Day 38: Symposium Poster Done… Not!

So I ended up posting an entire day late for the second time in a row…

Remember how I said I stayed up until 3:30 am to finish the poster? Well, I sent the draft to my lab mates for a review, and the next morning I got an e-mail from the professor. “This is a great first draft!”

Sounds cool, right? Well, he followed up that sentence with a few suggestions. And by a few, I meant 17 suggestions: 7 major ones and 10 minor ones. I saw the wall of text, and thought, “There goes all of today!” I love Professor Ludwig’s way of critiquing — the formula goes:

  • “Great job!”
  • [proceed to tear the work apart]
  • “But good job!”

I should employ this in the future.

In all seriousness, though, I am really thankful that the Professor put so much time into meticulously reviewing my paper and spotting errors. From what I hear, professors are extremely busy all the time with meetings, conferences, paperwork, and teaching and research on top of all of that! Ludwig’s dedicated feedback, therefore, inspired me to work really hard on the poster. I ended up staying up until 2:30 am (I can say this because it already happened LOL) to finish the poster today. He was able to point out important things from both the big picture perspective (I should compare my results with more papers, such as paper X and paper Y; Perhaps Theory P and Theory Q are also worth talking about) and the nitpicky perspective (wording, references, what sounds appropriate in the field). Again, very impressive.

Anyways, the rest of my day essentially became addressing these 17 tips. I ended up reformatting the entire poster so that I could make the images larger and include more information. I developed a methodology for formatting along the way. It’s really just an idea, and I’m not sure if it’s a good idea, but here it is anyways:

  • There are two types of people who will see your poster:
    • Type 1: They’ll only really look at the pictures to get an idea of what your study is all about.
    • Type 2: They actually really care about your stuff and will read through the entire thing.

Anyways, this is applicable because it allows me to reduce the font size of my text to make more room for larger pictures. This way, I can appeal to Type 1 people more while not really affecting the Type 2 people (come on, 22-pt font is just as visible as 24-pt font when you’re really reading the poster). Again, this is an underdeveloped theory, so maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I just used it as an excuse to justify me decreasing the font size on my poster.

Along the way, I tried a new form of data analysis based off of Joy’s dissertation analysis. Essentially, I fitted a Gaussian curve to the data using a different method she did because I didn’t believe her fit was representative enough of the situation. Basically, her hypothesis was that the stress trends resulted from the superimposition of two mechanical functions, and she wanted to subtract the fit of one function from her original data to obtain the shape of her second function. I thought that she fit the Gaussian curve using too much “superimposed” data, so I refit the Gaussian curve in a little different of a way. Anyways, I tried my own method and found out that it didn’t work. But along the way, I realized that using a Gaussian fit doesn’t even seem to be conceptually correct. I might try doing more data analysis today using a different function fit that is more asymptotic at the peak, not the sides. You probably have no idea what I’m talking about (even though it’s not supposed to be complicated) because my wording right now is really really bad, but I’m too lazy to change anything so I’ll just leave the text here for you to figure it out.

Anyways, there’s not much more to say after this. I basically spent all of today redesigining my own poster, reading papers about different theories that I’d like to include, and then adding and subtracting information from my poster.

I’m really tired right now, so I’m going to stop blogging and maybe take a 10 minute nap before resuming work. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to make today’s post on time (remember, I’m writing for August 8 even though it’s August 9 right now).

See you all!
Max

Random things:

  • I’m sure random things happened today, but I just can’t remember what.

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