Week 3 (6/8-6/14)

  • Jun 14, 2012

This week has been interesting. Caitlin, Kyle, and Jordana were all gone at a conference in Germany to present some of the results of their work. This leaves the six of us undergraduates here working independently on our projects. Paul was still here and was very helpful in answering any questions we had.

Friday, I continued to try and build the classes I would need to tag the AST Nodes. I managed to get the classes put together and hopefully linked to each other so that changes will be reflected in the subsequent sub-class, etc. The classes should all work independently of the rest of the Looking Glass project. However, I still need to write in methods that will take care of changing the values of each node when the author or duplicate type changes.

Monday marked the first day that we undergraduates were here without Caitlin, Kyle, and Jordana. They were all in Germany, but we had instructions to write a proposal for the rest of our work this summer, finish the IRB material, and build three worlds. I spent most of today trying to find the correct location to insert the methods that would link the rest of Looking Glass to the classes that I built on Friday. Unfortunately, most of the locations did not work, and at the end of the day, I decided to take a break and work on the IRB material.

Tuesday, I slowly but surely worked my way through the IRB material reading about the ethical rules and regulations on doing human testing and taking the quizzes at the end of each module. There was a lot of material to read over, and most of it applied more to biomedical and sociological research. I think the main take away is basically to try and avoid doing something on someone without their informed consent. If the subject is a child, then since maturity is called into question, we are sometimes also required to ask for their parents assent. From what I can tell though, our research poses no more than minimal risk to the children since we essentially are asking them to click around a computer screen to make a program. We are not testing new drugs or doing anything that could cause the students significant social or psychological harm. Throughout the day, when I got bored of reading the IRB material, I would switch to attempting to work on the AST nodes or writing my proposal.

Wednesday morning, I finished off the last few modules I had for the IRB reading. I had sent an email to Kyle the night before asking a question about the AST node tagging. Using the information he gave me, I attempted to start trying to fix the ast node tagging. Unfortunately, I ran into a problem with one of my test worlds. When I saved the world, the test property that I had inserted caused the world to be unloadable when the test property is not there.

Reilly, Genevieve, Patrick, and I went to Professor Robert Pless's talk at lunch. We learned some interesting things on how webcams can be used to locate the position where a photo was taken using pattern recognition and things along those lines. One neat thing was about how rainbows can be used to determine a location because the sun is in a straight line to the viewer to the center of the rainbow. The arch of the rainbow is 41 degree angle from the center of the rainbow. A little math can take care of calculating where the sun is, and if we know the time the photo was taken, we can determine the latitude and longitude.

This has no application to my project, but we were discussing how to make the website more exciting and eye-catching. One good idea we came up with was to diminish the amount of white space on the project. Perhaps having like a background pattern would liven up the website. I was thinking a checkerboard pattern since the theme of chess is so pervading in the book.

Thursday, I finished up my proposal and posted it on the website. The sketches are simplistic, but I think they will work from a utilitarian stand point. Aesthetics can be added in later on in the project. I spent the day starting to build worlds for the user studies we will be having later on this summer. Talking to Paul, we learned a little on just how strange the new programmers might make their code. For example, to make two people do something together, they might build two separate doInOrder blocks (one for each person) and then try to time all of the actions so that things will happen simultaneously. A more experienced programmer would probably just write all of the things that happen at a particular moment in one section of code, and then write all the following things in the next section of code, etc. I built some basica actions like swimming and pushups that I think I want to incorporate in my worlds.


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