Friday, July 30, 2010


Today was like any other Friday here at RIT. We attempted to do some work and even researched some things about color for our presentation in the library. For lunch we heard Roger Easton talk all about palimpsests and how they use light to read secret messages underneath historical documents. That was pretty cool, but the most interesting part of it was hearing him talk all about the things he has studied and learned. He apparently majored in astronomy and optics, and teaches math all while traveling to all these remote places looking for old documents! I could never do all that. Our day ended with a little bit of fun but I'll elaborate more on that later...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Another Collect...

Is it sad that my whole blog today is dedicated to another intern group? Today was the most work I've done all summer, and it was especially hard because it was manual labor!! After attempting to do IDL yet again, Bob poked his head in the computer lab and told us there were some frantic remote sensing people begging for help, and trust me the man does not lie. Upon reaching the third floor we were automatically asked if we were the interns to help and we said yes. As soon as the s phoneme left our lips we were directed to helping across the street (which was really just the parking lot) As soon as we got there we were told to place bricks on tarps (the bricks Helen and I put down were soon moved by the people in charge) and then we were told to "go sit in the shade" while every one else was running around frantically setting up targets. And we did just that. Sat in the shade, threw grass at each other, looked for geese... When it was time to clean up all of the targets was when we really started to work. Folding up tarps and putting bricks in a wagon is much harder than it seems! We were out there for about four hours and I am 99% sure I got a nasty sunburn out of it (which for your information Helen does NOT turn into a tan) which I am sure will be painful and quite sad.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Just an Ordinary Day

There's nothing too special about today. Put some samples through IDL, put them on a spreadsheet, etc., etc. I feel so pathetic that Helen made me get another Facebook even though I swore I would never get one... I only have 45 friends and Facebook already told me I was a stalker...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Blinded By the Light

So today at our daily staff meeting Bob decided to make us go blind in one eye by locking us in a dark room for ten minutes and then walking outside in a lit hallway while covering one eye. In AP psychology class my teacher did a similar experiment in which you would cover one eye, stare at a non-moving object, and then push on your other eye to create a blind effect. He said that while you are doing this your one covered eye is adapting to such low light levels, and due to retinal disparity, the brain suspects that your other eye is situated in a dark room as well. Also, pushing on the side of your eye stimulates rods as opposed to cones who are activated during night. I would expect adaptation to play a role in this experiment as well as we were locked in that room for ten minutes to allow our eyes to adapt to the darkness and kept one eye in the dark at all times. My first theory on this is that our brain was so used to seeing the darkness and contrast with a lighted room that habituation set in and when we took our hands off of our one eye, our brain automatically shifted sight from one eye to the other because it was so used to it. My second theory would be that opponent process theory helps to explain such a quick shift from dark to light in our eyes. If one eye was so used to looking at low levels of light, then it would automatically shift to seeing bright light and vice versa as soon as we stopped staring at darkness. Other than that our day was pretty much standard. Took pictures with the fundus, had some Java's, used IDL, etc.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Remote Sensing For a Day

At the beginning of the day, Helen and I were at Java's minding our own business when our giant undergrad came storming in telling me that he volunteered me to help out with the collect that was put on by the folks at remote sensing. Thanks Joel!! Anyway, t wasn't as confusing as I thought it would be as I only had to take temperature readings up on the roof of the Carlson building every time the airplane flew overhead. It was cool to be up top watching everyone down below just standing next to colored tarps. I even got to see all the equipment they were using to measure data even though one big antenna was not working properly. Speaking of antennas, I actually saw the biggest radio antenna ever measuring in at over four feet!! They also showed me how they used ham radio and gps to track the exact location of the plane. The plane itself did not take off for about twenty minutes once we started work and it was fun to watch the people on the ground in all of their confusion on whether the plane had taken off or not. I still do not fully understand why I had to take the temperature readings of an exhaust pipe on the roof or why there was a swimming pool, but I guess that's why I'm in color science and not remote sensing.

Half Day!

