## Friday, July 29, 2011

### Day Eighteen

Today was a good day.

I came in at seven and blogged, then traced the error with the if loop even further back, all the way to 'factor', a variable that I put in a value for. Making this number larger led to this:

See those itty bitty bumps on the bottom plot? Those are what I've
been working towards for the past three and a half weeks.

This morning after the intern meeting it was the Insight Lab's turn to be visited by all the interns. I showed everyone the very exciting bumps that I plot (I think they're exciting at least), and Emily explained what she does as well. After that I got the code to write the plots as files correctly and printed out a few examples to show Preeti and everyone at the astronomy meeting.

Despite the fact that it was pouring at eleven we went to coffee time, and got drenched on the way. Emily, Matt, and I realised that none of us had enough money to buy anything on our own, so we pooled our change and shared a delicous chocolate cookie. We wanted to get milk too, but we were a quarter short of the two dollars so we played the trivia game to try and get half off.﻿ The girl at the counter either thought we were funny or found us to be really pathetic, so she gave us two guesses and we got our milk.

Soon after coffee time it was time for the cookout. I took pictures this week....
 Happy food!

 Reflective window...

 Ed looks really cheerful.

 Gnome bowling. Matt was confused.
After the cookout I had the astronomy meeting at one. The plots were aknowledged as "progress", and I was given more suggestions/instructions. After the meeting I changed the y-scale so that the graph is easier to read and fixed another input that was making the graphs look odd. Then Preeti came by and we tried adding the error bars. Right after she left I got Jake's attention for a moment and he explained that an array is needed, and I felt silly for not thinking of that. I can't get an array to work yet, because it gets confusing with so many nested if loops and whatnot, but a few hours of working on my own when I get back (or thitry seconds from Jake) will probably clear that up. The errors I did get were seemingly infintesimal, so either they were wrong, which is likely, or the error won't show up on the graph.

I will be out for all of next week, so I'm glad some things worked before I left.

## Thursday, July 28, 2011

### Day Seventeen-- Aha.

This morning I came in around seven again and spent my time before the meeting blogging and emailing Jake and Preeti. I felt rather dumb after emailing Jake though, since I realised that he's currently coming back to the US, so he probably won't see my email until he comes into work tomorrow and I can see him myself. Oh well.

The intern meeting was in the freshman lab this morning because there was caution tape up all over the building. Punching in and going upstairs has never felt so daring and dangerous! Anyway, after the meeting I worked on getting the code to work. By eleven I had all the files running through the entire program, but the FWHM plot didn't work on any of them.

I took lunch with Kelsey and Emily. I don't know where the other interns were, but we went to the giant steps in global village, which work very well as a picnic location. Back in the lab I traced the problem backwards in the code and found that the deconvolution section can't work because the images are not being cropped properly. At about this point Preeti came by to check in on my work, and she helped me troubleshoot for half an hour, until she had to meet with Chris. As she was meeting with him I got the cropping and rotating to work (yay!), so the first two plots look better. There was still a problem somewhere though, which is causing numerous subsequent problems. I traced this problem back to  a nested if loop. The problem? 'sigma is not larger than sigma_beam'

Unfortunately I am not 100% sure what this means or how badly I would screw things up by messing with those numbers. I was going to skip the talk at four to look into it, but Marc ran up and reminded us that the speaker was Stefi, so I went down and listened. Her talk discussed the definition of images, how imaging happens, and the history of imaging. I thought it was really interesting (and actually ended up talking about it later in the evening in a conversation about refrigerant and the ozone layer- go figure).

I thought about staying late, since Jake will be in tomorrow, I will be gone next week, and Preeti mentioned today wanting the code to work tomorrow (yikes). I decided just to come in early again tomorrow though.

## Wednesday, July 27, 2011

### Day Sixteen

Today I came in slightly after seven (gah) and started taking points manually along the axis of each jet. This was broken up by the intern meeting, to which Bob brought doughnuts. Thanks Bob! As part of the meeting we visited the space weather lab. I had never gone down there before and was a little confused about what Halle and Matt were doing with their calculations, so it was nice to get a full explanation. I just hope the storm they're going to predict and watch won't occur next week while I am away, because I want to see it.

After the meeting I finished taking points and put them into the code. I then modified the code so that all of the jets are rotated to face right, instead of whichever direction (left or right) is closest. Next I made a version of the program that omitted the unnecessary plots and their corresponding calculations, using the VLA data as Preeti suggested so I could see changes. Once that looked good I tried using the VLBA data. One of the files ran all the way through, but the FWHM plot (the one that all of this effort is for) didn't work. This is probably due to the same issue that is blocking all the other files, though, so that is what I intend to investigate tomorrow.

