Wednesday, August 17, 2016


The day has come. Woken up by my alarm (yes, it actually worked) at 7:00, I took a shower, ate breakfast, and left home early. Surprisingly, almost all interns had arrived before me.

At 9:00, Dr. Messinger started the presentations. I was uncharacteristically shaking before my turn to present, only a minute later did I realize that it was not because of stress, but because of excitement. It was finally our turn. I stood up and walked to the podium.

"Hello everyone..."

At the end of the presentations, I showed my best friend Davey our lab, and took a spectrum of Copper Sulfate (I forgot, again, to turn the gain to 10dB). I haven't seen him for two months. Good thing he has decided applying to Yale early - in my opinion, he's a guarantee to almost any school - in other words, if he applies to Princeton, I'm more than in trouble, lol. But still, I think MIT is the best fit for math wizards like him - frankly, I think he is arguably the only person in my grade, of all Monroe County, who is better at math than me. And better than me by a lot.

I then returned the lock to Bob, and said goodbye to him. Thanks for all his help, especially with setting up the grill. There won't be another cookout, though; just as the interns probably won't see each other again. Well, I guess that's the end of the program, I said to myself. Only now did I realized how much I missed the building - the reading room, the food room, the freshman lab, the EPR machine.

I am truly appreciative of each and every people I've met during the six weeks, whether it's the undergraduates, the professors, or the tech guys. Thanks to all my fellow interns. You guys are truly amazing people; thanks for laughing at my not-funny comments. I can see a bright future in all of you.

Thanks, Prof. Hornak; thanks, Bob; and thanks, Cici.

Thanks to all who have been patient enough to read through the ramble, and all who have been kind enough to follow my posts.

Thank you all.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Day Last

Just as much as I despise the ambiguity of infinity, I hate to lose count. However, Day Last is, I think, a name fancy enough for the last post.

I woke up at eight, not quite realizing that there'd be no more full days after today. During the morning meeting, Bob talked about some details for the presentation tomorrow. We then went upstairs to go through our presentations, all of which seemed much better.

We then went downstairs and met with Prof. Hornak. He suggested us to edit a few places. Right after, we went to Cross roads for lunch. The cheeseburger wasn't the best I've ever had, but the fries were fairly good. We also played a few games, such as Two Truths and a Lie (I tried), and Never Have I Ever. Niels tried to win, but we all kind of played the last round half-heartedly.

In the afternoon, I finished my editing, and copied the PPT file to Bob's drive. I have an anticipation that our talk is going to be great!

At the end of the day, I finally realized that there would not be another day like today. Quietly closing the door, I quickly walked out of the reading room, just as I rushed into it, on the first day.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Day 27

I almost lost count of which day it was, but decided that it would be 27 after 26. We walked through our presentations after lunch, and it took nearly three hours. I couldn't pace back and forth, since the light from the projector was too bright, and that made me a bit uncomfortable. Still, we got some very useful comments and sharp questions.

The presentations of other interns were excellent, too. I feel that our presentations will all be successful.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Day 22, 23, 24, 25, & 26

I was quite a while just a tiny bit behind on my blogs, so I decided to sum a few days up in one post.
On Thursday, I worked on our presentation. The morning meeting with Prof. Hornak took more than an hour, but we learned a lot. We would just be adding more details to the skeleton of the presentation.

Friday was the Undergraduate Research Symposium; I got to see so many fun presentations! I was quite amazed by how meticulous the presentations were; I only found one error. The presenter meant the square of delta r, yet typed it as the delta of r squared, but that wasn't serious. The posters of most exchange students, on the other hand, were very unprofessional. Their sampling methods had severe flaws; they did not double check their statistics; they were too nervous when presenting. For example, a group tried to analyze the effect of having a workout partner on workout motivations, but 70% of the data was drawn from students. In another case, they calculated the ratio of 396000 to 59600 (as I recall), and said the ratio was five. A quick calculation gave me that the ratio was around 6.7. I brought that up, and they replied :"well, you know, it's just to show one is more than another." Of course one was more than another; one had 6 digits, the other had 5 – I could count just fine, thank you.

