Archive for June, 2012

A Day in the Life of Erika Chin ’14

ImageHello, my name is Erika Chin and I am a rising junior in the Honors Program. I am double majoring in Chemical Engineering and Engineering and Management. This summer I am researching the degradation process of harmful chemicals with ultrasound technology under Professor Thagard in the Chemical and Bimolecular Engineering Department. During the week, I am in the lab anywhere from 3-7 hours a day running experiments. Each week our lab meets to present our results to each other, which is a great opportunity to see more than just my own research.

Every day is a little different, but in general I wake up, grab a breakfast bar, and go into the lab to run experiments starting at 8am, 11, 12, or 2pm (there are 3 people working in the same lab as me, so we rotate who goes in at what time) and then I eat lunch and read journal articles. Afterwards, I go to the gym and practice volleyball, and play racquetball or basketball. In the evenings, I eat dinner and hang out with my friends. The best thing about living on campus is everyone is right close by. If you want to do something or hang out with a group of people, all you have to do is go next door and knock. There’s plenty to do in summer. In these past weeks, I have been canoeing, swimming at the local beach, played beach volleyball and gone bowling. On the weekends, I have gone camping, played Ultimate Frisbee, wiffle ball, and kickball. I also did research at Clarkson last summer. I went hiking at Azure, cliff jumping into a river, played capture the flag, and ate food at potlucks and ice cream socials. All of these are no more than 20 minutes away. For down time, I watch TV and movies, and play cards, video games and board games. Thanks for reading. 

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A Day in the Life of Charlie McGuffey ’15

Hello, everyone.  My name is Charlie McGuffey.  I am a rising sophomore in the Clarkson Honors Program.  I am working on a double major in Computer Engineering and Computer Science.  I just recently added the Computer Science major, and I decided to stay up at Clarkson this summer to do research so that I could get a better understanding of the applications of the major.  I hope to learn about what sort of research goes on in the field of computer science and make sure that Computer Science is the right choice for me.

My research project for the summer is to implement and test a new logical search algorithm that my faculty mentor, Professor Christopher Lynch, discovered.  I am developing this algorithm using a programming language called Maude, and will be doing the majority of the testing of the algorithm on problems in my mentor’s field of study.  Approximately the first week and a half of my research involved learning and experimenting with Maude, and I have been working on the implementation of the algorithm since then.  My first accomplishment for the summer was the completion of an initial version of the algorithm that works with terms that have the same variable names, and I am currently working on adding additional functionality to the code.  After my first three weeks of research, I have learned a lot and am very happy with how my research has gone.

Of course, there’s more to life at Clarkson during the summer than research.  Summer is a great (if somewhat short) time up here in Potsdam, and there is plenty to do.  On campus, Frisbee, wiffleball, kayaking or canoeing on the Raquette River, and other outdoor activities are common.  Off campus, there are great opportunities for hiking or camping in the Adirondacks, going to the beach, taking a trip to Canada, or just spending time in Potsdam.

My average day starts when I wake up around 7:30.  I go downstairs and grab breakfast before firing up my computer.  I generally start work on my research between 8 and 8:30.  My professor doesn’t have a lab that I’m supposed to work in, so I can get my hours in whenever and wherever, but I usually try to stick to a regular schedule.  On some days, usually twice a week, I’ll have a meeting with my professor at 10:00 so that I can update him on my progress and he can give me any information I need or help me with any issues I’m having.  I generally take my lunch hour from 11:45 to 12:45, and usually have time to visit my friends before I have to go back to work.  Since we are all living in the townhouses, it is really convenient to go see each other and plan the group activities I mentioned earlier.  After I finish my afternoon of work around 4:30, I have an hour or two of free time before I make myself dinner.  After dinner, my friends and I have several hours of free time to play Frisbee or volleyball, go to the beach, or watch a movie before we go to bed and to start the next day.

If you have any questions about summer research, my project, the Honors Program, or Clarkson in general, feel free to send me an email at mcguffcj@clarkson.edu .  Have a great day and thanks for reading!

