Week 10 - The Finale! - Presentation - July 25/July 31st
This week, we finished up the bits of the program that we could
and we worked fully on our research paper, which is submitted to
the site. We presented all we have done in the 10 weeks to the
research team. We had our exit interviews with Dr. Metoyer and
done a lot of debriefing.
I feel excited and satisfied with our work in the past 10 weeks.
I think we have done a great job in moving through this research
internship smoothly and efficiently. Throughout this journey, I
was motivated, challenged, and excited about everything that came my way.
I have learnt so many new skills that I cannot wait to continue
in the year ahead. Dr. Metoyer and I have agreed to keep in touch
and perhaps continue to find more applications to his research in
I have been very blessed to be part of this program and I just want
to thank DREU, Oregon State University, Dr. Metoyer, and the research
team for all the support I have gotten throughout my stay here. I
am truly grateful.
Week 9 - Adding some new components and rounding up -
July 18/July 25
This week, we added the features of having a tutorial before
each technique that will be asked to the study participant. This
page will be out of the control of the user and will be required
that the experimenter to control the program until the next
starts. This ensures that the study taker fully understands each
technique before they begin.
We also added a special questions page which redirects the
program to a series of subhective "Likert type" questions. These
questions are separated because they don't follow the regular format
of having one or two images in a page, and more than one question will
be displayed on the page.
I was also writing my technical report paper for DREU and preparing
a presentation for Dr. Metoyer's research team.
Week 8 - Making adjustments and doing some reading -
July 11/July 18
This week, I updated the presentation that I was going to give
in the 10th week. I gave a summary of all the work I had done so far,
with a brief description of the entire project as well. This week, I
did something new. Dr. Metoyer asked me to look into the technique
called Power Analysis. this analysis is originally used to predict the
probability of a type B error. I began to research the topic a lot
further and I came to figure out that this technique is most popularly
used in determine the sample size that will maximize the power of any
study by reducing the probability of a type B error. It was a bit
beyond my level of statistics but I challenged myself in atleast
understanding what the general concept was.
During our weekly group meeting, we discussed about issues
concerning identification of items in our database. We came to realize
that naming was very important when it came to questions, and images.
This was so that when we want to, we could easily identify questions
and the images that those questions use.
As for the coding aspect, I helped fix up some issues we had
with automatic session generation in our php code. The program as a
whole is now ready for a test run. The only thing that has to be
manually done now is session template generation. However, we have
agreed that for now, this will be done manually. We are looking into
starting some test runs in the 9th week
Week 7 - Tieing up loose ends - July 4th/July 11th
This week I got all the issues of last week resolved, which was
adding dynamics to the web pages for the study. After all that was
done, I began fixing up little bugs in my program and ultimately
cleaning up the code. Professor Metoyer let us know that there will be
a code review coming up. So I decided to begin commenting on the
portions of code I wrote as it could be reused and understood long
after I am gone.
Later on in the week, we began to focus more on the questions
that will be asked during the experimental study. I made sure that
questions were placed in properly and we were able to display them in
the order that we specify. Dr. Metoyer also told us that we will be
giving a presentation to the group on the project we have been working
on throughout the summer. So I have begun to put together all the work
and kind of step back to see the bigger picture.
Week 6 - Making the Connections Pt. 2 - June 27/July
I am still working on the front end linkage and clean-up. This
part of the project is proving to be as challenging as i had thought
it will be. Most of these challenges come from the switching the page
from static to dynamic. When I made this page before, there were no
options as to whether there will be one or two images displayed, the
type of question (i.e - multiple choice, scales, etc). Now, I need to
account for these options dynamically, and be able to display them on
the php page.
Anyway, I began with the dynamic image display first. This, for
some strange reason, is proving to be chalenging for me. But by the
end of the week, I had a good idea of how to go about it. I also
changed the mode of obtaining data from a file to obtaining data from
the database. I successfully figured out how to record the answers the
user makes back to the database. Now, I am working on the image
display option. After finishing that up, I will work on the question
type options. That is, successfully being able to sisplay answer
options depending on what kind of question it is.
Week 5 - Making the Connections - June 20/June 27
This week, I was focusing on linking the forms that I made the
previous week to the already existing webpages that will be used for
the study. I began with linking the back end question entering forms
to the appropriate part of the website and to the database. This was a
little bit challenging in the sense that I had to really study the
database that was created in order to link the results appropriately.
After this was complete, I began working on connecting the
front end user study question form to the project and to the database,
so the user's answers are stored back in the database. This connection
has been made. However I will need to clean up a few details in the
front end. One of which is to make the question loading page dynamic,
as opposed to regular static html pages.
