"Anything you can do, I can do meta."

This week went pretty well, I think.

This week I worked on the recognition of trusses. Sketched trusses look like equilateral triangles stacked up next to one another (one facing up, one upside down, one facing up, etc.).  I started with an equilateral triangle and two lines (this would look like a facing up triangle next to a facing down one). Then I worked on adding two lines similarly to an existing truss to make a bigger truss. I got that working in about a day and a half, and then moved on to a truss made from two triangles and a line connecting them. When I got that working, I added functionality to add a triangle and a connecting line to a truss to make a bigger truss. I'm sorry if that was confusing, I'll try to get some screenshots to illustrate what I mean. Anyway, now you can mix and match whichever method you like for adding length to the truss, which could be a really nice feature.

This week, I found out that civil engineering students do not draw trusses the way that I thought they would. Through a user-study by one of the graduate students (Paul), we found out that the students draw trusses from the outside in, rather than by the smallest parts. They draw the entire truss outline before they factor in any of the inner beams (to make the triangles). This was a major let down, because I found out right after I got the truss recognition working by the smallest-parts method. But…

This week, I found my major area of research for the summer. I think. I'd like to make a segmentation algorithm that takes the lines drawn by the user and separates them on intersections. Then it will test for the geometric structure of a truss. Simply, I'm going to take a bunch of intersecting lines and see if they make coincident triangles. I think I'll also be working with Travis (a fellow undergrad REU student) to perfect his grouping algorithm, because I can't get testing data without the grouping algorithm working first. Basically what he is doing is taking a bunch of strokes that are close to one another that might make a shape, and then sending those strokes to the shape recognizers to see if it is the shape or not.

This week, I like to talk a lot about work, apparently.

This week, I finally made it to the grocery store. It is nice not to eat pasta every night. I was getting very tired of macaroni and cheese, spaghetti,  and ramen noodles. I have fruit now! FRUIT! I know it probably doesn't seem as exciting as I think it is, but believe me, if you were living off of gas-station food, you might cheer for fruit with me.

This week, I got even closer to my lab. I feel so lucky to know them, to get to work with them. They're hysterical. I will try to paint the scene for you. Patrick, whose desk faces mine, occasionally looks at me very seriously and swishes his tablet pen at me in a Harry Potter-esque motion. We then duel for several seconds and then promptly return to work. Alexis and I spend all of our thinking time doing origami. We are creating an army!!!! (More about that later. It'll be much cooler when it's finished!) Travis often reads research papers on the wall-size touch-screen monitor while sitting quite comfortably with his zebra-tan-lined feet up. We don't usually know what the papers are about, but I'm sure they're really important. Chris comes in after his kinesiology class and makes a few comments about how deeply he dislikes sweating. He walks around the room for a while and bounces from desk to desk. I'm not sure why he does this, but it's really amusing.  He  usually comes in just when we need a break, so his chatter is really refreshing. Marty comes in a few minutes later, usually juggling. Marty continues juggling for the rest of the day. They make me laugh. Our lab is ridiculously amazing.

This week, the CSE REU @ TAMU program went to a Brazos Valley Bombers Game. Here's some pics. :-)

This week, I have so much left to say! I'll save it for later, though, because you, my reader, are probably quite bored.More next week! Thanks for reading!