A Day in the Life of Rose Kennedy ’14

Hi my name is Rose Kennedy and I am a rising junior in the Honors Program.  I am spending part of my summer here at Clarkson University doing research with Wireless Underground Sensor Networks.  During the week I have been spending my time reading articles related to Wireless Sensor Networks and trying to contact different wireless sensor companies to get quotes to buy some sensors for my research.  Though this is only when I am working, which does take up a fair bit of the time, but when I am not working there is plenty to do.  On week days, mostly in the evening, I have gone kayaking/canoeing on the river and walking around on the trails in the back of the campus.  Also during some evenings I will play cards or watch movies with various groups of friends.  I love cooking and experimenting with different foods for dinner, whether I am cooking for myself or for others, which is why it is great that we live in the Townhouses which have kitchens.

The real fun is on weekends though.  I have already attempted to go hiking twice.  The first weekend we went on a great hike to Round Lake, about an hour drive, which was an 8.6 mile hike.  The second weekend I was going to go for a hiking/camping trip to Whiteface, but due to sickness, we had to abandon it.  This coming weekend, though, we will be attempting another camping trip to Marcy Dam, which has many hikes (at different levels) for everyone coming to enjoy.  We also have plans to go rock climbing eventually this summer.

A Day in the Life of Daniel J. Horn ‘15

Warmest regards and salutations, dear readers! My name is Daniel J. Horn and I am a rising Sophomore Chemical Engineering Major here at Clarkson.  As a member of the Clarkson Honors program, I have the privilege to share with you a glimpse into the crazy, hectic, and exciting life I lead. You may be wondering, why is he writing about his time during the summer, shouldn’t he be focusing on summertime fun and activities instead of school, and you’re certainly correct! But as I mentioned, I am a member of the Honors Program and I have the opportunity to participate in summer research right here at Clarkson! You’d have to be a fool to turn down summer research; I mean who doesn’t love free room and board in exchange for developing research skills and getting to see the campus in a more relaxed environment. Well, enough about why I’m here, let’s find out what my typical day looks like…

I generally roll out of bed at around 7:30 (8:00) each morning and begin my day by brushing my teeth, putting in my contacts, and showering. Once I’m dressed and my backpack is packed, I head downstairs to the kitchen to make breakfast; during the summer we are housed in the Townhouse Apartments which are luxurious compared to the regular residence halls. Breakfast usually consists of a fresh fruit smoothie, eggs and coffee. After the dishes are washed and the kitchen is cleaned I zip off to CAMP (that’s the Center for Advanced Materials Processing) to go into the lab. I’m working with the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department this summer and my research involves filtration membranes and differently shaped nanoparticles. I’m usually the first one to arrive since the graduate students like to sleep in, so I unlock the door and set up my computer on my desk. While my computer is waking up, (often it seems that I wake up faster) I go across the hall to the ChemE department office and catch up on the gossip with Carrie and Jean who are the department secretaries. After I’m caught up, I head back to the lab and my computer has started, so I take the chance to check my e-mail so that I’m aware of what’s going on in the world. Finally at around 9:30, Raju comes in and we begin research for the day. The morning is spent preparing silica solutions, analyzing their concentrations, and lately it has included trips to different areas of campus, namely the Chemistry stockroom and the CAMP machine shop to acquire supplies. At around noon, I head back to the Townhouse and have lunch. My roommate and I spend the lunch hour watching Millionaire until I head back to the lab. The afternoon is very similar to the morning, but often includes a visit with Dr. Baltus, my advisor, so that she stays in the loop of our “discoveries.” I usually leave for the day around 4:00, but that time varies depending on the workload.

After I get back from the lab, I change quickly and head to the Fitness Center across campus, usually work out for an hour or so and then head back. By now, it’s dinnertime! Since I have a kitchen, I enjoy showing off and honing my culinary abilities my making gourmet dishes and posting pictures to Facebook and Twitter via Instagram. Once the kitchen is tidy and the dishes have been put away I usually go socialize with friends or read. Most days I am able to get to bed by midnight which is a nice change from the later bedtimes I maintain during the academic session. My summer days are much less hectic and crazy than they are during the academic year, so I’ve started taking some time to indulge in some wonderful books as well as starting to prepare for next semester as an RA, CUSA Senator, and CUSA Committee Chair.

Well, that just about sums up a typical weekday for me, don’t worry, I do tend to have more fun and relax on the weekends, but as we know, the workweek should consist of work! Thanks for spending a day with me and if you have any questions, feel free to ask me!