I think the heat is getting to my head.

This week, I used "y'all" in a sentence. And not just the title above, I mean a real sentence in real conversation. Y'all is like a bug - a virus - and I've caught it! I vowed to my friends back home that I wouldn't pick up a southern drawl, but I have. It just slipped out before I could catch myself. Maybe I am an Aggie after all. Everything here is Aggie. It only fits that I should be too. Right?

This week, my parents sent me a care package. They sent really simple things, like dish towels and non-plastic silverware and a can opener, but it was amazing to get a package from the real world. My aunt Mary Lu sent me a wonderful inspirational book and my uncle Phil sent me a bag of crushed Fritos. :-) I felt so loved. My parents also sent an electric fry pan, so I can make food with meat! MEAT! I know that I was excited about fruit last week, but meat is just as exciting. I made sloppy joes. Amazing. Between my fry pan and my roommate's rice cooker, we can make anything!!!!  

This week, my mentor came home early from France so that she could meet with us before she left again (for Canada this time, I think). Originally, she would have been out of the lab for three straight weeks . She came back early though so that she could have at least an afternoon with us. It was great to see her and get her input on our progress. She has this natural excitement about her that was really refreshing after the stress of two weeks of development.

As a lab, we got a lot done this week. We have working undo/redo buttons; shapes can be labeled; reaction force panels are added and removed as needed; we have some framework done for correctness checking; the correctness feedback is displayed in an effective but non-obtrusive way; Travis's grouping algorithm is coming along;  and my segmentation algorithm is almost done! We have a deadline of July 1 to get the software functional, and I think we'll make it!

This week I worked mostly on an intersection segmentation algorithm. I'll try to explain it very simply. Imagine a simple "X" shape. People would generally draw an X with two lines. I need to take those two intersecting lines and separate them at the intersection point to make four coincident but not intersecting lines. I also need to keep track of that intersection with a "node". Basically a node is just a data structure that keeps track of nodes that intersect at a given location. What I need the algorithm to work with is the truss structures I described in my last entry, so a bunch of triangles that are pushed up against one another. Travis's will take my segmented lines and nodes and use a variation of a Dijkstra's algorithm to find the small subshapes (the triangles) of the truss and check to see if they share sides. If all of the triangles share a side with another triangle, we've got a truss! Here are some screen shots of the results of my algorithm (the circles are nodes).

This week, we met with the Mechanical Engineering professor that will be using the software in her classes. We got a lot of input from her, and it was helpful, but it was mostly about things that needed to be fixed or were wrong. She did not even like the name of the software, CivilSketch. The things she did like were the things that took twenty minutes, versus the days that some of the other things took. I left the meeting feeling completely disappointed. I think we've made a lot of progress this week, so hopefully we won't have to go through a meeting like that again.

This week, it's as if life slowed down. I feel like this week was closer to seventeen days than seven. This Aggie-life is fading from the "honeymoon phase" and becoming more real. I am still having fun in my lab and my roommate's great, but at the end of the day, I'm alone with Netflix. I've started working longer hours in the lab so I have less down time in my room. I hope that works. I bet it will.

This week, to sum up this unnecessarily long journal entry, was productive, and a bit lonely, but full of love at every turn. :-) I have a feeling next week will be better. Thanks for reading!