Week 4 - Making Forms - June 13/June 20
So since we decided to make our own database and survey system
to run our study, Professor Metoyer split up the work with us.Our head
student researcher is going to create the database and all the tables
that we will use for the study. Nick, my fellow DREU participant was
in charge of creating the forms for the user to type in personal
information about themselves for the purpose of demographics and
statistics. I was given the task to create the back end forms like the
one used by the study giver to input questions to the survey.
By doing this, I learnt how to use of php to transfer data
collected from one webpage to another page. I learnt how to create
webpages dynamically in order to 1)make the program reusable and
2)make the program more efficient so any user of this program does as
little work as possible to use the program.
The next step would be to try and connect these forms to the
database so as to be able to transfer data collected from the user to
the tables for record keeping. These data will include, information of
each participant, the results of their survey, and the questions and
answers collection from the experimenter (back end input).
Week 3 - Are we changing gear? - June 6/June 13
During our weekly meeting, the head of the research team gave a
presentation on the layout of questions that are going to be asked
during the experiment study. He also presented a layout of how the
experiment should work and his version of the database layout that we
should use as back end for dealing with user information and input.
another member of the team had a different approach to the database
design. The team including Prof. Metoyer discussed the pros and cons
of both approaches and came to a conclusion that the team leadeer's
approach will be better in the long run.
However, there was the possibility of also using an open source
survey program for the experiment study. That's where I came in. This
week, I investigated LimeSurvey, an open source program, and examined
its features, advantages, and disadvantages. In order to come up with
a detailed explanation of how LimeSurvey worked, I had to download the
software, and do a run through of making an actual test survey,
examining all the tables LimeSurvey generated, see the front-end and
back-end sides, and judge its efficiencyy. There were specific tasks
we wanted to be able to accomplish, and it is important that the
survey program we choose or make must be able to do those tasks.
LimeSurvey could not do one of the tasks, and so we decided to just
make our own database and design.
Week 2 - php and its uniqueness - May 31/June 6
This week, I studied further the php language and how it could
be translated to the program that Dr. Metoyer asked us to code. In our
weekly meeting, we were given a "starter" program that we were
supposed to build. We were meant to make a program that simply takes
information about a study from a file and display that in php format.
Specifically, we were asked to make a program that displays two
pictures side-by-side, display the question posed and the answer
options below the question
This exercise helped me to practice the php skills that I
studied previously. I came across problems with syntax a lot of times.
However, I felt that this was necessary to learn the language.
Ultimately, I figured out how to embedd php code into HTML language.
That was pretty cool because I could in a sense make some parts of a
static web page to be dynamic.
In the later part of the week, I began to study how to use a
database to query and store information as this will be very important
for the actual program. The program will need to dstore responses from
the user in some way. We decided in the weekly meeting that a mysql
database will be the best way to do so. I also started looking into
forms and how they are built, because we will have to store some
information about the participants of the research study.
Week 1 - The Beginning - May 23/May 31
I arrived at Oregon State on May 23rd, 2009. I must say, that
this campus is a lot different from Trinity University, my home
institution. This is a much larger campus both in size and in
population than what I used to. Anyway, I had to stop at Portland by
flight, because Corvallis (the home town of Oregon State) does not
have an airport. Now, that seemed really strange because I have always
lived in big cities all my life. Anyway, I took a shuttle to
Corvallis, which is about 1.5 hours away from the Portland airport.
I got settled in and began to explore the town.....I am a big
adventure junkie. I saw a few good place, a whole lot of places to
eat, and in particular more Asian restaurants. I thought I was in
Heaven. Corvallis is your typical college town. Every store is a
convenience store and they are no large scale retail stores anywhere.
Needless to say, all the stores were catered to just Oregon State
students. To some people, this might be horrific. But I actually find
the difference between here and San Antonio very intriguing. This
week, I slowly got to know a lot more about this town and I find it a
pretty interesting place to spend four years in. I will choose not to
expand on that last statement. :)
I met with my mentor, Dr. Metoyer on Tuesday, May 26th, and he
kicked off the research session by showing me around and getting all
the administrative stuff out of the way. He talked to me about the
research in details. I also met my fellow DREU participant here,
Nicholas Hubbert. He informed us that we will be working together on
our project for the summer. At our next meeting, we set out goals
(which are listed in the research project page) for the summer.
This week I worked on getting to primarily familliarizing
myself with HTML code and the php language. This is because we will be
using php to construct the web application that will be used for the
research analysis. When I went through the tutorial, I found out that
the language in php is pretty much some derivative of C, Java, and
some functional language elements. Luckily, I have taken classes in
all three of these languages. So, learning php wasn't too bad. I have
worked with HTML before to make a website in high school, so this was
more like a revision to me as well. Dr. Metoyer advised that we use
the DREU website requirement as a practice tool to master HTML. This
has really helped me in brushing up skills that may have slipped my
mind. I completed the webpage layout and content this week. I plan to
add more stuff to the website to make it appealing in the following