Friday, August 20, 2010


Today was the final day of work!!! My presentation was much better than during the practice. I thought I did very well, but my brother said it was confusing. Then I stayed to watch the other presentations, they were all very good. Then all the astro interns were invited to a free lunch at Tully's. Great Day. I will miss the other interns.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

practice presentations

Today, I fixed some parts of my presentation and did some more work just for getting it done. Then we did practice presentatoins, and I was second. I did well until the 10 minute-mark and then I got really nervous. Overall, it was about 15 minutes. It was pretty bad. But then I fixed it with Dr. Robinson and shortened it. I will practice at home, and make some notes so I will be prepared for Tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Presentation deadline

today, I realized a mistake in the spreadsheet that I used. The broadline luminosity that I used for most of the scatter plots was copied from another spreadsheet, but I didn't notice that some of the objects were different, so they weren't the right values. So, I calculated the actual broadline luminosity and made new scatter plots. This turned out to give much better results with nice trends. Then I met with Dr. R to look over the plots and the ones I will use for the presentation. I made the final revisions on my powerpoint and handed it to Joe at 3:30. I had to look up what a MBH and ISIS stood for in case someone asked me that during the presentation.

PS: MBH is massive black hole, and ISIS is Intermediate dispersion Spectrograph and Imaging System.

Thursday and Friday will seem like light days (hopefully).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I hate IDL

today I worked on my presentation more. I got really stuck when I tried to plot a graph, and the fit to the graph on the same set of axis. for some reason IDL sucks and only plotted the spectrum graph. This got me frustrated for about 2 hours until Dr. Robinson sent me the graphs from IGOR PRO. By the end of the day I finished my powerpoint presentation with 18 slides. Then I went to meet with Dr. R to look over my slides. In the end, I was able to make some new scatter plots, but none which seem to have a good trend. Maybe tomorrow, I will be able to find some trends so that I can include that in my presentation.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Today I worked on my presentation and how I should present my data in the slides. I met with Dr. Robinson, who told me to organize the slides so that people would be able to understand. I sent him my presentation so far (9 slides) and he showed me how to organize them. We then had another meeting about what to calculate and make scatter plots of. Basically, we are looking for any possible trends. I will try to finish my presentation tomorrow, and send it to Dr. Robinson for some feedback. Then, if I have time I will work on the scatterplots he wanted me to make. I also tried to make an Fe X line after an oxygen subtraction for my presentation, but it was a pain on IDL, so I did it on excel.
Tomorrow seems like a busy day.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Undergrad research symposium

Today was the undergrad research symposium. Before I went to any of the presentations, I worked some more on my intern presentation. I made some changes to my presentation, and added a picture of a galaxy and an energy state diagram. I will need to e-mail Dr. Robinson about diagrams of some absroption lines, and for data.

The presentations I went to were Chris Mullarkey's, Becky Moore's, and Adam Podell. Chris Mullarkey was my undergrad who I was working with, and I understood all the different things he was talking about. Also, there was my name on the presentation, which I thought was cool.
Becky's presentation was about the coronnal mass ejections from the sun to the earth. This was cool to learn about. It was interesting to see.
Then, I finally saw this presentation on the effects of varying growth conditions on indium-arsenide quantum dots. This presentation was much more professional and advanced than I expected. This presentation was of interest to me, and he talked about growing InAs on a GaAs substrate, and because of different lattice constants, there was tension build-up, so the InAs formed dots on the GaAs, which allowed less tension in the crystal. The presentation was advanced, but really interesting.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


well, in two days is the Undergrad symposium, which I think I am not going to present at, and next Friday is the intern presentations. Today, I was stuck trying to put data from excel onto a scatter plot that could be interpreted. So, I first had to make sure equivalent width values for the iron VII and iron X were not negative, which I finally got to work after using the H-alpha continuum height instead of the iron continuum height. Once, I got them all to be positive, I was only able to make one graph of iron VII EW v. BL luminosity. After we got back from our trip to the Eastman House, which was pretty cool to look at and tour, I finished making graphs of the
Fe VII/X EW v. BL luminosity, and Fe VII/X luminosity v. BL luminosity. The graphs do look somewhat good, although I'm not sure if we will be able to see any significant trends.

Monday, August 9, 2010

start presentation

I am excited for the undergraduate research symposium on Friday, then next week will be the intern presentations. I finished and organized the spreadsheets for all the coefficients and calculated values into spreadsheets with different fits. One spreadsheet with H-alpha, sulfur, oxygen, iron. Then I sent it to Chris M so he could try to find some sort of trends. While he was doing that, I worked a little more on my presentation, and made the first four slides for the intern presentation. This is still the rough draft, but I'm just trying to form an outline.

