Monthly Archives: January 2014

Love and Determination – Taylor

At long last, after weeks of not blogging, I’m proud to say that I officially have approval to continue my Independent Research Project into next semester! Just as before, I will continue editing my work with the guidance of my fabulous mentor, Robert Whitehill. By the end of the project, I plan to have approximately 80 pages of finished work, both of my creative writing and notes/advice from my mentor. 

In my last post, I mentioned that a committee of faculty and classmates would be sitting down with me to talk about my writing after they read my final project of 43 pages. Overall, the discussion went well and I received a lot of great feedback from each of the committee members. While there are many pieces working well in my project, there are still some holes in its foundation and logistical components that need adjusting. Continue reading

Music in the Stars – Why am I doing this?– Anne Katherine

For as long as I can remember when asked the frequent question of what I want to be when I grow up my answer has been I am going to study space. The form of this response has changed through the years from becoming an astronaut, to a scientist at NASA, to my present day goal of holding a research position at, in my opinion, the most prestigious center for research in the world: CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. Continue reading

Music in the Stars – Background on the astrophysics being explored — Anne Katherine

            Quantum theory tells us that when absorbing light from distant light sources each element will absorb a particular wavelength corresponding to its electron configuration. When we on earth observe this light we are able to see distinct absorption patterns allowing us to identify which elements that specific beam of light encountered on its way to earth. Continue reading

Music in the Stars – A brief overview — Anne Katherine

As our independent seminar gets underway I would first like to briefly introduce my project, coined Music in the Stars. My goal with the project is to combine the fields of astrophysics and music theory in a way that has never before been examined. I find the possibility of a link between these two subjects extraordinarily intriguing and last spring I began contemplating how to go about searching for such a connection. Originally, the idea for my project took the form of integrating a musical staff into a self-created star chart and examining the result of using the stars and other celestial bodies as music notes. However, after careful consideration and research, I came to the conclusion that I would like to take a more academic approach in order to lean away from the music theory aspect of the project and more heavily toward that of astrophysics. Having come across research involving the Lyman Alpha Forest I have begun to draft the outline for a new take on this unique combination of subjects. I believe that I am capable of transferring lyman alpha forest data into musical composition by shrinking the wavelengths observed by an undecided factor and processing this modified data as sound waves with respect to wavelength and amplitude. I am highly aware that the results may very well sound like chicken scratch, however I believe it will be a valuable learning experience all the same, and just imagine how fascinating it would be if beautiful music were to be hidden in the Lyman Alpha Forest!

Debugging -Chester

Debugging is one of the most important parts during a software development. As a tradition, engineers name their first product the Alpha version. This is the first version which direct comes from engineers without any testing. Then there is a set of tests the product has to go through in order to make sure it meets all the requirements. In our life, we can always see things in Beta version of a product. This version has usually go through the Alpha phase which indicates that is has met all the requirements. Beta tests gives engineers feedback  directly from users. This will provide some ideas on how to improve the program.  Continue reading

Reflections on the First Semester of the Independent Seminar — Margaret

We are in the last weeks of the inaugural Independent Seminar. If you have been following this blog you know that each of the students involved is pursuing a very different passion. In mid-December they each wrote a final blog post and are now writing self-reflections as they put the finishing touches on their projects.

I have been trying to decide how to describe my role as it has evolved. What follows are some terms that do and don’t fit Continue reading