Thursday, August 19, 2010


Today was a little more relaxed. I didn't have football practice in the afternoon and I had already told my coach that I would be able to make the morning practice. I worked on what I was going to say during my presentation a little bit and tried to tried to make sure that I wasn't missing anything important. All of the interns met today in the fishbowl for pizza before our practice presentations. I ate too much. Overall the presentations were pretty good. Joe Pow gave me some good insights into what I should tweak or say during my presentation. I'm still a little nervous. It has been a very fun and informative summer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Today I got in and went to the Remote Sensing Hawaiian Luau. I showed up at the very end of the event and got to roast marshmallows. I finished my presentation and turned it into Joe for a review. I hope that there are not too many mistakes or red flags that I may need to correct. The presentation is coming up fast. I can not believe how fast the summer has gone. Tomorrow I will come in in the morning just to make sure that everything is done and ready to be presented. Football is complicating this week a lot and has made me very tired.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I am pretty exhausted. When I came in today after practice, Bob showed me a video made by Joe's son. It was really well made and pretty spooky at the same time. I have to put some final touches on my presentation and also show it to Dr. Dube for a review but other than that I am pretty much finished. I also looked at more X-Ray data and SOHO images from a couple days ago. I ended up finding more things that I could incorporate into my presentation. I hope that it won't be too long.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day XXX:

This is going to be a tiring week. I have double sessions for football so in the morning Monday through Wednesday I will got to football from 8:30-11:00 and then go home, take a shower, eat, and come to RIT. And for the night session I will leave RIT and then go to football at 5:30-8:00. I am going to be sleeping well.

But besides the tiredness factor, I was able to work on my presentation today. I will hopefully be finished by tomorrow. I also need to plan out what I am going to say in more detail just to be sure that I don't miss anything. I'm a little nervous but definitely excited.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Today I came at 8:50 because we didn't have a morning staff meeting and I took too long of a shower. I worked on my presentation for a little while and then went to the undergraduate research symposium and listened to a presention on a game designed for facebook. It was a lot different than I expected. Afterward I went back to my building and continued to work. I went back later in the day to see Caitlin and Becky's presentations/posters. They both did very good jobs. There were a lot of other cool research projects, even ones that were not part of the imaging science department.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


There was a lot of work done on my final presentation today. I decided, after consulting Dr. Dube, that I should focus more on the Neural Network aspect of the presentation and explain some of the applications to Coronal Mass Ejections at the end. Dr. Dube also said that I should talk about future research that needs to be done. I am making many custom media elements for my talk including a very brief movie that shows the feedforward process. There are still many things to be done.

Today I also continued my look into the X-Ray data. There is a ton to look through but so far it appears to be a good indicator that a CME is occurring. I still need to look at other data sources to see if they show similar trends.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I did a couple of interesting things today. For one, I made a movie about how a neural network produces an output, and no I was not action packed. It took me most of the morning to complete since I had to create all of the images that I needed (from scratch) and then convert them into the correct format so that I could use them in windows movie maker. Then I had to get the timing correct for each image. Overall I achieved the task that I had set out to do; I made a simple explanation of how the feedforward process in a neural network works. After this task I went out to lunch. The college of science was having a picnic and, since I forgot my lunch, I was more than happy to attend. The food was delicious; I had a burger and a hot dog.

At 1:30 the whole internship crew went on a field trip to the George Eastman House to get a behind the scenes look at the preservation and analysis of Daguerreotypes. Some of the techniques used were indeed pretty cool, such as the X-Ray pulse analysis that helps determine the type to material. I just wish that we got to see more of everything that was there, no just the Daguerrotype work.


Today I started planning out my presentation. I not sure what the scope of it should be so I probably will have to cut some stuff out or change my focus. As of right now my topic is "The Application of Neural Networks to the prediction of Coronal Mass Ejections". I don't think that I will be able to both explain how Neural Networks work, and how their attributes can help in the prediction of the onset of a Coronal Mass Ejection. I may have to only talk about Neural Networks or the prediction of CMEs.