Friday, August 6, 2010


today I didn't feel so well, but I continued to work. I talked with Chris M. and Dr. Robinson about what to include for the presentation and they explained the science and math of all the research we're doing. I now have a better understanding of all the stuff that's going on. I worked on outlining my presentation and what I want to include in the background, and some of the information in the middle. Then I got to calculating things like the expected location of the Halpha, sulfur, and oxygen lines with their redshifts. From that I used the doppler equation to find the velocity associated with the difference between the measured location and the expected location. Hopefully, next week we can try and make some sense of the huge amount of data that we have.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Today's my birthday! yay. we had doughnuts during our meeting this morning. I copied numbers into excel today which was a pain because there were about 30 new objects and each with about 30 values to plug in. It took a long time to finish the whole spreadsheet, but I finally finished it. I also subtracted the oxygen and sulfur to get more iron lines from more objects using IDL. with the program, it turned out to be much faster to subtract the arrays.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

lots of work

today I had lots of work to do. First, I finished the excel spreadsheet for all the objects and their own data. I then set out to calculate different things such as the velocity dispersion of each object, which required finding many other values such as the full width at half max, and the central wavelength of Halpha. I also calculated the continuum height of Halpha, which ended up being somewhat complicated because I had to use each coefficient for the Halpha fit into the equation for the continuum height. Then I had to find the area of the narrow line Halpha component, which was the integral of the narrow lines. Then came the broad line luminosity which required annoying conversions, but I finally got them done for each object. Efficient day overall. I have yet to make my presentation on Aug. 20.

Monday, August 2, 2010


today I was stuck plugging numbers into excel spreadsheet. It was extremely tedious and borring. Today was a pretty bad and borring day. But I did ask Dr. Robinson what would be the point of verifying the trend that as the narrow line goes down, the broad line goes up. He gave a full explanation of the spiraling material in the accretion disk and how it relates to the broad and narrow lines of the spectrum. I also took a look at the abstract for the research symposium that was due today.

Friday, July 30, 2010

not much to do

today I had to wait until Chris got me the data for the oxygen raw, fit , and continuum lines. So then I subtracted continuum and fit from raw data and sent that back to Chris. Then I waited for the rest of the data to finish it all up, but he decided he was going to do it over the weekend. Also, the date for the abstract was moved to monday so Dr. Robinson, Chris, and I will look over it then.


I forgot to do the blog for yesterday, so here it is. I had more data to put through IDL and subtract the continuum and fit data from the raw data to get oxygen lines. I also copied more data onto excel for Hydrogen (Halpha), sulfur, and oxygen lines that gave better fits for the raw data. Some line fits had many different coefficients and values so it took quite a long time for me to put all the data onto excel. But I managed to finish at 3:30, so I decided to help the other research group with their collect.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

efficient day

today I finished copying the data from the plain text files onto excel and then finished taking more objects' oxygen data, subtracting iron and sulfur data from the raw to get what is supposed to be the iron data. I could have done more, but Chris M.'s program was having some trouble loading the data into columns. I also asked Chris what the overall goal of the project was, and now I understand exactly what it is I am doing, and how all the data and numbers relate to active galactic nuclei (AGN) and the supermassive black hole in the center. Now, I feel more informed and understanding of what I am doing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


i got lots more work today because chris made better fits for the gaussions and so I have to copy them onto excel, it is much longer and I will have to finish them tomorrow.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Help with IDL

today Chris F. helped me with the IDL program to set up my data. He wrote in a program that will not only be able to paste data from IDL onto a plain text file, but also write the data into 2 columns like it should be. This was extremely helpful, and I was able to finish all my work in just a few minutes, instead of hours. After I finished my work, I was not given anything else to do because the undergraduate student I am working with was not in. Now I know how to use IDL so if there is more data, I will be able to quickly finish it without problems.

Friday, July 23, 2010

IDL problems

today I had to transfer more data from a plain text file into IDL, manipulate the data, and put it back out into a plain text file into two columns. The problem was trying to take the data from IDL to a plain text file. Everytime I tried to put it back into plain text, it turned up blank. The undergraduate student I work with proposed that I put the data into excel and then recopy it into a plain text file as 2 columns. I hope this will work on monday.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

