We're a little crazy, about science!

A big result

night scene showing young boy with a little moon in his hands sitting on meadow done digitally

I’m stepping away from my planned sharing of the notes from my lecture to bring breaking news! For those who don’t understand what’s going on, a while ago I had an idea, a “big idea” that I’m convinced will be the thing I’m known for… if it works. And our first attempt was not great. In fact, we got absolutely nothing. The second and third attempts however we were ready and it looked like we had something. The question is what did we have?

So last we left this (here) we had collected some new data and I was fairly sure we had something. It looked like we had something, so I mean that was better than what happened last time. That was the end of the story basically because what else could I say about it? I had high hopes, but that was about all I could do with the information I had was hope.

It’s been a bit and I’ve finally had some free time to poke around at the data and see what pops out. In fact, I’ve been a horrible person because I secretly collected another dataset recently that I didn’t mention (shhh…. it was top secret). Okay, not that big of a deal (see what I did there?), but it was the latest dataset and one that was collected in better conditions. Still not the experiment I want to do, but even if it isn’t how I had hoped to use big idea, it will still be a great proof of concept.

Okay, so the big result? We definitely did the thing. I’m 100% confident that we got the data we were looking for. Now does that mean I can use that data to do something cool? That is the question that remains and I’m hoping to have a firm(er) answer after the weekend as I try to process it some more and figure out how to make sense of it. But really to me, all that is secondary. The primary result is that we set out to do a thing, we did the thing, and it works. Big idea actually works like I wanted it to work. Doing something cool with it is a whole different part of the project and there are a lot of people who want me to use big idea the way they think is the most interesting to them.

In a few weeks we’ll be formally collecting some data using big idea in a way that I wasn’t planning on using. Assuming that makes sense? Everyone wants to use it in a particular way and someone had funding they threw at my idea and so we’re using it the way they want. It will be a good dry run for the main objective, or rather my main objective, and we’ll hopefully learn some better ways to use big idea as we go along. I’ve already come up with some ways to simplify things since the last data collection and I’m sure as we progress things will get better and better.

However, that’s all future stuff. Right now I can say the data is noisy, messy, and making sense of it will take some time. That’s not too big of a problem and I will eventually figure out ways to filter the data, remove noise, and whatnot. We do it all the time with EEG data that is far more noisy (last paper for example…. ugh), so I have some confidence that everything will work out. I just really want to get the best result so I’ve already come up with some new tools I want to develop and fabricate to let me do just that.

While I’m excited to see what we got this experiment and to see if I can find anything useful in the data, no matter the outcome now, it’s really just the beginning. We’re just scratching the surface of what we could do with this and I look forward to seeing what comes next when I get the chance to use big idea the way I really want to use it.

Anyway the short and sweet version is I can’t wait to take the next steps and see what we can do. I have high hopes for how this could help people and I wish I could just jump ahead a few months or maybe a year to see what happens.

Can you tell I’m excited?

5 responses

  1. Hooray! That’s really good news. Thank you for not making us wait until tomorrow haha.

    I’ve spent some time in and around R&D efforts, of course, but I don’t think I’ve watched anyone make an advance that is as big as this sounds, before. So this’ll be fun. Enjoy it all to the last drop

    Liked by 1 person

    June 3, 2022 at 9:06 pm

    • Haha! Thank you. Yes it was good news. It’s been pretty emotional around here since I realized we have actual data now.

      I mean I have high hopes for what this could mean, we’ll see through. I guess I shouldn’t get too excited, but at the same time I feel like the hardest part will just be collecting the data for the project. Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

      June 4, 2022 at 3:37 pm

  2. Saran Wrap was meant to be used as an aircraft skin. Someone decided to throw a lobster into boiling water. Sometimes the off-label benefits are just as important.

    Besides, if someone’s paying for the research, doing it “and” is only a problem if there are overruns.

    Now I wonder how many side notes in peer reviewed articles were always the main point of interest.

    Liked by 1 person

    June 3, 2022 at 10:17 pm

    • I didn’t know that! What an awesome bit of trivia. I agree that there’s no problem doing different things. In fact, early practice will give me a chance to figure out the pipeline I need to process the data.

      Ha you know what’s funny is “last paper” is actually a good example a footnote in the paper being the main point of interest. The project was an offshoot of my dissertation project that school-PI really wanted me to do, so my end use for the experiment was thrown in the future directions section.

      Like

      June 4, 2022 at 3:40 pm

      • Good thing to tell students and lecture attendees: the future study/directions area is not pro forma: it could literally be a career.

        Liked by 1 person

        June 4, 2022 at 6:51 pm

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