Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday July 29

Today was a pretty busy day. In the morning, I helped Duygu with her experiment until we were called down into the lab to check on the progress with the whole PVA situation. The homemade PVA still works as a polarizer but the giant sheet does not. Then, I went with Peter and Chris to learn the software to make the mask (design) to etch out in order to make the vortex lens. We finished most of it but got stuck at end because we needed a certain angle and it would only let us do 45 or 90 degree angles. At lunch, we had a "meeting" where we had pizza and cake for Duygus birthday where the pizza ran out quick. After lunch, I got swipe card access to the computer lab because I didn't really have a computer to use before. Later on, Chris and I were still trying to find out how to finish the vortex lens mask on the computer, when he got frustrated and fell asleep. I looked around on the program for a bit and found out how to make angles that we want. The rest of the time we tried to finish it but other problems delayed us and I think he finished it up after I left. Hopefully we can make more progress tomorrow and maye even test out the process on the MicdroE tools before us interns leave for a field trip on Friday because Peter will not be there all next week.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday July 28

Today, in the morning we had class in the computer lab where I got a little caught up on what I missed while I was gone last Thursday. In the afternoon, Chris and I went into the MicroE building again to look for quartz wafers for the vortex lens experiment. There was not any that we could use, but we are buying them and are probably going to start on regular glass or silicon. Also, we tried printing on PVA with the printer, which did not work as well as planned, and the PVA that was sent to us has not been working as a polarizer at all with the ink. Tomorrow I am attending a talk sometime around lunch, and the rest of the day will be spent trying to make progress on the things that went wrong today.

Monday July 27

Today, I came back to the lab and found out that we had some PVA sent to us already stretched and treated. It was in a large roll attached to plastic backing for strength. Unfortunately, it has not worked well as a polarizer so we have to continue to find a better solution. For the other project of the vortex lens, we went over to the microE building and learned how to use another tool, which almost wraps up the training. Other than that, it was a pretty slow day. Tomorrow I have the Imaging Science class so I will only be in in the afternoon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Last day before vacation

Today was my last day this week. I had the Imaging science class in the morning as usual, and did some more testing in the afternoon with the PVA. Stretch, Treat, Record, and Repeat. The film is polarized so it is actually working to that effect but we are still having trouble finding a way to get it to stay flat and neat. Also, before I left today, I took the first test of the Imaging science class. I did not think it was that bad at all, but I should probably wait to say that until after I find out my grade. I kind of wish I could stay the rest of the week but I really want to go on vacation so my next day is monday.

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20

Today I continued testing ways to stretch the Polyvinyl alcohol films and started to experiment with staining them. Using Iodine and Potassium Iodide together worked very well but when alone, neither of them did anything... interesting. I expect that will be doing more of this tomorrow even though I have the Imaging science class in the morning and a test in the afternoon. I have to take the test early because I will not be there Thursday. By the way tomorrow is my last day this week before I go on vacation in the Adirondacks.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Today when I came in, I realized that the film did not stretch any over night, so we continued our search for the best way to stretch it. I had a little success with using two cylinders to roll the film in order to stretch it but we are still looking to find a better way. I also had more training in the microE building on two more machines and hopefully I can get safety trained Monday or Tuesday so I can get certified on the machines I have learned so far. I am going to have to get a lot done next Monday and Tuesday because I am gone the rest of the week on vacation.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

day 9

Today was a pretty short day because I had the Imaging science class in the morning. For the most part we talked more about optics and lenses. We also did our first lab of the class which is due next Thursday and we have no homework for Tuesday. I'm not sure how it worked out but it is never a bad thing. Then, after lunch I found myself locked out of the lab because none of the college students that are normally in were there today. I decided to go see what Katie was up to since I knew that she was working on some project on the third floor all morning. It was a pretty elaborate set up to find the wavelength of light or something like that, and we had to put tennis balls under the table top again to prevent interference. Luckily, this is when I found Dr. Swartzlander who was able to let us into the lab downstairs. We cut the polyvinyl alcohol films that we made yesterday, and came up with a new way to stretch them. I will see if this method worked tomorrow because I left a strip hanging when I left and made a measurement. Tomorrow we will have to start trying different solutions to stain the films with to see what ones work best. I also have a tour of the nano-imaging lab at 9 and more training at MicroE at 10 ish. It should be a pretty busy day.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

day 8

Today we decided that we needed more Poly vinyl alcohol because we are continuing testing how to stretch and stain the finished films. There was still a lot left over from last time so we just poured it into the petri dishes to make 10 more of the medium thickness films. This is so the films do not break wen stretched, but also that they actually can stretch. There was also a lot of reading of patents and deciding which chemicals to treat the PVA with and in which order. On a side project, we all went to put tennis ball halves under a table to help out Dr. Swartzlander as he is still preparing his labs. Also, at 1:00 everyone went to go see a presentation on survival rates of E.coli in different foods. It was actually pretty interesting and it showed us pretty much the style in which we will have to be presenting. Plus we got free pizza to make things even better.

Day 7

Sorry I missed yesterdays post, but here it is. In the morning, I had the Imaging Science class again and turned in a 1 page paper, a lab, and a homework assignment. The best part of this class is that instead of a whole courseload, I can just focus on one class. During the class, we learned how to use the scanner (Guppy), although someone broke it when they actually tried to use it. After lunch, I had a meeting to get training for a machine in MicroE with Peter and Chris. They were able to be certified right there, but I couldn't because the guy who is going to train me to even be in the clean rooms was not back from his trip yet. Although I couldn't be certified on the machine, I still could watch with a visitors pass. As Peter put it, it is not hard, just dangerous. We then went back to the optics lab where Dr. Swartzlander was and tried different techniques for stretching the films that we made. Tomorrow I will be using an oscilloscope to try to figure out what different setting do, and do some sort of experiment.

