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.