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Week 10 - last day!

Wow. It's weird to think this is my last day. Ten weeks in is practically nothing for research! Now I definitely understand why phD's take so long...and why the time it takes can vary so much! This post has nothing to do with my research--if you want to know about it, look at my powerpoint from the previous post. I'm going to try to sum up my overall impression from the summer.

Week 9 wrapping up!

This week has been preparing for presentations and developing standard addition techniques for my electrodes to be used as sensors!

It's so sad that everyone's leaving! I'll be all by myself for the next week as I attempt to hurriedly wrap up my research and hopefully make some fantastic breakthroughs!

But for now, here's my presentation below in case you're interested in what I've been actually doing all summer. I'll be presenting today in about an hour. Hopefully I'll be able to tie all the loose ends next week though!

Week 8 August 4-8

Just two more weeks!


I have yet to start on my paper or presentation yet, and I have yet to come up with just what exactly I'll be writing or presenting about (don't worry Vanessa, I'll be ready when the time rolls around). Hopefully, by some miracle, I'll make a brilliant breakthrough in mny research, come up with the perfect electrode configuration, and then quickly characterize the biogenic MnO2 to find out how the signals differ from the synthetic MnO2. (all in two weeks)

Week 7 July 28-August 1

It's August! And its rather scary how quickly the end of my internship is coming up, especially since I don't think I've come up with a whole lot except for finding out what doesn't work well. It feels like my project is becoming more method development--to find a decent, reproducible way to make MnO2 electrodes that can consistently measure H2O2. Only when this method is developed can the differences between the biogenic MnO2 and synthetic MnO2 really be observed.

Week 6

Research has pretty much stayed the same this week. Slow progress, but progress nonetheless (I hope anyway). One thing that I've found that is that when I'm performing experiment after experiment, its easy to just get lost in the repetition. I'm doing the same tests with different electrode configurations, different electrolytes, conditions, etc. Not only are there a billion confounding variables that stump me at times, but without sufficiently organizing my data, or taking some time to pause and evaluate what I'm doing, I can do a lot of work without coming up with anything useful.

Week 5 July 14-19...possibly promising?

It was a short week for me last week, as I took a trip up to seattle with my family on Thursday--I have relatives from China over, so we were definitely busy entertaining. I also got to see some of my best friends in Seattle, so that was a great weekend.

Week 4 July 7-11

Its amazing that I'm already almost halfway done with my summer here. Whether I'm almost halfday done with my project is an entirely different question. One realization I've come across is that many of my problems result from lack of technique and background! Something that might take me two hours would take someone with more experience and skill mere minutes! So rather than judge my progress during this summer based on valuable data produced, it'd be more fair to judge it based on the experience/knowledge I've gained and the improvement of methods. It's all about the method development.



- electrodes that aren't packed well! (unable to reproduce procedures
- as more and more time goes on, the less sure I am the data I have produced thus far has been all that valid.
- Tons of time poured into finding out trends previously observed may be caused by other sources. Or that the trends don't exist anymore, despite that I've repeated the same procedure
- Similar results--but not quite the same! what do I make out of this? how do I interpret the data?
- an excess amount of data...I have no idea what it all means!

Week, data, and more data!

This week has been a week of producing more and more data! So far, its looking like I'm track with my research--Both my biogenic and synthetic MnO2 electrodes are producing different sized peaks with different concentrations of H2O2. The past couple weeks have been focussed on running cyclic and square wave voltammetry with a broad range of variables. Lately its been trying to narrow my search and to really understand what I'm looking for. Now it's a matter of controlling all the conditions for reproducible data, and identifying the different causes for the differently shaped and sized peaks. Sounds simple enough...but we'll see!

Week 2 6/23-6/27

It seems strange that only two weeks have passed since I started here! I've definitely been getting more used to working here. The 2 hour each way commute is getting somewhat normal, though I don't know if I'll ever quite get comfortable with it.


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