Monday, July 13, 2009

day 6

Today we checked on our PVA and it was completely dry so we removed it from the dishes in squares with a razor blade. Now we have to think of a way to stretch the films using either moisture or heat, and soak them in iodine and boric acid. The films came out with surprisingly good quality. We will be testing different thicknesses and dyes so we will need a lot more. Later in the afternoon, we went over to the printer that has been giving everyone problems to try to work it. Apparently there is only one person who knows ho to use it and she is away. After about an hour of being unsuccessful, we finally got the test image to show up with decent quality and called it a day. Tomorrow morning I have the Imaging science class and I have an appointment at 1 to get trained on one of the machines I will need to use in the MicroE building.

Friday, July 10, 2009

day 5 (FRIDAY)

Today was pretty much the first day I had a chance to actually work on a specific project all day, instead of attending the Imaging Science class, the IDL class, or preparing for safety training in the MicroE building. We got free doughnuts at the staff meeting, and then my actual work started. After brainstorming with Peter and Chris (RIT students doing summer research) for some of the morning on the optical vortices lenses, I decided to work on a project with Duygu while I wait to get trained and certified. Our job is to make polyvinyl alcohol in order to test the effects of different dyes and inks. Today, we made the first batch in Tom Smith's (very nice guy) chemistry lab next door. We are also testing different thicknesses of the PVA so we are going to need quite a bit of it. Luckily it is not that hard to make and we have a lot of extra materials. The PVA was a 5% solution, and currently it is evaporating the 95% water that we do not want. The hardest part was calculating the volume of PVA we needed to get a certain thickness. It does not seem hard but the units kept getting messed up and luckily we had an ex- math major in the lab to help out. Other than that, everything went smoothly and we should be able to do the final steps Monday if it behaves favorably over the weekend. In addition, Dr, Swartzlander took our optics department out to lunch today at the Pita Pit which was surprisingly good.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 4

Today, as I was expecting, I was not able to get in the lab much because I had both morning and afternoon classes (luckily this was the last day of that). In the morning, I had the Imaging Science course and we learned about some awesome things like contact lenses, glasses, and laser eye surgery. For some reason I like learning about optics and visual perception more than really anything else I have ever learned about in a class. We kind of have a lot of homework to do but it is my only class and I have the weekend so it is at least manageable (unlike "AP season" in May). Other than learning about the eye and all of its parts, we learned more about light, how it behaves, its properties, and of course the different units associated with it. I brought my lunch but I still went to Crossroads with some other interns for lunch. We then went to the last day of the IDL class where we actually did some things with images that I could understand using for imaging science. We messed around with colors of images and made both 2D and 3D graphs. Tomorrow is Friday, and I will be able to work all day with no classes at all to attend. When I did stop in the lab today, I found out that the guy who has to train me for the safety things left today for Scotland until next Wednesday. So I will have to wait until then to work on the project with the RIT students about making optical vortices or something with polarization. However, in the mean time, they did say that they will be needing some help with measurements of the viscosity of different inks, so I am guessing that is what I will be doing tomorrow. This was a long post for a kind of non-eventful day, but it just sort of happened to be this long so I'm going with it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

day 3

After the staff meeting today, "A Team" collected our T shirts for winning the competition from the first day and then I had to continue to study the safety manual. Luckily, I found practice questions on the website and these were able to help guide me. I need to pass some sort of multiple choice test in order to be allowed to do anything in the clean room labs. I won't be able to meet with the person to train me tomorrow but hopefully by Friday. The IDL programming is still pretty rough but it is definately better than yesterday. I am actually starting to know how to do some things on it, and I hope I will get past the learning curve by tomorrow, our last class of it. As far as Optics go, I will not be able to do much tomorrow again because of the morning Imaging class and the afternoon IDL class, but I should be in the swing of things all day Friday and next week. On a side note, I am also starting to figure out where places are on campus and how to get there which is always a plus.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 2

This morning we started our daily staff meeting at 8:45. At 9:00 I had my Imaging Science class which was not too bad but I am glad I took physics last year so I knew what they were talking about. The amount of homework so far is not bad at all either. After the class, I went to check if anyone was in the optics lab but then I realized that they were all out to lunch so I went with Teddy. I had a buffalo chicken sub which was pretty good, and then we went to our labs. There was still not much to do yet so I waited there for about 15 minutes with Peter and Duygu for the afternoon IDL programming session. I am pretty sure that no one knew what was going on. I will have to try to focus harder tomorrow to understand more. Afterwards, I checked back in at the lab to update contact information for Dr. Swartzlander and found out that I have to read a 53 page safety manual in order to be trained for work in a certain lab. That should keep me busy enough, especially because I also have to take a test to make sure I know all the safety I will need. Tomorrow I will be working in the morning and taking the IDL class again in the afternoon.

Monday, July 6, 2009

First Day of Internship

Today was the first day of the RIT imaging science internship. To start off the internship, we broke off into two teams and did a team building exercise. Each team had about 40 pictures from around the RIT campus to find by 11:30 and take a video of as proof. To make things more interesting, the winning team won special imaging science T-shirts. We were supposed to get us more familiar with the campus, the people on campus, and each other. Everyone here is pretty awesome and I look forward to getting to know them better over the summer. We met back at the carlson center to watch the videos over free pizza for lunch.

After lunch, we finished up any last minute registration problems and met with our specific departments. I am in the optics department and I'm pretty sure I will be helping out two RIT students with a project that I will be learning more about this week.

Overall, it was a good first day and I look forward to the rest of the summer. Also, tomorrow I have an imaging science class in the morning and an IDL programming course in the afternoon so I will most likely not be doing much in the optics department.