Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 30th: Day 18 Week 4: We are testing

It was great. Today we got most of the interns through our test and are going to start looking at the data tomorrow and testing any more that come through. However, that is the part that I am dreading because Jacqueline and I both need the computer for both of our projects so we are going to have to split the time. So far results look promising, although I learned it is nearly impossible to calibrate contact lenses and much more difficult with glasses. I guess for half the day I get it while Jacqueline works on her project and visa versa the other half the day. Anyway, its very exciting and awesome that we are making progress on these projects.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Outline for Project

Outline for Project:

  • Title Page
    • Using Eye Tracking To Find Differences When People Read Off of a Screen Versus a Book
    • by Lizzy Thrasher
  • Background
    • People are reading more and more off screens
    • Many studies have been done to measure comprehension and retention
    • Little is known about how the reading is actually performed
  • The Project
    • Thank You to advisors
    • Inspiration for project
    • I wanted to see if there was an actual difference in how you read that would explain other findings
  • Eye Tracking Basics
    • Eye Tracking is relatively new
    • Saccades and Fixations
    • Different types of eye trackers and pros and cons
  • The Remote Eye Tracker
    • SMI
    • How the remote eye tracker works
    • Why was it chosen to be used
  • How The Experiment was Performed
    • Explained method and procedure
  • Data Collected
  • Graph of Data (Probably)
  • Results

July 29th: Day 17 Week 4: Experimenting Again

It was actually an interesting day because Jacqueline and I began setting up the experiment so that it would work for us. Jacqueline would run the experiment and I would sit in the chair and be the participant. It was not as much fun as it sounds. Unfortunately with the book that would sit in front of the screen, there was no picture behind on the screen that the eye tracker could tell what the person was looking at. Jacqueline took a picture of the book sitting on the screen and put the image on the screen behind the book so that the eye tracker would be tricked into thinking that the person was looking at the image. However, this proved to be a problem as well as we tried to set the image so that what I was actually looking at, was correlated correctly to what the eye tracker was looking at on the screen. This was very difficult and we spent a lot of time trying to fix this, however when Jeff came in awhile later, he told us it was probably the eye tracker's error in finding what the eye was looking at. So... Jacqueline and I began tests with the picture that showed the best results and we got the DIY Camera people to come down and do the tests for us. David and Maddie worked, but Rachel would not show up, I expect she had contacts in. Other than that the day was pretty much normal.

Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28th: Day 16 Week 4: Setting up the SMI

Today was mostly spent working on building the images that we are going to show people for the SMI reading project. I had first created a powerpoint that I thought I would scale to the right size and then use but Jeff said that when it was on the SMI it would become blurry and unreadable (which it did). He suggested I use powerpoint so that I can scale the image to the correct pixel dimensions. Once I did that, I brought over the images to the SMI so that I could test them out. They worked well (thankfully) and I didn't have to change anything. Jacqueline already had hers loaded so we should be ready to go tomorrow for testing. Although I'm not completely sure how the eye tracker will work with the book over the top of the screen...

July 25th: Day 15 Week 3: Volley

I kept working on my personal project and the outline that is supposed to get done. I don't think it will be that difficult until I have to analyze the data. Then it will be interesting, trying to figure out if there is a difference or not in the image in how they read. We are also planing a Darien Lake trip/ Concert with all of the interns that I am trying to schedule and plan for so that we can get tickets. The best part about today, like every Friday is the volleyball at the barbecue. It is so fun and funny with all the interns and so that can play and some that can't. We could play for hours!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 24th: Day 14 Week 3: SMI

We got a few more test subjects today but the real advancement in our project was learning how to use the SMI computer in the other room with the remote eye tracker. Susan helped us set it up but I clicked on everything so that I would know how to do it for our later project. The software is really annoying where it puts files and stuff though. We had Susan do our presentation on the pictures of the object while she was with the eye tracker so that we could get some practice. It worked well except for the file thing. Then we went to lunch with the other interns and when we came back, we talked to Emma a lot about her project and how we were going to coordinate test subjects. Jacqueline also played around more with the SMI more and finally got the eye tracking information to work and we could see all the saccades and fixations. We are making good progress with the project now.