Somewhere in the midst of all that I attended the Wednesday movie and had free pizza. This week's movie was called 'Presentation Zen' and explained an alternative approach to presentations. It contained some interesting ideas, hopefully I can apply some of them to my own presentation at the end of this internship.

Near the end of the day I tried making an example ps file to send to Jake, since I need to give him an update. For some reason the filepath wasn't recognized though. I still need to email him and figure out that issue.

## Tuesday, July 26, 2011

### Day Fifteen

I spent the majority of this morning trying to get the VLBA data to work in the IDL program. I also printed out a few examples of the new plot that I added to the code using the old VLA data so I could show Preeti at the 12:30 meeting.

The meeting was very helpful. Preeti was pleased to see the new plot (for a moment she thought it was the VLBA data, and was really excited), and asked me to add error bars to the plot, so I'll need to figure that out at some point. Someone also suggested that for some of the sections where the code has trouble automatically finding the correct values from the image that I insert them manually.

One of the jets, displayed using ds9. I am manually taking some coordinates
along the axis of the jet so the program will rotate the jet properly.﻿

After the meeting Chris worked with me for a while to show me how to manually find the points and use them in the code. Before we had it working Preeti stopped by, and she helped us get the images to rotate properly. She also suggested that I make a version of the program that cuts out all of the unneeded code for this project and comment that, in order to simplify troubleshooting and whatnot.

## Monday, July 25, 2011

### Day Fourteen-- Field Trip and Direction

Jake emailed me early this morning, so I had a better sense of direction today. I spent the early morning putting the plot he suggested into the code, and trying it out on the old VLA data. At 10:15 (technically a little after... I was a smidgen late) I went down to the party bus that took all the interns and some of the college student researchers to Rochester Precision Optics. The tour lasted approximately an hour and took us through the different sections of their facility. We saw the different manufacturing methods they use to create lenses as well as their inspection, assembly, and engineering areas. After the tour we went to Pizza Hut for lunch.

Back at work I tried to verify that the new plots display the right thing, which got a little confusing. I also saved some examples created with the VLA data which I sent to Jake so he can provide feedback. Once this was done I continued trying to make the code work with the VLBA data. I tried making the same changes that allowed the other code to work, but there are still problems.

## Friday, July 22, 2011

### Day Thirteen

~Evelyn takes a day off and speaks in third person~

Today I went to Cleaveland to visit my brother for the weekend, so I wasn't at work, but for the sake of numbering I am posting anyway!

## Thursday, July 21, 2011

### Day Twelve

I had to come in at 7:30 this morning, so I got an early start organising the lab a bit more, checking up on emails, and working with the code a. Bob pleasantly surprised us this morning with doughnuts at the intern meeting. After the meeting I was able to resolve a problem in the code (almost completely without help this time!). Following lunch, however, I realised that the issue was only taken care of for some of the files, while others were still stuck and one wasn't even reading. I fixed the reading issue but am still working on the other problems.

IDL is becoming more familiar, although I don't know how valuable my alterations to the code are so far. Hopefully Jake will send some information or feedback soon.

At four I attended a talk about viewing the atom, which included information about how electron microscopes work to view an atom and what technology RIT has to view materials on a nano-scale.

## Wednesday, July 20, 2011

### Day Eleven-- A crazy day

Today was rather exciting. I had planned to take the morning off because I had two appointments. However, Dr. Jake just got back from one week long trip and is about to leave for another, and I hoped to get feedback from him about my project when he stopped in for the morning. So I came in for the intern meeting and a nine o'clock astronomy meeting, then went to the first appointment, came back, had to leave for the second appointment, and finally came back and saw him for 90 seconds before he left for England. Madness, but in hindsight rather amusing.

After Dr. Jake left I helped clean the lab, which has been pretty gross until now. Apparently tonight is a family science night here. Chris then spent most of the afternoon helping me with the code. Some problems were fixed (or at least circumvented) and it was nice to see someone else get angry at the code too.

The only other topic of note today was that Chris sent a copy of the code, my modified copy of the code, and an example of what the original code does to Jake, so he can give recommendations.