So today I was only here until noon so this will probably be a very short post. Once again, we tried to get the LAB values for our cropped samples from IDL with very limited success. We actually had to go and get a guy to stop the program from shutting off every 7 minutes which was quite annoying to say the least. By the time lunch rolled around I actually finished the Topcon pictures from July 22nd so the day did not all go to waste.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


So it seems like today all we have done is to look at our cropped samples of our fake retinas and put the data through IDL to find the LAB values of each color. It was about three hours of staring at the computer screen running the software, putting them into excel, and then putting them in a different format in excel after. I must say the data looks pretty accurate even though we had some technical difficulties with our fundus cameras. Once all of this IDL work is done we get to go take more pictures and then put them into IDL as well!! Why can't Joel just do all of our busy work?

U of R

So today (well actually yesterday since I forgot to post...) was my second tour of the U of R. I had been there before to actually tour the campus after I received a $30,000+ scholarship from them and it was good to take a closer look at what I could possibly be doing if i decide to go there. It was a day devoted to biology instead of physics for once!!! That made me happy as I actually knew what a meniscus was and got to look at other people's faces look confused instead of my own! Anyway, I liked how we got to see an ultrasound machine in action and learn about how they are trying to grow artificial tissues for patients. I just wish they had thought of this a year ago when I had to have everything in my knee removed... it would be awesome to have artificial menisci!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Is it really necessary to have a word that means "the act of behaving like an entrepreneur?" Apparently there must be some reason and apparently someone actually wants to have that title as a job. I personally like my unscramble better (pirate-ship-runner: the person who runs pirate ships and no its not the same as a captain). It took awhile and the help of the remote sensing interns, but we finally figured it out. After that, it was yet a day of failed experiments as we could not take decent pictures within twenty minutes of each other (it took more like an hour), or keep our eye ball held together. We'll need some extra strength to get this experiment to actually work...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Experiment Day 1

So today was the start of our very own experiment testing the flash of Topcon and Cannon cameras. After what seemed to be a multitude of failures (Macbeth didn't wanna work, we couldn't save our images, the lens were too glittery, the list goes on and on...) Hopefully tomorrow will bring us better luck and we can actually get decent pictures and be able to actually crop them.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Well the first full week of work is over and I've finally got the hang of how things work around here. Today we meet with an exec of Kodak to talk about what our group and the visual perception group is doing here at RIT. Of course he asked us a lot of difficult questions but hopefully I made a good impression. We even showed the other intern group our precious fundus cameras and Christye even showed us one that uses infared lasers to construct a 3D image of an eye. Our experiment to test the flash of the Cannon and Topcon cameras is all ready to start on Monday for we were able to construct all of our targets out of our paint samples and get them in the fake retinas. Helen and I towards the end of the day even asked Joe if we could be able to borrow laptops from MCSL because we keep having to walk all the way from 18 to 76 just to use a computer and we might actually end up getting some!! I'll keep my fingers crossed for that while resting up on the weekend. I just pray to God that we will be able to actually get the cameras to work right on monday.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Lovin'

Today was such a beautiful day and thank god we got to go out and experience it. The day was taken up by a picnic the color science department put on in Genesee Valley Park. The ham sandwiches were pretty amazing, but were totally upstaged by the truffles that Helen made. It was a great opportunity to bond with all of the other people that work in MCSL even though most of them just spoke Chinese. I finally got the chance to meet Audrey's grandpa and I must admit that he was quite adorable. All the summer staple games were there; bachi ball, soccer etc. and was four hours of fun. After coming back indoors (yuck!) it was time for us to actually work on creating samples to stick in our model eye to photograph using the fundus cameras using paint samples and they actually turned out pretty well. We won't actually get to photograph them until monday which means that tomorrow Helen and I will be stuck making a bunch of samples using different colored paint. We also have to have lunch with a bunch of Joel's bosses which sounds pretty intimidating if you ask me...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sampling Optics