I also played some more Call of Duty today for the Visual Perception lab's experiment. The eye tracker apparently was not working but they let me play anyway. It is a fun game.

Another CME has been projected to hit the earth tonight. There have been a series of events beginning earlier this month that have all made an impact here on Earth. The most surprising part about this is that we are not necessarily being hit by the biggest bursts. For instance, the sun may have one large explosion followed by a much smaller one. As common knowledge would have it, the larger CME would be the one hitting the Earth but I guess that is not the case. Another part of this project now is to determine not only when a CME is occurring but also if a CME will actually make contact with the Earth. I still don't understand how we are supposed to determine the trajectory of a CME just from the two dimensional images provided by the LASCO C2 sensor.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day XXV:

I was very capricious in my work today. From 9 to 12 I did some more work looking at X-Rays spikes and their relation to CME events. After lunch, Piyush took me, Cicely, and Kevin over to the Computer Engineering and Computer Science departments just to take a look around and explain how things happen at RIT. It was pretty interesting hearing all of the various fields of Computer Science and Computer Engineering.

Afterward I went to the Visual Perception to partake in their experiment. I basically got to play Call Of Duty for an hour while they tracked my eye movements. It was fun.

After that I saw Bob and Dan in the hall moving tables and equipment. I decided to help. Apparently they are converting a computer lab into a workshop in order to make room for more graduate students. I didn't exactly understand why they didn't just turn the computer lab into offices and leave the original workshop (the one that we were moving all the equipment from) alone. We had to transport a lot of heavy equipment from the first floor to the second. This required a lot of brute force. I'm probably going to help them again tomorrow.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I was at the computer almost all day today, but I got through a lot of data. From what I have found there seems to be a pretty decent correlation between X-Ray spikes and CME events. While the idea is not perfect and still needs some more support, the X-ray flux spike and CME almost happen simultaneously, with the X-ray spike happening just before the actual event. So far there are many exceptions to the rule, especially during times of increased CME activity, but it could possibly be a good forecast that a CME is occurring. I took a brief look at other types of data and there are similar trends but they need to be explored further.

I also continued working on the GUI for my model Neural Network today. I decided to break it up into different windows as opposed to everything being in the same window, creating clutter. I hope I can actually get it to work.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Today I spent more time working on trying to find correlations in the recent CME data and past events. It is very up and down. At one time there might appear to be a trend in the data, such as a spike or a pattern, but it will not match up with data from other times. Caitlin, Becky, and I met with Dr. Dube to discuss our findings. Some of the data we need is very specific and hard to find because certain sensors or satellites did not exist at the time of older events. Nonetheless I found a database that contains a lot of X-Ray and other sun data.

When looking at the data, it is just as important (in theory) to find the things that don't match up with a CME event because that way erroneous data need not be entered into the Neural Network, making the Network run faster.

I listened to another Ph.D dissertation today and it was just as over my head as the first one I listened to. There were a lot of references to certain software and techniques that I had never heard of before, so my understanding of the topic beyond the general goals was very limited.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day XXI:

Today Becky, Caitlin, and I went to be stand-ins for a photo shoot for someone. We were there for two hours and now my face hurts. Afterward we went to Dr. Dube's office where he told us about a CME that occured on august 1 and has been predicted to hit the earth on August 4th. We now are trying to take a look at different possible indicators of the CME such as X-ray flux or sunspot density. It is hard to determine if there is a correlation. For instance, the X-ray flux before the CME happens to have a large spike in intensity. But when looking at former events the X-ray flux does not always point to a CME event.

On a side note, the fire alarms went off today in the building.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Starting Day + 19:

Today I did some more coding and debugging of my neural network and started designing a user interface for it, mostly for my own benefit so I can better see what errors are going on in my program. It will be fun and interesting to create something that is not pure text.