July 23rd: Day13 Week 3: Yay Test Subjects

After speaking to everyone in the morning meeting about test subjects, we actually got people to come down. First, all three of the DIY Camera people came down and took them all at once. Jacqueline and I had to set up two more computers with the powerpoint and move the monitors but all in all it was pretty successful. The DIY Camera people didn't have anything to do today because they were waiting for parts so Jacqueline and I talked to them for awhile after their test. Eventually Wes and Lindsay came down after lunch (with the movie thing) to do it as well and Wes was very happy to know that he was the best test subject so far for this test (he was the closest to the average).

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 21st: Day 11 Week 3: WE NEED MORE SUBJECTS

Today was boring because in order to continue our experiments, we need more test subjects. Jacqueline and I are almost done with the first project and are about to start our own. I didn't do much today because we didn't have any people to test!!!! I did start looking into text files for the other project and began an outline for my presentation but I wasn't sure exactly what to do, so I emailed Bethany and Bob and they said they would talk about it tomorrow in the morning meeting. Lee and Isaac tested their program on my computer and it worked which is really cool.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

July 18th: Day 10 Week 2: Fun

Wow! I can't believe that this internship is 1/3 done (in a good way). Today there wasn't a ton to do. Jeff and Susan came in to talk to us about resizing the images and taking more data with the smaller images. They had us find the average of how far away you look at the object while in your hand vs on a screen and then how far away you should sit. After taking the data from Jacqueline, Kevin, and myself, I used some simple geometry and trigonometry to find out how big the diameter of the object should be on the screen. However, when I tested it out by resizing one of the pictures, I realized I was now uncomfortable being that far away from the screen and wanted to lean in closer. This would be a problem because then our distance to the screen would be different and we would have to change the size. When Jeff came back, he liked our numbers and came up with a solution to the problem... push the screen back on the desk and ask the subject not to lean in closer, with the desk acting as a reminder. After discovering this, we headed to lunch. The barbecue was very fun because of the intense volleyball we play. 4 of us play competitive volleyball during the year (Vicky, Jacqueline, Emma, me) and 1 used to play, but is still a strong player (Wes). This makes the games really interesting and fun because we actually try to get three hits on each side but if we need more we continue to play it out. It's very relaxed, but very fun at the same time. Sometimes Danny also comes to play with us making another player who used to play in high school join. I played for a hour and a half before Bob kicked us off because he needed to pack up the net. After lunch Jacqueline and I came back to the lab to start work again. Jeff came in to show us how to resize all the images from our powerpoint on Photoshop as a time saver. However, it wasn't much of time saver considering it took multiple hours to try to do it and it never actually came out working correctly (I blame it on the Macs :) ) Jacqueline and I gave up and began to resize them manually. Jeff also talked to Isaac and Lee in our lab and because I wasn't doing much as Jacqueline was resizing the pictures, I followed them (with their permission) into the other MVRL lab where they were working on a computer that uses eye tracking as commands to do stuff. It was really cool and I got to learn more about other eye tracking applications.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

