We're a little crazy, about science!

School is coming…

3D printed spinal column still in parts getting ready for cleaning and assembly.
Did I mention I 3D printed my spinal column (as in a copy of MY spinal column)? Because I did. I’ll post up an explainer how later, but here it is in pieces waiting for me to have a few free moments to clean and assemble it. In the meantime, this is the teaser image for it.

With classes about to kick off I’m left wondering what will be different for me. This term I’m doing the safe thing and taking a single online course. The rest of my time will be focused on my research and doing what I need to do to be ready for my PhD proposal defense (the step I want to take this fall term. So what am I doing to get ready?

Turns out not much! I’ve been fairly busy over this summer collecting data for my project. I’ve been working slowly on processing that data to see what I have. If I’ve found something, then we’ve unequivocally shown that my method works and the data I’ve collected shows what I claim it shows.

As a reminder, my first attempt at this was a N = 1 pilot study (ie a single subject) and it was done in such a way that I couldn’t make the claim that the signal I had was what I think it was. Instead, I could rule out other sources of noise, compare the frequency characteristics to other known signals, and basically say that it looks very similar to the signal I’m trying to capture.

This time around we’re doing a small N = 4 data set collection using my method. I’ll analyze the data and if I find what I think I will find, then we will collect 10(ish) subjects worth of data. It’s all very exciting and I should know within this week if I have something or if my entire PhD direction needs to take a hard left. I’m confident that this is not the case, but you can never be sure. So we have to wait and see what the data says.

Yesterday I wanted to get most of the work done for the project, but I was stuck doing car repairs. I got half of what I needed to do done, but it looks like it fixed the problem I was having… so far anyway. It was intermittent so those are always tricky, you think you fixed it then boom, just kidding!

We also have a lot of other experiments we’re working on, unfortunately until we get publishing, I can’t talk about it, which is frustrating. In the next couple of months though, you’re going to see a handful of studies (assuming they get accepted!) that I’ve done or worked on. Plus, if this study, the one I’m doing for my PhD goes well, then we will be publishing that too and the cat will finally be let out of the bag and you will all know my big super world changing secret. I don’t know that it will have world changing effects, but it’s nice to think it will.

It’s a lot going on, but not a lot changing thankfully. The pandemic has basically put everything on hold as far as school goes (for me anyway). I’m lucky that I have that option though, not a lot of people get that choice. Today though is going to be a long day (potentially). I need to get some of this data analyzed and I’m worried that it won’t get done in time. I have until Friday when I meet with my Co-PI to discuss the results, but between now and then I have a lot of non-data processing related stuff to do.


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