Monthly Archives: August 2016

A Summer in the Land of WoZ

Well that’s a wrap! I am officially done with my internship. Crazy to think that I have been here for two and a half months! With it being my final week it was my turn to present the work I completed this summer to everyone in the lab meeting.

I have always enjoyed making presentations. Presentations allow me to better gage how much I know and how much I learned throughout a process. With this presentation, it was rewarding to see that I accomplished my goal of being fully engaged in a research project and pushing myself to learn the in and outs of different experimental designs. While preparing for this presentation, I categorized everything I did this summer into three categories:

  • Explored the Wizard-of-Oz experiment design space and prior work in the field
  • Designed a custom Wizard-of-Oz Graphical User Interface
  • Programmed a Wizard-of-Oz Graphical User Interface

By categorizing, I realized I did not fully get everything done that I wanted to with number three. I kept having new ideas of improvements I could do for the program that I ran out of time to implement. I mentioned this disappointment to my lab advisor and he told me something I never thought before. He said that he hoped that I was not fully content with my work. He said that noticing there is still improvements to be done, but not enough time to get them done reveals that one was invested in his or her work.  And with that comment, I was content with all the work I finished this summer.

If you are a Dickinson student that is pursuing a low paying or nonpaid internship be sure to apply to the Summer Internship Grant. It provides students the opportunity to pursue these internships by providing funds to cover expenses such as housing, food, transportation, and parking. I would not have been able to accept this internship without the help of the Dickinson Internship fund! So thank you again Dickinson!

It has been a fun journey, but I am officially over and out! Thanks for following my internship blog this summer.

Always Learning

As everyone says, “An internship is a great learning experience”. It is true. I learned more about the field, what my interests are, and where my strengths and weaknesses lie throughout this entire experience.

With the end of summer coming fast, I felt it would be nice to make a small list of some of what I have learned this summer. So without further ado, here is a brief list of some of what I have learned.

1.Always be prepared for whats next, but commit yourself for the present

In the field of human-computer interactions and design, there are a limitless number of possibilities. However, there is also a limited amount of time. Being able to commit yourself to a  a few designs to meet deadlines while planning ahead for possible fixes and alterations that can address possible questions and changes in the development cycle is necessary for success.

2. Artificial Intelligence is not going to take over the world

Working in a lab that focuses on making artificial intelligence with compassion and the best traits of what humans possess (rapport, curiosity) has shown me that A.I is not going to take over the world.

3. Always Question

Having the opportunity to go to talks and presentations while doing research at Carnegie Mellon has been a great experience. The one thing always present at these presentations was a continuous amount of questions. Some of the questions can seem quite “harsh” with direct remarks of what did not work or did not make sense in the presentation. These direct, difficult questions are never perceived here as harsh at Carnegie Mellon. Instead they act as a point of continuous conversation that result in great mutual development between the speaker and the audience.

4. Spend time Debriefing

Taking time directly after a meeting to review your notes from the meeting and coming up with what your main take away from the meeting are is crucial! Always be planning your next steps.

 

Summer is Coming to a Close…

My apologies for not posting in a while. The past two weeks have been a whirl-wind of busy! Team meetings, wrapping up projects, and preparing for presentations have been my main priorities these final weeks. On top of this, I have still been doing landscaping on the side and keeping up with my swimming training! This definitely has been a summer to remember and I am excited to see my work come full circle.

Our weekly lab meetings, which includes all members in the lab from undergraduates to postdocs, now has wrap-up intern presentations. These presentations are given by leaving interns about the work they completed during their internship. A highlight about working at ArticuLab as an intern is that each intern is working on his or her own separate project. An intern is assigned an assignment at the start of their internship and given free-reign to figure out how best to finish the assignment.

It definitely is a lot to take in at the beginning. Here you are with new software, new computer languages, new toolkits, and a new computer architecture to learn before even being able to think about tackling your main assignment. However, this freedom is what makes the internship. It provided me with the skills and confidence to know that I can be thrown into a completely new environment, learn all that I need to, and then create a plan on how to finish the assignment. This freedom is what makes seeing my end work so rewarding. I can still remember how I had no idea what a Wizard-of-Oz experiment even was, but now I can tell you about this entire field of research.

Watching my fellow interns present their work is in a cliché way inspiring. I know first-hand by working with them the struggles and frustrations that they have faced while completing their work. To see projects such as new automatic head nod-tracking software being presented and demonstrated by my fellow interns is really incredible. Being a part of this internship revealed to every intern what they truly are capable of making.