I also went to the Scube today (I'm not sure how it is spelled). It was not in working order but it was cool nonetheless. The idea is that a person can become completely immersed in a computer generated environment. Four projectors cast images onto each of the four vertical sides of the cube, creating interactions that are three dimensional. There were some technical difficulties but at least I got to understand the ultimate goal.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day XIX:

Today we had another Space Weather group meeting. Dr. Dube explained his work on trying to see if a neural network can make a correlation between spikes in separate data streams happening at different times. He explained the x-correlation technique and how every point in one set is multiplied by every point in the other set and is then normalized. This produces a huge spike in the output data. Dr. Glenn showed his work on image processing and how each quadrant of an image is in a particular state is is compared to a baseline or "quiet state". When a CME occurs, each quadrant show a spike in the different between the quiet state and the actual state. The problem is to see if a neural network can take in the data from the image processing technique and find a pattern. This would ultimately turn everything on its head and result in the prediction of, as opposed to reaction to, Coronal Mass Ejections.


Today I started out doing a lot of the usual things. I work until about 2:30ish when I was notified that the Remote Sensing group was going to have their collect today on short notice. They greatly need help to set everything up and prepare for the fly over. I went outside and set up targets. We finished three minutes before the plane flew over.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Today I was going to help the Remote Sensing Group with another data collection session today, but after we got most of the targets set up the plan was postponed. I wasn't too mad because it is fun being outside helping out, at least when it isn't raining.

When I got back to my work I started reading some of the papers posted on the RIT twiki site. I read one paper that caught me completely off guard. At this point in time I feel as though I have a pretty firm grasp on the Neural Network concept but I guess people have come up with even crazier ideas. This paper introduced this idea that was almost a composition of Neural Networks in that one overarching Network orders for the training and learning of minion networks. The outputs from these subnetworks would then be weighted to produce a final output. It is like a Neural Network electoral college with certain helper networks getting more of a say in the final output than others. I think that the overall point of making a Neural Network that is composed of smaller networks (as opposed to just making a bigger network) is that new information can be added with having to retrain the whole entire network. It is very cool but very confusing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day XVI:

Today I spent a lot of time looking at how to use the MatLab neural network tool. It seemed pretty straight forward until I tried to load the input and target data. It kept on giving me a Matrix Dimension error. I guess I need to learn more about MatLab syntax and, well, just more about MatLab in general. Ultimately I want to be able to combine both the abilities of a Neural Network and the tools available in MatLab (i.e. regression analysis, graphical representations, etc..) to better see the abilities of a Neural Network as different things change.

I was also going to help the Remote Sensing group with its second collect today, but apparently there were problems and it has been postponed until tomorrow.

This morning for a daily intern meeting, we all observed how our eyes adjust themselves to different light settings. First we stayed in a dark room for about ten minutes, letting out eyes get used to the dark setting. Then we covered one eye and preceded out into the light for a little walking, letting the uncovered eye adjust back to the normal light setting. We then returned to dark room and opened out closed eyes to find that we could see out of that eye but not the other. I have done this before so the result wasn't surprising but it didn't matter because it was fun nevertheless.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day XV:

Today was very eventful. From 9 - 12 I helped the Remote Sensing group prepare for the flyover by setting up different colored cloths/fabrics. I got to go up on the roof of the building and pin down 2m by 2m "blankets". It was pretty windy but also very cool (double meaning). There were a lot of different experiments being done. Some of these experiment were dealing exclusively with Hyper Spectral Imaging and the techniques of detecting different materials, while others were using LiDAR or other means to detect variations in heat. The plane that flew over was mounted with all of these sensors. The plan made multiple flybys in an interlacing pattern (back and forth) so that the whole area we were working was captured twice.

