And finally something good…
It was bound to happen eventually, some good news for today! I had a meeting with my Co-PI and we went over the latest findings in the dataset I’m processing for my “super secret” technique and I have to say it went much better than was expected! He’s excited, I’m excited, we’re excited. The issue is we don’t know what any of it means, but I think that’s why it’s so exciting!!!!
Here we are, there’s a lot of things that are all over the place today and maybe we will get to that, maybe (like most things) I’ll skip over writing about them and tomorrow we’ll be off on a new topic. However, today I want to focus on my meeting. We arranged a time to sit and discuss some of the data I had and it went better than I had planned. He has been skeptical about my technique and I don’t blame him since there is still so much unknowns going into this. The data we collected was supposed to help clear some things up and while it did, we also now have a ton more questions.
As usual I am going to have to talk in broad and vague strokes since I can’t get into what I have or what may come of it. Now, I should make this clear, even though we think we have something that could vanish with more experiments, but that’s the process! That said, I think there’s a lot going on here that gives me hope we have something. The latency of the response is almost exactly where we would expect to see it physically speaking, it’s where we would expect to see it, and overall everything looks close to what we would expect to find if what I’m doing is valid.
This is just another step in the process, so it doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods and ready to publish, but it does mean we get to take a few more cautious steps in the coming months. That’s where it gets exciting because not only did we see some things were we would expect to see them at the time we expect to see them, we also found some odd things! Not odd really, but odd in the sense that we have no clue what it means! It’s exciting and if it weren’t for the way the system works I would be shouting it to everyone hoping to get help figuring it out.
The most interesting part is that the odd things we saw could help explain some of the previous findings from my Co-PI that made no sense. It’s that connection that really makes me think there’s something to be had here. Now before I get too excited, I need to plan what the next steps are and discuss with my Co-PI the next experiments to help answer some of these questions. While we have other experiments going on in the lab now, we should be able to start relatively soon collecting some more data for my projects.
Now where does that leave my “super secret” technique? If we count my qualifying exam data, this is the third experiment I’ve done to verify that original work. That unfortunately still isn’t quite enough to say “THIS IS SOMETHING,” but it is enough that we can keep using this technique in future experiments. How close are we to saying for sure we have something? Well that’s the real question and the answer isn’t so straightforward. I would say I’m halfway to saying we have something tangible and worth publishing.
We still need to do several things, like show that this will work reliably, show that there is useful information to be had from this technique, and more importantly prove that what we have isn’t just pretty noise. That last one, we took the step to doing that with this dataset. We will need to do it with several other subjects first, but this is an important milestone since the number of datapoints we had (1000 per condition) should be enough to say with a certain degree of confidence that what we’re showing isn’t noise. Not to be super repetitive, but that’s also why I’m so excited!!
Anyway, work to do and all that, but in this house we celebrate the small victories! Even if this turns out to be a flop, at least I’ll learn in the process. That said, things to do and data to process, so until tomorrow!