## Tuesday, July 19, 2011

### Day Ten-- Hmmm

This morning I completely forgot that I was supposed to bring apple juice in-- we had decided to have a breakfast thing and people had volunteered to bring things. Oops. Next week I'll remember. After the intern meeting I went up to the lab. The fits files still wouldn't open and I went to find Stefi, who advised completely deleting the files and then re-downloading them, possibly in a different location. Chris also had an idea which ended up solving the problem. Because the files came zipped in the email Preeti sent, the file path needed to be changed in the program.

Once the files were reading I could where the program was encountering other errors again, so I started looking into those. I also emailed Preeti to see if she had other code for me to use. She had sent a file in an earlier email which contained plots like the ones she needs, and I was hoping that she had used IDL for those and had kept the program. No such luck though. She did talk to me about manipulating the code though, which was somewhat helpful. To be honest, I understand what needs doing and how it should be done; IDL is just so confusing. In the program I am working with I'm not always sure why certain things are set as they are, but its hard to tell what was set as an ambiguous number and what was set specifically. This makes it hard to know what can change without messing everything up.

## Monday, July 18, 2011

### Day Nine

Today I got an early start, arriving at around seven. I figured out a few issues with the code but also ended up having a bunch of questions which I asked Chris after the intern meeting. I also had a question for Preeti so I found her in her office. Later she came up to the Insight Lab to clarify what she needs for the slices, which was helpful. IDL started refusing to open the fits files, however, which is massively unhelpful. I wrestled with it for a while and then Chris tried to help me for about an hour, but the files still won't work correctly. What makes the problem even more exciting is that when IDL doesn't read the fits file correctly, it also messes up the file somehow, so it won't work at all. This is very annoying and frustrating. I really wish I understood IDL more. I will probably have to hunt down someone else who is more comfortable with it tomorrow so I can keep moving forewords with the project.

## Friday, July 15, 2011

### Day Eight-- Yay and Nay

Today I came in a bit early to get my blog post for yesterday up. After the intern meeting my morning was pretty busy. I continued to mess around with the parameters in the IDL program and eventually figured out the magic numbers. (Contrary to popular belief these numbers are 180 and 330, not 3.) Using these numbers gave proper plots, like the ones below:

Yay!

I was really excited that the plots finally looked like jets, and the parameters worked for all of the data. At the one o'clock﻿ meeting, however, I found out that I have been using the wrong code. Major facepalm. So that isn't ideal, but at least I have more experience with IDL now. After the meeting I spent the remainder of the afternoon looking through the proper code and figuring out what needs alteration.

## Thursday, July 14, 2011

### Day Seven- And there was much rejoicing

The floor of the Insight lab had work done on it this morning, so Dr. Jake told most of the people who work there not to come in for the morning. Instead we received "paid leave" and got to sleep in. I came in to work a little before noon and went to the intern cookout where we played lawn games and had hot dogs, hamburgers, strawberries, and all sorts of delicious things. I'm glad these will be a weekly event!

After lunch I asked Chris to look at the code I was working with. Some of the functions refused to work, which ended up being because my account isn't accessing the astronomy library that it needs. Chris eventually logged me into his account, since the issue wasn't resolving on mine, and the program actually started working! That is, it started actually telling me where it wasn't working. This allowed me to actually mess around with it and see changes. Now that I know where the problem is, it should be easier (or at least possible) to fix it.

Above: The results of messing with the code. This still isn't right, but
the fact that pictures showed up is a major improvement. Go graphs!

At four one of the researchers here, Bob Kremens,  gave a talk called "Wildfire Research: Just Like Astronomy?" It was interesting to learn about what else is being researched in the building. His description of how fire actually burns was especially interesting.

## Wednesday, July 13, 2011

### Day Six

This morning at the intern meeting we (the interns) coordinated who would bring what for the cookout tomorrow. It should be great! Then after about an hour and a half of working on IDL the fire alarm went off, so our lab took our coffee break a little early. After that I worked some more on IDL and went to the library to get books on AGNs and IDL. The library also has the worlds tiniest and most creepy elevator, or at least the tiniest and creepiest I've ever seen. I'm hoping the books will help me with what I'm doing this summer.
At noon a video about entrepreneurship was shown in the fishbowl and free pizza and drinks were provided, which was cool.