For lunch I met up with Dr. David Lawlor. I have know Dr. Lawlor for years and, since he is a professor here at RIT, we had made arrangements to get together. We talked about a lot of things ranging from my work here to his recent vacation to the Caribbean. It was very a enjoyable and informative meeting.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day XIV:

Today we had another Space Weather group meeting to touch base with everyone and see what different avenues of research should be explored further. We talked a lot about neural networks and what things should be done next in the testing and training process that would better suit our needs. After listening to Dr. Dube and his methods of dealing with a neural network, I realized I have a few flaws in my own techniques. For one, the network size I was trying to train was not large enough and two, my method of training was not sufficient. Before I was giving the network one input and expecting it to give its approximation of a sine wave. I found that it is better to instead provide the network with multiple ordered inputs of the sine wave and try to train the network to guess the next output. It is a much different from my way of thinking.

Friday, July 23, 2010


I was back to doing many of the usual things today. I did more work analyzing the demo network and debugging my own. There are a lot of errors I have to fix and things I have to try. I really want to make this work.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day XII:

Today we went on a field trip to the University of Rochester to get a tour of the new biomedical/bioengineering building and labs. It was pretty cool. We got to see the work being done on artificial tissues from not only creation standpoint but also the testing/characterization standpoint. They were using ultrasonic waves and other techniques to view and atually form the tissues. On a side note, while were at the U of R the fire alarm went off and the building had to be evacuated. Apparently there was no fire so we eventually went back inside and finished the tour.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day XI:

I did a lot more of the same kinds of things I have been doing with one exception, we had to unscramble a word. Given the letters "IPESNRUHTERIRANP" I unscrambled it to say "uniphaserprinter" which was not the right answer. Another good but incorrect unscramble attempt was "U R Happier Interns". That one was pretty funny. The final answer was apparently "intrapreneurship". Wikipedia defines this as "A person within a large corporation who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished product through assertive risk-taking and innovation". I guess it has something to do with motivating creativity and innovation within a company.

My mom was on campus today so I got to go out to lunch with her. We went to this India restaurant off campus. It was delicious.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day X:

I did more of the same things I have been doing today. I did more coding and debugging on my attempt at a neural network and did more work on analyzing the abilities of the demo network. Dr. Dube stopped by to see how I was doing. He said that once I get my attempt up and running I should try to have it approximate a sine wave. He also said that I should write up a brief analysis on the abilities of the demo network including its responses to rotation, scaling and both at the same time.

Coming up this week are more masters/Ph.D defenses (maybe some I can better understand) and a field trip to the U of R on Wednesday.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day IX:

I got the opportunity to listen to a masters dissertation today. It was on something about the use of LiDAR and another sensing technique simultaneously to calculate the biomass of an area or identify certain species of trees. It was pretty complicated and I'm sure I didn't understand some of the main components of the presentation. There was a lot of statistical analysis and other things that I had never heard of before (what is an eigenvector?). Besides this gap in knowledge, the central point of the presentation was made clear, that being the combination of LiDAR and the other sensing technique (HSI maybe) produced either no gain in the ability to detect certain things or a slight gain as opposed to using HSI alone. It was pretty deep.

After this I went back to work and began debugging my network attempt. There are some problems to think about but hopefully nothing to serious.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Today I finished the majority of the work on my attempt at making a neural network. I made things much clearer than in my previous attempts and avoided many of the pitfalls I had encountered earlier. I still have yet to test my work in its entirety, but I feel that when I encounter problems I will now be able to identify and correct my errors. The only part I still don't completely grasp is the backpropagation technique/algorithm used to "recalibrate" the system after each iteration of inputs and outputs. Since many Neural Networks have in them many layers between the input and output layers (lending to the term "Hidden Layer"), it is hard/impossible to tell at what point during the process something went wrong. To solve this problem, the error between the expected and actual output is distributed throughout the whole network. There is a lot of math on the subject that I don't really understand but I understand the goal of the method and I can proceed forward with my work.

