May 31, 2010 - June 4, 2010 (Week 1):

This week I'm just learning the ins and outs. I watched a grad student propose her thesis to a TOUGH group of panelists. I have come up with a list of questions for the Facebook user study. I have listened to a talk by Stuart Schecter from Microsoft.

Relating to my research, I have researched and read several papers relating to privacy settings and how people group their friends on facebook. It was a little frustrating because there isn't much research related to how people group their friends which is what we're really looking for, but I guess that's good because it shows that it is novel research. After not finding much specifically for group friends on Facebook, I ventured out a little further and search for how people group their friends in general. In addition, I made a list of questions for the user study that will take place sometime in the near future and helped revise the script for the study.

June 7, 2010 - June 11, 2010 (Week 2):

This week was busier than last as more students moved into the dorm and I accomplished more tasks at my lab. Also this week was the first of the Go Research! student seminars where we learned about intellectual property.

This week for the Facebook project, I helped write a script to be used as part of a Facebook application. This script will be used to capture all of someone's friends on Facebook. My research group will use this script in our user study when researching how people group their friends. It was to be written in either PHP or Javascript, neither of which I had prior experience with so finally me and my research partner decided to write it in a combination of both using online resources as our guide. Also, a graduate student found a paper that is similar to the Facebook project I am working on so another challenge was to modify our user study to be unique. Next week, I am looking forward to piloting our user study on undergraduate and graduate students in the lab.

I took on more responsibilities in the passwords project by continuing to add to the list of password requirements for websites. After I completed the list for the top 50 sites on alexa and quantcast (both websites), I categorized the websites that we collected data for. I then looked for trends in the data. In addition I began contacting banks to get their rationale on some of the password requirements. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful at my attempts to contact them by phone so I decided to e-mail them. Within only a day, I have received responses from 2 of the 6 companies, and seeing as how most companies NEVER e-mail customers back, I see this as a HUGE success.

June 14, 2010 - June 18, 2010 (Week 3):

This week we started piloting our user study on people in the lab. Challenges came when trying to find the most effective way to have people group their friends. We also submitted several projects to IRB so that they can approve our procedures. Further, I am beginning to think about a project that I would like to focus on for the remainder of the summer.

June 21, 2010 - June 25, 2010 (Week 4):

I started off the week brainstorming way to write about paper using the password requirements I gathered. But it's easier said than done. It turns out, I'll have to put some more thought/work into coming up with an idea so I'll coninue to read more papers. Next, I analyzed data for the passwords project seeing if people behaved realistically in our study. And of course I have continued to work on my main Facebook project. We are continuing to pilot different methods of friend grouping on people in my lab and are just waiting for IRB approval so that we can move on to real subjects.

In my spare time, I made an infographic for Facebook privacy settings. The original infographic was published in the New York Times and can be found HERE but I noticed that even though the most recent date is April 2010, the settings still aren't current. Therefore I made an updated version for June 2010 which can be found HERE.

June 28, 2010 - July 2, 2010 (Week 5):

I took a suggstion from my research advisor t edit the interview script for the Facebook study. Not only will we ask sujects to group their friends but now we will ask them to create tags for the friends they put into groups.

Also, I started a new project. I became interested in making a mobile app from my Android phone so I suggested the idea to another undergraduate researcher in the lab. We struggled to think of an app idea but decided to make a friend finder app to use when searching for a friend in a crowd or across campus, for example. I took a class in Human-Computer Interaction last semester and decided to use the deliverables assigned in that class to create a completion timeline for the app. We researched other apps similar to our idea and started learning how to create basic Google apps.

July 5, 2010 - July 9, 2010 (Week 6):

My advisor isn't here this week and coincedentally neither are most of the graduate studets. Me and Yael are on track with our completion timeline. We have completed our project proposal, user and task analysis, design sketches and paper prototype.

For the user and task analysis I created a simple surveygizmo survey and sent it to all of my Facebook friends. From this survey we asked questions to see if people would use the app and if they would pay for it to determine our design approach and marketing strategy.

Our design sketches helped us with the paper prototype which we tested on people in our lab and miserably failed. We will try to test it on people in our dorm ASAP.

Overall fun week - watched fireworks on the Ft. Dusquesne bridge - check out pictures

July 12, 2010 - July 16, 2010 (Week 7):

This week we continued to run user studies for the Facebook grouping project.

I must admit that we have gotten off track with our completion plan for the mobile application project. We have gotten some feedback and are started to get a little skeptical as to if we want to continue. We tested the paper prototype with people in our lab but it was a little unrealistic so we're going to create a more realistic computer prototype and get feedback from others in the lab next week.

But the most EXCITING thing I've done this week was go to a conference in Redmond, Washington that my advisor is the director of. The conference in called SOUPS and is being held on the campus of Microsoft. As it turns out, there are no vampires or werewolves in Washington and it doesn't rain everyday. Actually, it hasn't rained since we've been here. The Microsoft campus is GORGEOUS. I wish my college campus was like this. I would always want to get my work done! Check out some pictures HERE.

July 19, 2010 - July 23, 2010 (Week 8):

This week yet more user studies. We got a surprise from one of the grad students - we will have to give an hour long presentation next Wednesday to other professors and grad students! We have begun to prepare our final presentation by bringing together all of our results and coming up with meaningful observations. Thus, the Google app has taken a backseat to the Facebook presentation.

In other light, this weekend one of the guys in the dorm created a game called - Amazing Race: Pittsburgh. It was pretty much an scavenger hunt through the entire city of Pittsburgh. Thankfully (typed sarcastically) he picked the hottest day ever. But I must admit, it was quite fun. Check out photos HERE (link shall be added later). 2 more weeks left!

July 26, 2010 - July 30, 2010 (Week 9):

I'm sure you know the next 3 words - more user studies. But also this week, I am wrote the final paper and prepared the final presentation. Me and the other undergrad (Yael) I worked with presented on Wednesday at the Summer Student Seminar to other grad students and professors in computer science. I think it went well. We had a few questions but nothing too difficult to answer and our advisor gave us many helpful suggestions for the paper.

Since everyone left on Saturday, we all went out Friday after work and took the Pittsburgh $5.00 limo to the Cheesecake Factory! It also happened to be half-price cheesecake day. Lucky us! Until next week aka "Week 10"!!!

August 2, 2010 - August 6, 2010 (Week 10):

Last week! This week, I am running more studies but there's a big differnece. For the past 3 or 4 weeks, we have been recruiting from CBDR, a experiment posting site which attracts a lot of college students. Last week, Yael and I posted flyers in the area and tried to focus on places that college students don't usually go (like the grocery store and hospital). Ads were even posted on Craigslist. Therefore we have been getting a much more interesting crowd to say the least.

General patterns from the PAPER are still happening but not much else new. We're starting to see the pattern we wanted in the beginning so I'm sure after I leave, not many more studies will take place. We can start getting ready for the CHI paper submission deadline! Good times Pittsburgh. See you in November for the National Society of Black Engineers Fall Regional Conference!