July 17th: Day 9 Week 2: Testing

Jacqueline and I started our tests on the subjects for the picture of the objects experiments. We only got three tests done in the morning but we had a shortened time because of the very long morning meeting. We went into the room with the projector and were able to show and help correct everyone's abstracts that they put on their blogs a few days ago. Everyone's went well and they are actually much more lenient than I thought they would be. When I wrote the one for the application here, Mr. Fooks (my teacher that proofread it) made it seem as if there was exactly one way to write it correctly. I had a few corrections that I fixed on my blog a few minutes ago but all in all it went well but took awhile. At 10:30 the REU students had a meeting that Jacqueline and I visited in order to pass out our IRB sheets so that we could test them. After their meeting, a few came down to my room in order to be tested and we managed to get three done. Now I am learning and using Google Docs Spreadsheets to organize the data. It is really cool because with even three people I am able to see several patterns occurring in the data. For lunch, I went to crossroads again with Emma, Alex, Vicky and Jacqueline and we met up with Rory, Adam, and Jimmy. Then we explored an Asian food market at the edge of the global market. Two things were decided at today's lunch, we must bring as many twister boards as we can to one of are barbecues so that we can play giant twister, and all of us must learn how to solve a 3x3 rubric's cube with Jimmy offering lessons. After lunch we came back to the lab and began to test more people. Vicky was first and she was a TERRIBLE test subject. She kept complaining and threatening to just write down random answers. Other than that we just kept getting new test subjects that would show up. At one point Susan came in and showed us how to use the remote eye tracker in the other room for our own projects. The rest of the day was pretty boring. Just testing new subjects and putting their information in our charts.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 16th: Day 8 Week 2: Not Much

Jeff came in early this morning to talk to us about our presentation and how things were going. He liked what we did but changed it from a yes/no response to a scale from 1-100 to choose from on each set of objects. He gave me an abstract correction and told me that the comments were not working the way they were supposed to (and I couldn't find a correction so they are still like that). After that we worked a little more on the project and then went to lunch. We were going to meet everyone at crossroads again but when we met Wes, Lindsay and an REU student in their lab, they said there was free pizza at an astronomy talk downstairs in the Carlson building. Not wanting a chance to give up free pizza, we all went to the astronomy talk (Wes, Lindsay, Alex, Jacqueline, Vicky, Emma, and myself). I didn't understand any of it but I ate 7 slices of free pizza so it was very worth it. After lunch I came back and started working on the project again until I had to leave.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Abstract draft 1 for Milestone 1

Using Remote Eye Tracking to Discover Differences When Reading Off Of a Page And a Screen

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the differences between how people read off of a page and a screen. Subjects were calibrated with eye tracking equipment to determine their behavior in several different reading situations. Subjects read two pages of a book on a computer monitor and two different pages from the same book that sat in front of the computer monitor. Font size and style were kept the same.  Eye tracking technology was then used to compare statistical differences between the two actions such as the number of blinks, fixations, and saccades per second and minute as well as the overall time. After comparing the data, it was found that people typically blinked more often while reading the book than on the screen while the differences in fixations and saccades and time were not large enough to reach the level of significance.

July 15th: Day 7 Week 2: Powerpoint on a mac

Ugh!!!!!! I hate Mac's and despise working with them. RIT is the only tech school I know that doesn't use windows!!! The first thing Jacqueline and I did was draw file names out of a manila folder in order to order the pictures within the powerpoint that we would show to our test subjects. Then we added a few slides in the beginning for the purposes of instructions. Susan came in and saw what we were working on and liked it, but reworded a few things. Then she looked at our abstracts and liked those too, but once we talked through parts of it, it was obvious some things had to change because parts wouldn't work out. After rewording the abstract Jeff came in and saw our powerpoint too. He also liked it but wanted the pictures of the object to be in a more uniform way on the screen. We went to lunch, but when we came back we had the daunting task of restructuring all the pictures. Unfortunately, I could do the whole thing in about an hour on my Windows laptop at home, but now with the mac's no right click and annoying toolbars, it has taken a lot of the afternoon and they still don't look perfect. Also, I think Jeff and Susan have different ideas about what they want us to do and to test for. This is frustrating because Susan comes in to tell us to do one thing and then when Jeff comes in later he tells us to do something different. I can't wait for the movie later tonight.