On a side note, I bought a burger from the cafeteria/dinning area today. While much of the food on campus is expensive, I have to say this burger was worth the money I paid for it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day VII:

Today was very eventful. For the first half of the day we took a field trip to JML Optical Corporation. We got a behind the scenes tour of their manufacturing and design processes. It didn't realize all of the nuances and problems associated with the production of lenses, but even more impressive how precise the lenses were being made to the desire specifications. I learned a lot about the use of series of lenses in a system and how special coatings on lenses can drastically reduce the reflection tendencies of glass. JML also produces high quality windows, which go under many of the same precise processes and done to the lenses, except for the obvious fact that they are not curved.

Afterward we stopped and ate and finally returned to work. I worked for a little while but then most of the interns started a volleyball game in front of the building around 4:00ish. It was pretty low key and fun, but we did get some interesting looks from people walking by.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day VI:

Today i did more of the same things I have been doing with the demo Neural Network, but decided to further my attempt at trying to emulate and make one for myself. My first attempt was poorly planned and I ended up going back over the code i had written many times. I basically failed at that attempt. So I stepped back and took a different approach. I implemented all of my ideas but when it came to testing and debugging, things became very convoluted. So withdrew once again and decided to plan everything out and try to avoid coding things that could become very complicated. Although I still have a feeling that they will.

On a different note, on the way back from lunch today I noticed an area called the RITreat. I thought it was pretty funny.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day V:

First Monday!

Today was a lot like the others. I spent more time working with the demo network and trying to get it to recognize different orientations of images. It took a long time to load and gave me mixed results. While before I was under the impression that the demo network was not very good at recognizing the different orientations of images, it began to show some limited signs of life. It identified some of the images correctly while others, not so much. I need to do some further testing. I can't wait for Wednesday to go on the field trip and play some volleyball.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day IV:

sorry, this is 3 days late

On Friday we had a meeting among the other people in the space weather group. We basically took a look at what everyone was doing and decide what direction our work should take. I am supposed to exploring the abilities of the demo network. Afterwards I went to the computer lab and continued researching CME dates. I then decided to test the demo network with different orientations of letters. I provided the network with letters in their original orientation, rotated 45 degrees, and rotates 90 degrees, and then tested it to see if it could recognize letters slanted at 30 and 60 degrees. The process of rotating the letters and then calibrating the network took up a lot of time and there is still testing to be done. My initial conclusion, however, is that the software does not recognize different orientations very well.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day III:

I spent most of today sitting at my new location editing and resizing pictures of the sun so that they could be used to "train" or calibrate the demo Neural Network. This work did not turn out as planned. The software could easily analyze two pictures but anymore than that and it would stop. I could figure out what was going on. While the processing was taking place, I tried my hand at creating my own mock network. After installing java and its necessary components, I went forward and started designing the software. It is very complicated and nuanced. I really only coded the general format of the network but i hope to expand upon it and learn more as I delve deeper into this area of study.

For lunch I went to the Student Alumni Union found the game room. It was underground and connected to a cafeteria. Even though I didn't have enough time to play any games, I definitely want to go back there.

About an hour before I left, I went around to see what the other interns were working on. I found myself observing the Remote Sensing group using a special program on computers. They were using it to analyze images by combining different frequencies of light (I think). It was pretty cool.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 2:

I am starting to gain a better understanding of the the project I am working on. The problem of detecting Coronal Mass Ejections earlier and with greater accuracy is being solved by developing an Artificial Neural Network. By training the network to recognize certain patterns in data (i.e. in images), it can then infer the outcomes of similar data. The "learning" process of the network is critical in order to ensure the correct results. Ultimately the Neural Network will be able to take in information on the status of the Sun from multiple sources and predict what will happen, even though that exact combination of data may never have been encountered before. It is pretty complicated and I am still trying to make sense of everything.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 1:

Today was the first day of the of my summer internship. Running around campus on the scavenger hunt was fun but tiring in the 90+ degree heat. Our movie was the best...the DVD we create not only locked awesome but was short and to the point. I had to create a blog today on which i am currently writing right now (well, not as you are reading it). I am looking forward for what this experience has to offer.