!!!! She is taking me to see a show on Broadway in New York, and I will get to hang out with her and hopefully see a friend!

I know what you're thinking, where does the work come into that? The implementation portion has been completed and examples will be printed out so that we can work together this weekend to continue in-depth analysis of the code, start writing my paper, and make the layout for my poster! :-)

I am crazy excited about this week and going further into the analysis mode! Emily and I have already been taking note of methodologies and there is some cool things that have already come out of our results! I look forward to studying more of the data and will definitely give you all the heads up of what is going on! Until next time, God bless!!!!

August 1st~Wednesday

It has been crazy being back! There seems like so many things to do and so little time. Today I found out that I was left off the research poster emails so I will have to whip up an abstract for my research and get further on my preposition analysis. I am learning a lot about being flexible with my research. I am so structured that it took a while before I was able to follow the direction of my research (which has majorly evolved). Well I do not have much time, things are pressing and I want to get all I need completed and refined. Until next time....

August 3rd~Friday

I have some really amazing news is that I have been awarded a scholarship to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in October! If you do not know what this amazing conference is, just click this link: Grace Hopper Celebration. Another awesome conference to look into is the Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computer (Richard Tapia Celebration). Enjoy and tell your friends!!!

Back to RESEARCH NEWS.... :-) I did manage to finish my abstract and get Emily to edit it multiple times!:-P I am nearly done with my analysis of the most frequently used words and will complete all that is needed by Monday. I will be meeting with a different professor Dr. Vijay Shanker. He gave Emily and I a lot of input, for example, automating the manual processes I was doing. Thankfully the automation has been an extreme blessing!!!!! With how many words there were left to analyze it felt more like a year long research program. Well, I am far from where I want to be right now, but I am trekking steadily through it! I'll let you know how Monday goes later!

August 6th~Monday

I AM NOT FOCUSED! GRRRR! This past weekend I had some emergency family issues come up among other things so this morning has been extremely rough. Thankfully the meeting with Dr. Shanker and Emily was not greatly effected. We covered the next plan of action and what my main focus for my research poster should be, as well as covered more expectations for my formal report for Dr. Pollock and Dr. Shanker. Today is a little stressful. I am refining all my observations for the words I analyzed. This list was based of the words with the highest number of usage within the 15 programs used.Alongside my research I am drafting the information to be put on my research poster. It is a bittersweet challenge. I know it is necessary and at times even fun, but it adds to everything else I need to focus on.

August 8th~Wednesday

Today started better, I hate the weather of Newar though...extremely hot and humid! :-P Well, Emily and I finished my poster and managed to print it off! It looks really cool! I really like how the input from Emily, Dr. Michela Taufer, and Dr. Lori Pollock brought out the information in a more eloquent way! Their advice really brought it all together! I am really excited to be able to share my poster with the other researchers this afternoon! I am so blessed by how much I have learned this summer. I am actually motivated to take my first independent study courses this semester. I will be researching a new topic on genetic algorithms and will continue working remotely with Emily on word usage!!!! How cool is that!?!?! I need to be off for drafting my reports! Thanks for reading and I hope this gives you more insight into how amazing research can be! Looking forward to getting back to focusing on grad school applications and finishing my personal statement. Many blessings and now I must get back to....finishing my research!(haha you thought I was going to say work didn't ya?) ;-)

August 10th~Friday

GOING HOME!!!!!!! Leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again!!!! Missing my lab friends already....*sigh*