With my adviser using my spectrometer today for demonstration purposes, I instead stopped taking measurements for a day and instead switched to finishing my other work and attending a series of intriguing graduate research talks over in the Louise Slaughter Hall. At 10:00 AM I went to "Reverberation Mapping of the Size of the Dusty Tori in Active Galactic Nuclei" as researched by Mr. Vazquez (apologies, for I don't know any first names). It was an interesting talk, but luckily not too far over my head, and it gave me an interesting insight into the mapping strategies employed by astronomers when basic optical methods just won't cut it. After that, at 10:30 AM, the other interns and I switched over to "In-site Experimental Investigation of Transient Current Densities and Performance of PEM Fuel Cells", conducted by a Mr. Shah. Unlike the first talk, this one did go a bit over my head (with it being overly technical, in my opinion), but I managed to get the gist. Overall it was a discussion of how pressure and temperature fluctuations affected the electrical response of hydrogen fuels cells, as far as I could ascertain. I also attended "Unified Rendering: A Ray-Tracing Equivalent Recursive Rendering Technique for the GPU Pipeline" by Mr. Tayrien, and interesting but similarly well-presented take on melding the formulas used in ray-tracing and gpu rendering into one algorithm whose variance is dependent only on recursive depth, and at 2:30 I attended "Design of Digital Systems, in Fractal Form, Using the Digital Basic Cell DBC 440" hosted by Mr. Quinones Sanchez, a similarly interesting talk on a modular, homogeneous design of processing units through use of individual logical "cells", without losing functionality.
Overall they were all pretty interesting. Outside of that, I just finished up my abstract and title and thought up a general "game plan" for the future, but for the most part everything I need to do is set up. Hopefully tomorrow, when I get a fancy new spectrometer from Dr. Ientilucci, everything should be able to proceed nicely.