So today was the day that I realized that I should probably take physics sometime in the near future... At JML we went on this tour of the facilities to see how they produced specific lenses for different purposes. To be honest. I did not quite hear everything that our tour guide said but I don't know if that was because of the loud machinery or because I just didn't understand a word he said. Concave, convex... all these words that I had no clue what they mean!! However I can't lie, I did learn a lot especially because I am actually applying optics to our final project. Speak of the devil, Joel gave us our final project which involves building a bunch of test targets, using the fundus cameras to photograph them, measuring their spectral reflectance, and plotting the values. So naturally Helen, Audrey, and I ventured off to Home Depot to pick up some paint samples to use as targets. We mostly picked up samples of blue, red, green, and yellow, but I snook some prettier samples. So hopefully tomorrow we can actually start the project, although it is supposed to last six weeks, and make our department proud!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Today, yet again was another slow day. Our major task of the day was to find this book about the principles of color technology and to read all about converting %reflectance to different readings. Yeah it was just as interesting as it sounds. These blog enteries keep getting shorter and shorter, but hopefully tomorrow I'll have more to write about tomorrow since we're going on a field trip to an optics place.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Adventures in Desk Decorating

So today was kinda a slow day. Joel assigned us to do "busy work" which took all about 20 minutes as opposed to three hours so Helen and I decided to spend the morning decorating our desks with these color swatches I found and pictures of adorable puppies from a calendar in the office. It turned out pretty cute, all that's missing is an actual computer and things to work on. After that we decided to get some pictures of us for our final presentation and to sort out some pay and parking problems. After lunch we had to find the percent reflectance of the color targets that we used to photograph inside our model eye. It's kinda sad but that's really all we did today and played ping-pong while waiting for our boss. I guess monday really is the slowest day of the week...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bootcamp Day 2

Today were the final three hours of our perception bootcamp where we continued to talk about color and eye movements. The major topic for the day was about eye tracking. We discussed several movements of the eye and what the eye is more prone to look at. Apparently the eye is more immediately drawn to faces and to things with a lot of contrast. This is known partly due to different systems of eye tracking that we will be experimenting with later. I guess we'll be working with remote eye trackers as opposed to those that are attached to cameras and that you can wear. Thankfully we were provided with a pizza for all of our hard work staring at a screen for three hours. After this it was off to take pictures with the fundus cameras yet again this time using different colored eye paper instead of relaxed retinas. All in all we ended up taking 144 pictures all together on four different cameras. Later we will take the means of all the blue green and red concentrations of all the pictures to calibrate certain cameras. Hopefully the weekend will give us the chance to rest and we can come back on monday and do the same thing over again.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bootcamp Day 1

The word cannot even begin to describe how this day has felt. Bootcamp was just as strenuous as it sounds although the most physical aspect of it was staring at a giant screen for three hours learning about optics and rods and cones. I had no clue how much there is to know about the lens for it being just protein and enzymes. I cannot believe we have another day of this tomorrow for another three hours but hopefully we will just discuss color and optical illusions (fingers crossed). The Canadian guy who was in charge, who was ironically wearing a Scotland shirt and rooting for the Netherlands, told us that our group and the visual perception group will be switching and working together in the next coming weeks doing eye tracking which will be a good break from calibrating cameras. After a quick break for lunch, it was time to finally meet Professor Sisson to discuss what we will be doing in terms of a multidisciplinary project on the retina. She showed us this incredibly bright room filled with fundus cameras (picture above) which we will be using for the remainder of our time here. It's way more complex than an ordinary point and shoot camera as you must focus the camera twice very quickly so that your eye will not accommodate and adjust the picture. I'll be honest, the first time I ever used it I really sucked at it as it was basically a microscope glued on to a camera with a huge beam of light. But after a while I got the hang of it (of course after Professor Sisson left) and was able to create focused pictures of the retina and vessels in the eye. Chryste told us that the pictures would look like red eye, which I am good at, and the pictures we took looked pretty much like yellow grapes with red lines running through it. Apparently the pictures are used for diagnostic medicine to find traces of diabetes and glaucoma but since we aren't RNs we are stuck using a fake plastic eyeball who we loving called Mr. Jones. Now that we've used the cameras and had half of the bootcamp, tomorrow should not seem as long... hopefully