Dr. Jake left for a week-long trip this morning and apparently he has another trip right after, so he really won't be around. Luckily there are other people who know what to do. Preeti sent me the actual data for the paper today and Chris sent me different code to work with. Because the computer I have been working on isn't connected to the right things there were some technical difficulties with getting things arranged, resulting in me switching computers and learning how to use the computer's command prompt. I saw the actual images I will be working with for the first time; they look like somewhat unimpressive little blobs at first glance, but Chris says even seemingly undetailed photos hold a lot of information. I also saw results of the code that were created using different data. Now I need to figure out how to use the code with the data for this paper, and hope that this is what Dr. Jake actually wants.

## Tuesday, July 12, 2011

### Day Five

Today felt particularly unproductive... Jake disappeared for the entire day again and Preeti (one of the people working with Dr. Jake on the paper) hasn't emailed Chris any data or further details for my project. Therefore, nothing specific could be accomplished. I spent the day working through more IDL tutorials and trying to figure out the code I was given. I wish I had some sort of proof that I am making progress.

Lunch with the other interns was the highlight of my day. Its nice to be getting to know everyone, especially because I can't keep track of all the college students in my lab-- there are many who come and go.

Until tomorrow.

## Monday, July 11, 2011

### Day Four

Today after the intern meeting I started out by reading the paper that I will do work for this summer. Thanks to wiki research and other sites I can understand the general gist of the paper. I also read the second chapter of Dr. Jake's thesis because Chris told me it pertained to the paper. I also read the third chapter and looked up more information on astrophysics. Chris also sent me the code that will help me with my project once I have some actual data. Seeing it kind of worried me because although I can understand pieces of the code, as a whole its rather overwhelming. So I need to work on my IDL skills and remember to ask Chris for clarification on things once I have data.

I've decided that I need a coffee break more at two than at eleven-- this afternoon was very sleepy. Of course, it wouldn't be team building then at two so I would probably have to swipe out...

As a side note, my blog stats tell me that someone is reading this from Germany, which makes me very curious. I wondered if it could be Dr. Jake, since it appeared that he fell of the face of the planet today, but he showed up for the five o'clock meeting so that hypothesis is shot.

## Friday, July 8, 2011

### Day Three

This morning I continued learning to use IDL until eleven, when team building began. Team building consisted of coffee and doughnuts and watching the NASA launch of Atlantis, which was interesting. Soon after all the interns met up for lunch so we wouldn't look as sad as yesterday when we were all scattered in corners to eat. At about one I went to a meeting with other people working in astrophysics research (Lesson of the Day: leave phone on vibrate! Because my phone was on silent I missed Dr. Jake's text about the meeting and I arrived ten minutes late. Oops...) During the meeting I received my project for the summer. I will be working with data in IDL to create slices-- some kind of visual representation or manipulation of the data I think(?)-- for a paper that Dr. Jake has been working on with others. The paper is focused on the scale of deceleration of jets in FR I galaxies and looks at x ray and polarimetric data. Some of the code that I will need is conveniently already written, although it will need adaptation. To get some more specific background knowledge I spent the afternoon after the meeting rereading the first chapter of Dr. Jake's doctoral thesis, and will read the second chapter as well as the actual paper that my project concerns on Monday.

## Thursday, July 7, 2011

### Day Two

This morning Dr. Jake went over the categories to choose from for intern projects, which included science education technology development (like the scube, 3D image projection, and interactive learning), educational program evaluation, and astrophysics research. I decided to work on astrophysics research and focus on radio galaxies with active galactic nuclei (AGN). To prepare for this work I spent the day working on IDL tutorials so I will be able to process data and researching AGN for background knowledge. It was challenging because I haven't really programmed before and my astronomy background is very limited, but I made progress and everything was interesting. Tomorrow I will receive more information concerning the specifics of what I will do for my project.

Today also included my first "coffee break"-- I opted for a smoothie. Apparently everyone in the Insight lab goes to Java's at eleven every morning, which makes me happy because I am beginning to realise that eight hours is rather long.

## Wednesday, July 6, 2011

### Day One

Today was really fun. The scavenger hunt involved a lot of walking around this morning; I saw more of RIT than I knew existed and found some bizarre things with my group. After lunch I had to go to payroll and get paperwork sorted out, and then I reported to the Insight Lab. Dr Jake had one of the several people in there give us (the five high school interns working in Insight this summer) another tour of the CIS building to point out the other rooms used by the Insight lab. Then we set up necessary computer accounts and read the first chapter of Dr Jake's doctoral thesis, which, to be honest, was approximately 50% English and 50% astronomy jargon to my eyes. I still don't know the specifics of what I'll be doing in the lab this summer, but we're supposed to receive more information tomorrow. So until then...