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14th: Day 6 Week 2: Continuing On

There wasn't a ton of new stuff today. This morning we met Thomas (the almost PhD) at 9:30 so he could finish bootcamp for us. He taught us how to use to remote eye trackers and how to use the software that is involved with that. However, we quickly found out that the consistency of everything working properly is little and many of the eye trackers need to be adjusted thoroughly after they were stuffed into the packs and bent out of shape. Eventually we got one pack to work and were able to see how eye tracking works, however Thomas said he wasn't completely comfortable with using the software that analyzes it so he would have someone else discuss that. The rest of the morning I have been completing what I had started on Friday. This was done until lunch and I completed it after lunch. For lunch we went to crossroads again and ate with about half the people, those that we could find. The other half happened to be waiting outside eating and didn't know the rest of us were inside. We all found each other when the outside people came inside to through their food away and saw us sitting there. It's ok though, it all worked out in the end. After lunch Susan came in to talk with us about the experiment specifically. She talked to us about which shifts we should actually use in our testing and how to present them. Jacqueline and I then had a very productive day completing the tasks and getting ready for experimenting. We got our files ready and are becoming prepared to use them for tomorrows ordering. Everything is getting done according to plan and I am so excited to begin the next phase.

Friday, July 11, 2014

July 11th: Day 5 Week 1: Figuring it out

Coming in today not quite sure what to do with my new knowledge of bootcamp yesterday. I didn't do too much until Jeff Pelz came into the room and began speaking to us (Jacqueline and I) about the photoshop work we had been doing in the past couple of days. Jacqueline showed him hers and he made a few suggestions, but he also explained what exactly we were doing and what we were trying to do in the end... SO HELPFUL. So Jacqueline and I finally figured out what we were doing for the time and what they expected/wanted us to do. For the past few days we had just been messing around hoping we were doing what they wanted. However, before we could really do much about it we had to go pick up the brownies I had made and bring them to barbecue. That was lots of fun, even the volleyball which I'm usually not much of a fan of because I play it competitively and no one really knows how to play. The food was great and I got to see the best person in the whole world, Sara Leary!!!!! I dragged her onto the volleyball court and made her play for a little while but then we went up to my lab and played with Jeff's giant Jenga set. We lasted a really long time, but it eventually tipped after Jacqueline couldn't pull a piece out without it tipping over. Then we both talked for awhile with Sara about volleyball and plans for next year but eventually she had to go and we had to get back to the work we now know what we would be doing with. It was actually entertaining today and I wasn't looking at the clock constantly to see when I could leave. Eventually I got a great looking photoshop of the object and separated the layers so it works with our project. I'm so excited to come back monday and continue working!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

July 10th: Day 4 Week 1: Lectures

After this morning's morning meeting I went to my lab for a little while, mostly must to drop my stuff off because at 9:30 I had to go to the room with the projector to see boot camp. 6 of the interns (including me) were all there to see and participate as Jeff, Gabe, and Susan all talked to us about the basics of MVRL and the Perform Lab. Jeff talked first, mostly about the anatomy of the eye and the functions about what it does. We didn't get through half the stuff because we asked so many questions but Jeff said that was a good thing. After that we got lunch where a Dibella's sub platter was brought in (finally the free food is not pizza (not that I'm complaining)). Then Gabe talked about Virtual Reality and the stuff related to the Perform Lab. I was falling asleep through the middle of it because I was so tired (it was actually very interesting but I just couldn't keep my eyes open). Then we went to his lab where many of the interns got to try on the virtual reality helmets but I had already done it in the interview so I didn't do it again. Then we went back to the room and Susan talked to us a little about color, but the majority of the time was spent looking at a low pressure sodium light that made everything look black and white. Eventually Jeff continued his talk on eye anatomy until 4:00 when a guest presenter came in and talked about a lake in Rawanda that had methane in it (I was falling asleep through that one too). All the talks were interesting and I believe there may be a boot camp part II because we didn't get through all the information. That would be fine by me because I thought it was very interesting today.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July 9th: Day 3 Week 1: Lens's Law

