Michael b. Christian Jr DREU Experience 2013
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Weekly Updates

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10

week 1

This week I began my internship at the Human Centered Computing Lab at Clemson University and it's been a great experience so far. On the first day we where introduced to all of the administrative people (Dr. Juan Gilbert, Penny, Jacqueline Galbreath, Wanda Eugene) and graduate students (PJ Hall, Shelby Solomon Darnell, Naja Mack, Aquasha Martin, and Amber Solomon) that's in the HCC Lab.

week 2

This week we had to fulfill all requirements needed to begin working on projects in the HCC computing lab. This includes Citi Training and signing NDA's or Non Disclosure Agreements. Which is a long and boring process but it has to be done, lucky for me I worked in the HCC lab last year so my Citi Training carried over to this summer.

week 3

This week during the lab meeting meeting we where presented with a list of projects and where briefed on each of them. I signed up for two projects. I will be working on the distracted driving study and the Avatar Shopping interface design. The Distracted Driving study is based on a study from Texas A&M University pertaining to texting and driving. The goal of this project is to is to prove that the Voicing ( a application made by the HCC Lab) app is the safest way to text while driving. Avatar shopping is a project that the Clemson HCC team has already began, but are looking for other possible implementations of integrating the avatar as an online assistant.

week 4

This week I was given my first task for distracted driving. Which was to create a script for the study. In this study participants will be texting and driving using Voicing ( a application created by the Clemson team), Siri, Vlingo, and possibly a application used by BMW. I have also began working on the Avatar Shopping project which has now been giving the name Avatar HD which stands for Avatar for Heart Disease. The goal of this project has changed from developing a site to allow user to shop on a site using a avatar for guidance. To a site that allows the user to learn about heart disease whit a virtual agent assisting/tutoring them.

week 5

This week at I created the avatar that I will be using for this project. I used a application called SitePal, it allows you to create virtual agents aka talking characters. To be used on web sites, email, power point, and ebay auctions. One thing that I thought was pretty cool about sitePal was the feature that allowed you to call and record you voice for the avatar and the avatar will use the recorded voice as its own. SitePal allows you to use 2d, 3d, or uploaded images as character start points for your avatar. After you decide on that you can customize the avatar to your liking with accessories. This week I also created my design for the database which will be holding the answers and questions for the project. I decided to go with a many to one design showing many questions linking to one answer. It fits our needs and its not too complicated.

week 6

This week at Clemson was a very busy, but interesting week. to begin we went to Orlando, Fl to hold an election for the NAACP. It was great chance for Dr. Gilbert and the HCC team to demo the Prime III Voting system (Prime III is a voting system created in the HCC lab at Clemson to make voting more accessible). This experience also provided me with an opportunity to meet some great people and polish up on some public speaking skills. We stayed in Florida for three days and two night, when we returned I was exhausted. Unfortunately, when we arrived we were notified of the cancellation of the election. We held demos of Prime III instead, giving people the opportunity to use the voting system and learn about its accessibility. In addition to the demo, we gave a preview to a short docu-ality series called Lab Daze. Lab Daze is about this uniqueness of the HCC PhD program. When all the work was done, we did get to have some fun. We took a trip to Downtown Disney and Universal's city walk.

week 7

This week after winding down from all the excitement last week I had to implement the database. After taking some time to think of the design and how its suppose to work I designed the database with two tables (Questions, Answers). On the Questions table I have three columns ( Questions_id, Questions, Answer_id) and on the Answers table I have two columns (Answer_id and Answers). I used Answer_id as a foreign key linking the questions and answers.

week 8

This week I added fulltext to the database and created a backend for the project to allow people who own this project or work on this project to submit questions and view questions in the database.

week 9

This week was somewhat stressful. Our final presentations were due and we had to prepare a thirty minute speech about what we learned this summer. I had plenty to talk about. I spent the beginning of the week putting the presentation together and the latter part practicing. Lucy and I Presented Avatar HD to the entire school of computing at Clemson University. Dr. Gilbert loved the project and the speaking avatar. The presentations were interesting because we were able to see what all of the REU students worked on this summer.

week 10

This week I have to add all the finishing touches to my website and prepare a submission to Tapia conference. Dr. Gilbert is sending his REU students to the Tapia Conference next spring so we can talk about our summer projects. This gives me plenty of time to perfect my poster submission. With my website, I added my final presentation, updated links, adding photos, and touching up my journal entries. This week was more laid back then the past few weeks since I did not have any projects due. Lucy and were also included in a few conference calls regarding AVATAR HD. We met with Ms. Lisa Clough, the vice president to WomenHeart.org. We spoke about her website and why AVATAR HD is essential to raise awareness of women heart disease.