Do Guys Keep Diaries?

Week 1

I've never really done a journal or anything; so, here we go.

So, I arrived to Clemson on Saturday and got to meet some of my lab mates on that following Monday. As with the first couple of days at any place of employment, my first week was filled with fill out form after form. I'm excited to see how things unfold. This is my first REU and I can't wait to get started.

Week 2

It's me again, but I guess you're probably wondering who else would it be. First, let's start with our project assignments. After taking our recommnedations into consideration, Dr. Gilbert assigned us to our projects for the summer. I've been placed on the User Interface Group in Cable Labs and to the Distracted Drving Study.

Now that we have our assignments, I'm ready to get to work.

Week 3

When it comes to CableLabs, I've taken on more of a leadership role in the gesture study that the other REUs and I are to implement. As long as everyone pulls their weight, I think this should be a pretty easy task. We have plenty of time and enough people to get it all done. Also, the interface team had its first meeting and I'm excited to see what I can gain from this experience.

The distracted driving study hasn't been as fun. We've had several setbacks when it coems to getting the LED lightsto work. No matter what we've tried we can't get all of the lights to consistently function. We did however take our trip out to the road that we will be using. It prevents some challenges but nothing that can't hashed out with a little thinking.

Week 4

There's not really much to add this week. My frustration is really beginning to settle in with these LED strips. I know that they can do all these cool things but we can't even get them to function properly. There seems to not even be a glimpse of hope. We are already 2 weeks behind so I wonder how this is going to turn out.

In regards to CableLabs, I've been tinkering around with OpenGL. To be honest, it really isn't that great. Yeah, I can draw a triangle and make it spin, but I doubt that this will help me create a user interface to create a cable system.

Week 5

Instead of being redundant, I'm just going to say the LED strips still aren't working - enough said.

With CableLabs, I at least got to accomplish something. So, I put my free time in the lab into creating some power buttons for the opening screen when the system is powered on. For those reading this - if anyone ever read this, working in Adobe Illustrator is perhaps the most frustrating thing ever. I never though it would be so hard to change the gradient of a circle. I give major props to all the graphic design people out there.

Week 6

The wait is over. Praise God, hallelujah!! So, for 4 weeks we've been trying to get these LED strips to work and we finally made it happen. I've never been happier on the job to see those things glowing. Funny enough, Tyler and I's code worked immediately when we ran it. The major hold up on the project were the cable strips and now we can really get to working.

I know I haven't talked about the second gesture study since I began this journal;so, here's a little to wet your palette. In the past couple of weeks we've watched hours of videos to generalize the gestures from a prior study (gesture study 1). Then this week, we recorded ourselves performing the gestures. These recordings will be used in the videos that we show the study participants. Now all that is left to do is to slow the videos down and track the movement of the appendages involved.

Week 7

I would like to say that this has been a productive week. After Dr. Eugene got on to Tyler and I for not collaborating, we combined the elements of our different programs to control three strips. I know you are probably suprised. First, they couldn't get one strip to work and now they are controlling three. Also, we learned how to solder. Some of us,Tyler, learned the hard way by attempting to grab the soldering iron like it is a pencil. But like the old trite banality says "You live and you learn."

This week we ran the pilot for the gesture study. We've fully edited the videos and added motion tracking with a software called Kinovea. It's actually pretty cool and not difficult to use. Renesha compiled the videos into one flick with some seconds for individuals to feel out the survey along the way. We will probably have to give participants a little more time, and we'll have to make some grammatical corrections but besides that we are definitely on track.

Week 8

This is by far the most productive week I've had so far in Clemson. From CableLabs to the Distracted Driving Study we made huge strides in both.

Like always, I will begin with the distracted driving study. This week we got all the pieces to play nicely and we secured a road. I know I haven't mentioned our many struggles with securing a road, but let's just say this was a giantic oversight that got placed on the REUs. Also let me add, South Carolina just enacted a law that banned texting while driving. So far a minute we didn't even think this study was going to happen but as always the Lord had a plan. Moving forward, we set everything up in my car and did a test run on the road that we did secure. It was actually pretty cool to see our lights in action. This was a great week for DDS. Let's just hope that next week is just as good.

With CableLabs, we ran the second gesture study. We really weren't worried about the success of this experiment. We knew that this wasn't going to be difficult to put on. It in fact went pretty smoothly but there was a hiccup. We forgot to add five videos. This was definitely a mistake on Renesha and I. This wasn't noticed until we were starting to analyze the results from the study. We sent out an email immediately;hopefully, the study participants will respond quickly so we can get some things done.

Week 9

This summer has really flown by only a week left in this summer experience. Overall it flew by but let me tell you this week dragged. Three 12-hour days were almost the death of me.

So, it came it saw and it went all right. Wednesday, July 16th was D-Day for the DDS crew. We met at 8 o'clock in the morning - which was early for me. Even though we were early somehow we got to the parking lot near the track late, but I digress. We had already set everthing up in the car and now it was just time to get going. Participant 1 got in the car and we pulled out and next thing I see is a cop come after our Post-Doc. So both cars pull over. In the study car we being speculating on what happened and then suddenly we saw our Post-Doc jump out of the car. For anyone who didn't already know, never I mean never jump out of the car when the police pull you over. By doing so, you are asking for a bullet in the shin. It takes only a few minutes and then we percede to the course. Everything goes smoothly the likes work but we can't get any cellphone reception. The road the we finally secured is so thickly covered with trees that reception was spotty at best. In addition to poor coverage, the GoPros consistenly died after the second lap around the course. It was a rough first day; we just hoped day two would be a little better.

Day two was in fact a little bit smoother. We knew what we were doing and it was a pretty day in South Carolina. The sun was out but there was also a nice breeze. The only bad thing was that strip three went out but on the bright side we got strip two fully bright. We got through all the participants and then I jetted out to a conference in Auburn, Al. Okay, I didn't really jet out I drove.

There's been a real halt in the production of the CableLabs group as a whole. With everyone getting ready for their move to Florida, little work has been accomplished as a result. One thing that the other REUs and I are trying to accomplish is to write a paper on our second gesture study. This would be great for all of us. A publicaiton would be beyond clutch.

Week 10

My final week in the HCC lab was a short one but a good one nontheless. This week was really just used to wrap our projects up. It was good to see the final product of the user interface. Along with that, I wrote part of the gesture paper which was cool as well.

So I guess this is my farewell from my summer escapaded in Clesmon. It was a cool experience, and I learned a lot.