IDL again

today I had to take an array(matrix) of data from Chris and put it through IDL program and subtract certain parts. It actually turned out much more confusing than I thought it would be and I asked someone else for help. After he showed me how to do it, i had to rearrange all the data because it did not show up as two columns. At the end of the day I was given more data, but when I tried to put it through IDL, it stopped so that was frustrating. Tomorrow I will try and figure out what to do with IDL and how to fix it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

field trip and rain

I tried to get as much as i could before the field trip with typing in the oxygen lines, but I finished after our field trip to the U of R. During the field trip we went to visit the biomedical engineering part. We first had a presentation about RIT and biomedical engineering, and then we went into 3 different groups and see what each group does. It was interesting to see all the different experiments and attempts the groups were making to advance and push the field of biomedical engineering further. We saw one group trying to make cells connect blood vessels so that in the end it could produce an artificial liver. That was really cool. Con: it started to rain really badly and we had to cancel the weekly volleyball game.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


today I used data from yesterday for some calculations today. I found the half width full max values of gaussions on excel. I used the width values, divided them by square root of 2. Then I multiplied it by by 2(sqrt(2ln2)). Then I also used that value of the full width half max to find the velocity dispersion.

I also found out that I will be presenting me and my undergraduate student's research for the undergraduate research symposium on August 13. this is going to be interesting.

The scrambled word on the board today was, I thought, intrapreneurship. they put this word up on the board to encourage us to push ourselves and continue studying and learning.

Monday, July 19, 2010

more plugging in data

today I copied more data onto excel. This became boring, but the concept of all the data was interesting. Then, Chris taught me different equations and plugging them into excel. That was interesting. Then we had to check over some numbers because some turned out negative(when they shouldn't have). Looking over numbers became a little tedious, but I finally finished it.

getting data

This post is actually for Friday. On Friday, Chris gave me data of different gaussions and I had to plug that information in excel. There were 58 gaussions and about 11 pieces of data for each. So, that took a long time to make. The worst part was when the computers started freezing and I couldn't send Chris the excel plot. It got really frustrating so we finally used my USB to transfer the data.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Finally meet with grad student

Today I finally met with a grad student that works with Dr. Robinson. Chris (the grad student) told me all about what he does with trying to look at the different wavelengths and energy in the center of galaxies. Tomorrow I will get my data and start plugging it in equations to help with his project. So, today I found out what I will be doing for the next couple of days (or weeks). I am finally starting my project. Yay.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

field trip

we went to visit JML Optical today and saw how they made lenses. We saw all the processes that go into making a lens and the difficulties that need to be overcomed while making a lens. It was very interesting to see all the machines and their different jobs. Then all the kids from the internship played volleyball at the end of the day.
My advisor guy that has to give me my project still hasn't come back and so I had to work more with IDL.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Project guy not here yet

my advisor for the project is still not here yet, so I can't start working yet. I played around more with IDL and tried to plot different equations. Currently, I am just waiting until I can get my work so I can start. We also went to visit other interns in other groups. We visited the other astro interns in the scube. We saw what they were working on and it sounded more interactive because they create 3-D replicas of Mars.

Basically, I am still waiting until I get some work to do.

Friday, July 9, 2010

project ideas

today we tried to work more on IDL and we suffered through lots of annoyances with the computers. But, later we had a meeting where the three of us doing astronomical research met with our advisors to decide on projects for the internship. The advisors explained to us about four different types of projects that they had in mind. Some of the projects were explained way beyond our understanding, but we understood the basics of each. I will have time to think about which project I want to do over the weekend. Next week we will probably use IDL to help us out on our projects.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


today we were introduced to IDL, a computer program that is widely used in the intern program. We read the users guide and tried to understand how to use it. Sometimes it was really frustrating, and others it was quite easy. I'm just wondering how we will get to use it for our projects. There is still some things I have to look at in IDL and try and understand, but it will take some time until I get used to using IDL.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

2nd day, actual work begins

Today we were orientated in our morning staff meeting. We had to get our passwords for the computer and get access to different rooms that we will need for our internship throughout the summer. After the meeting, we went off into our groups, but for the astronomy group, Jake wasn't there. So, Chris (one of the students there) walked us around to all the rooms where people work for the astronomy lab. I also met some of the other guys who were working in the lab, and they told our group what they did. It was really interesting seeing what kind of projects other students were working on. Then Chris gave our group a mini project to work on. I researched radio galaxies and some of their properties. It was cool.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

1st day

today was the first day of the internship. Joe and Bob talked to us about all the specifics of the program. Then we were separated in groups for a scavenger hunt around RIT campus. It was soooo hot today, everytime I went in the sun it hurt!!! Our group went around most of the campus to try and find the different landmarks on the campus. After we were done, we had to make a video of what we found. The most frustrating part was trying to use the Mac computers. It was impossible to save the video to the desktop on the Mac. In the end, 2 of the 3 groups could not put the video on a DVD, so we took clips of the video and made them into one video. We watched the videos, and it was funny. We got free shirts , but we ended early because the guy for astro imaging was not there.

So, basically we did nothing, and it was extremely hot.