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Color Me Wild

Today was our oficial first day on the job in the color science department and Helen and I were ready to look at fake eyeballs and color swatches. First Joel thought it would be helpful to test us to see if we are colorblind and thankfully we both passed the test. It was called the Farnsworth-Munsell 100 hue test (seen above) and yes we had to put 85 dots of color in order of darkening hues. It's a lot harder than it looks as most of the colors looked exactly the same. During this daunting task we all got to know each other and I found out that I have a long lost Asian twin named Helen! It's totally uncanny how much we have in common (interviews, favorite tv shows, model un, and a certain love for yogen fruz and piece of cake icecream) so I have a feeling we can become a dynamic duo. Oh and we're also working with Audrey who already knows a ton about what we're going to be doing so I guess that would make us a dynamic trio. After lunch and a bite of icecream (which quickly melted in the 95 degree weather) we headed over to the Carlson building for our first taste of imaging retinas. We had to crop pictures of a sample retina taken with different cameras looking at different colors and determining the amount of blue, red, and green light in all of them. I was starting to get the hang of it until I realized that my mac did not have the necessary software to extract numerical data from the pictures (what is up with all of the technical difficulties with these macs?) and I found myself suffering yet again in the hands of a mac in the computer lab. It was an exhausting day but tomorrow sounds like an even more exhausting day since Joel told us that we will be attending "intern bootcamp" which, quite frankly, sounds kind of intimidating...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I'm a PC

As I sit here peering loningly at a luminous white computer screen, I've become enthralled by the preceeding events of today. (WARNING: I'm one of those people wo like to write for fun so I can guarantee the use of larger words. Sorry for any inconveniences) Anyway, I have never fabricated a blog before but if Perez Hilton encompasses the necessary skills to blogging success I would hope that I do too. As the temperature rose, so did my hopes for this job. The majority of the day was spent on an excursion around the RIT campus for a video scavenger hunt, which spawned both good and bad memories. The assignment started on a high note as my group was able to find a lot of the pictures even though it took a long time to find some. But that was okay for I had time to take in the scenery... and record me walking for four minutes straight. My group really had the chance to get to know each other, time which was spent arguing and making fun of each other which was probably more fun anyway. Our exhilaration quickly exasperated upon the devastating sight of rows and rows of macs. Sure there was an explanation video about imovie, but at its conclusion, we were all stuck staring at each other as if the directions had just been given in an ancient dead language. I must say no matter what that guy from all those commercial says, I am and will forever be a pc. Sure the volume made adorable noise upon clicking the button, but the rainbow wheel instead of an hour glass and those three traffic light buttons made me want to kill myself, or atleast someone in my group. I cannot imagine the amount of times that my group tried to edit and save our video but two hours came and went, our happiness fleeing with them. This assignment was supposed to be a "team building" exercise, but in the end everyone in our group just wanted to strangle each other and I felt really bad for the poor computer guy who I kept stalking to try to fix the computers. But in the end everything worked out and my enthusiasm on tape was fully conveyed to the other groups ( seen by exclamations of "August Center... yay" and "Delta rock... yay"). After that extravaganza it was time to venture off to the color building (Whose name is really the Ross building) to see where I would be working for the remainder of the summer. To my surprise, we were eagerly greeted by two ping pong players who I must say were pretty intense in the arena of table tennis. We really did not have anything to do for the remnant of the day except to see a flock of color wheels and to meet Joel who we will be working with. The day expired quickly and by the time the time clock read four o'clock it was time to leave. Thankfully there was plenty of time to go home and give heed to the Netherlands Uruguay. It was a sweet 3-2 victory for my fellow Dutch and was especially sweet since all the guys in my scavenger hunt group looked at my fandom for the Netherlands team with disgust (I'm referring to you Ory!!) This concludes my first day in the job as an intern in eye imaging and i can only hope that my subsequent days on the job are just as fun and exciting as today was... just without all the mac problems.