We're a little crazy, about science!

Day #104: Experiment Prep

EEG headset

It looks like things are moving a little quicker than I thought for me. As you may or may not know, I’m getting ready to do an experiment. Well, we finally (finally!) finalized the protocol and just in time too. While I won’t make the deadline for my project update, I will have some data to show when we get to the conference, which is a good consolation prize.

However, this means I need to get the equipment ready to do a test run. Since I’m the lead on this, we aren’t going to do a full dry run of the experiment, there is no real point to be honest, not at this stage anyway. Instead, we are going to test a few things to make sure all the equipment works as we expect it to and the data collection process runs smoothly.

I have a fellowship split between two labs, while I work mostly at the one on campus, this experiment will be happening in the other (read: clinical) lab. This means a few things:

  1. We have nicer equipment in that lab and by nicer, I mean new, like brand new.
  2. We need to bring some of our own equipment because they aren’t set up to do the things our lab is made to do.
  3. There will inevitably be headaches, there are no ways around this one.

Headaches will range from equipment not syncing correctly to the equipment not working at all. Thankfully the clinical lab has a high end setup that will give us a good synchronization between recording equipment (EEG, EMG, etc.) so I’m not predicting any problems there, but you never know. We also have much older equipment than our clinical counterpart or more accurately hand built equipment. So things break, they break in transport, they break in the middle of an experiment, things just break in general and I hate it.

Here’s a breakdown for the next few days, tomorrow I need to send off all my slides/poster/updated executive summary for the conference. So yeah, no experimental data. However, tuesday we are doing our dry run so I’ll have some data for the actual conference, which is in less than two weeks, but I should (ideally) have something to show.

In the meantime, I have a lot of things going on in the background. I’m studying for my finals coming up this week. I’ve got my qualifying exam coming up two days after I get back from the conference. I need to arrange my section of speakers for the neurotech conference, which takes place the day after the meeting where I give my updates on the project I’m working on. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, I still have the prosthetic I’ve been designing for a child. We hope to deliver it before christmas, which should be pretty appropriate.

Basically there is a lot going on as I’ve mentioned, but it’s coming together slowly. Fingers crossed everything goes well tuesday and I should be in a good place to get all this work done.

Until next time, don’t stop learning!

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