Monday and Tuesday were back to the normal. More working on the presentation and script. We also watched the Dark Knight for half an hour on Tuesday, but didn't get to finish it.

As for today (Wednesday), the lunch talk was long, but interesting. We got to see pictures of different cities around the world, and were exposed to techniques of document restoration. Cici and I were nearly done with the presentation and script, with only two long, informative slides left.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Day 21

After my usual running, I already felt that there was less fat, but more pain (due to lactic acid produced by anaerobic cellular respiration, to be precise). Right after the morning meeting, we went to the library for a tour, during which Dr. Boateng showed us how to search in databases. It would be quite useful for my future research.

The lunch talk was, to me, the best of all the talks. It was about modeling a lake in central Africa. The lake was quite unusual: its temperature increases as the depth increases - that was because the density also increases as one goes down. After that, he showed us satellite images; the technique used was quite interesting.

In the afternoon, I went to the eye tracking experiment. I looked at different pairs of pictures, and chose which one had the higher quality; I nearly fell asleep halfway, but luckily did not - the experiment was so boring, though.

After I came back, we watched (the first half of) The Dark Knight together - I'm already in love with The Joker. After watching Batman vs. Superman, I thought the actor of Lex Luthor would play the Joker well, but after watching the actual Joker, I realized how wrong I was.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Day 20

It was finally the Invite-A-Friend-Day. Yiqun picked Matthew and me up in the morning, but he left home late, so we ended up running into the room at 8:50. I was very surprised by how large the group was. Nineteen people together reviewed all interns' outlines, which were all quite good. After that, we watched a video about the freshman course.

After that, Cici and I showed our guests the MRI lab, and took a spectrum of Cupper Sulfate Pentahydrate. Then, Yiqun helped me with my college applications (such a Penn tryhard). At 10:20, I walked him to his eye tracking experiment, but neither of us, who, on average, rank 6th in the county math-wise, could find the place. We ended up asking people for directions, but "the ends justify the means". Yiqun left to have lunch with other laser lab boiz, so he didn't stay after the test.

All of us headed for lunch at the Global Village, after which we played volleyball, or, instead, neither-side-can-return-ball, since this name is more fit. I even played soccer with (a.k.a. megged) Maria's brother, but as a pre-high school kid, he was pretty good.

After we all came back in, we were split into teams. Each person in a team got to see a randomly generated word, draw it on the board, and have his/her teammates guess the word. I tried to draw sushi, but my sushis ended up looking like short, fat cylinders, well, that's probably what you get for drawing too many cans (of soda?)

Day 19

Over the weekend, I wagered with my mom: if I could wake up at 6:30 everyday, run for an hour, and keep this up for a week, she would give ten dollars to me; if I could not, I lose the same amount to her. This week, I thought, would be hard (since I am writing this on Tuesday, I can confirm my prediction was right).

In the morning, Bob talked about the library tour and the Bring-a-Friend-Day. Actually, it's "Bring-Two-Friends-Day" for me, since Matthew was interested in coming back for a visit. After the staff meeting, Joe sent us the high frequency spectrum of Victoria Green, which we couldn't find over the past two weeks. Cici also started the power point for our presentation - the theme was pretty good; I bet whoever chose it had good artistic taste (lol, no, I chose it).

Later in the afternoon, I finished up with FLP Chpt. 24, which I did not understand as thoroughly - I should've learned Volume One before Volume two - but who cares? I would even watch a movie trilogy backwards (namely the Batman trilogy; apparently, Batman returns first, then becomes the dark knight, and at last begins as Batman).

And that, along with Maxwell's Equations, shows that mathematically, reversal of time does not affect physical equations' solutions; that is, there is a time symmetry embedded in the equations.