Today I came in and my swipe card STILL didn't work. This is really annoying since my lab has very expensive equipment inside so we have to close and lock the door every time we are the last to leave (this includes bathroom trips). A pretty reasonable expectation except that there is no way to get back in when no one else is here. Some of this morning was spent on updating contacts for all of the interns in my phone and then creating 2 group messages for them (there are too many people to put them all in one). Eventually Jeff Pelz came into our room and asked to see the photoshop work we had done yesterday. I showed my neon car and he began to explain some extra tools that I hadn't used before, like the color replacer. Then he showed us how to use his camera with the macro lens and we were able to use the rig he built for holding the camera and shooting pictures of the objects. He sat with us and helped us photograph the objects just the way he wanted, so it looked like a circle in the middle of a white screen. Now we have the pictures on my computer so that I can see them and pull them up. For lunch we had our first movie where we watched lots of scientists and people speak about science and philosophy. I think Tina Nova is my new role model! When we came back to the lab, our swipe cards began working and I was able to do some work on the photoshop pictures we already had. When Jeff Pelz came back into the room he suggested we take more pictures with backlights and different settings on the camera. We began to take some on Jacqueline's iPad so that we could get different colored backlights as well. Then I began to work on photoshopping those as well.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 8th: Day 2 Week 1: Working

So today I finally began to work on my lab. We are starting to work on Jeff and Susan's project about rotating and shifting pictures until they become unacceptable to the audience. Jacqueline and I got to walk around campus (again) and take pictures on nice digital cameras so now we are playing with them in photoshop to understand how to shift and rotate them as demos for the actual project. I can't say too much about that because I am under a non-disclosure agreement (kind of exciting and nerve-racking at the same time). I'm excitied to feel like I'm doing something. Cross-roads for lunch was great!!!! Even better than Gracies. It was hard trying to find everyone so we'll have to set designated meeting times and places in one of the morning meetings coming up, but that shouldn't be hard. It seems the consensus was about noon. After lunch, I played on photoshop more and created many neat projects that I haven't done. There wasn't a ton to do but I made a neon bike and car as well as a picture with a flower that was rotated from the original. I know we will be using this stuff tomorrow so I am thankfully getting much better at using Macs (although I still like pcs WAY more!!!!!!!!!).

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7th: Day 1 Week 1: New Adventure

So today was my first day of working at my internship. It's weird to think that this is actually occurring. My first summer without camps, friends or pools between 9-5. Tough right? Wrong! I am so excited for this internship I can't even believe it. This is something I love to do, and I get to spend all summer on it. This will be by 7th consecutive summer at the RIT campus so it feels a little like home to me in the summer, so now it just gets to feel like home for 3x as long. From walking in Carlson's front door this morning it felt a little different. I was no longer the little kid on campus walking from their father's car to the building where the camp of the summer was. However, I will definitely never see it the same again, especially after the 36 obscure item scavenger hunt all across campus. I thought I would know where most of the items were, since I had walked around the majority of campus for the past 6 years, but I was wrong! This pictures were not of "landmarks" that the advisors said but really parts of landmarks: a rusty corner of a statue, a plaque sitting on a major building on campus, a "no alcohol" sign by the global village, etc. It was an adventure that left me with my fair share of injuries: 6 blisters on my left foot (only one unpopped), 2 blisters on my right foot (both popped), and a hip pain from walking without a proper heel lift for my leg discrepancy. Ugh! I really should have worn the socks and sneakers I packed in my bag that I left in the reading room (why did I push myself to wear those new flats???). The videos created by each group were excellent and hilarious and ours featured a very random walrus that would pop up from time to time. My group didn't win but we did bond with every intern there over pizza, laughter, and the little bit of Frozen we managed to sneak in. After all this we got to meet lab specifically. In Visual Perception the eye tracking software is really cool and interesting. I have a couple ideas for projects that would be interesting but we'll see in what direction I go. I'm excited to learn more tomorrow.