Journal Summary 1 - First Quarter
|| (September 11, 2009 – October 29, 2009) || Total logged hours: 28 ||
The first quarter of interning at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory consisted of my mentor and other employees helping me to familiarize with the methods and tools with which I will be working for the remainder of the school-year. The two major tools that I will be using this year are MATLAB and a Global Positioning System (GPS) Data Logging device. MATLAB, a computing language with an interactive environment, is a tool for doing numerical computations with matrices and vectors and displaying information graphically. The portable GPS Data Logger, lent to me on the first day of my internship, is a device which allows logging of routes and paths by either setting an interval (of time or distance) or pressing a button. The data from the logging device can then be displayed in column form or on Google Earth. I have interned for 4 hours (one day a week) for 5 weeks, and have also done GPS work at home with the logging device. At APL, I have familiarized myself with MATLAB by reading through instructional packets and directly experimenting with the tool. I have created a simple M-file that reads and graphs two columns of data, and I have experimented with an already-written M-file that, much like the GPS logging device can do, reads coordinates and altitude and plots the information on Google Earth. At home, I have done several experiments with the data logger; I have taken a walk around my block while the logger recorded data every 20 seconds, I have tracked my trip to Rhode Island and Boston (logging every 15 seconds), I have recorded data every second for a round trip to a village center and back (viewing how the data looked at stop lights/stop signs and seeing whether the data was precise enough to distinguish which side of the road I was on), and I have recorded data every second while the data logger was at rest in one set position (easily showing the uncertainties of the device, which proved to be great). I am excited to make use of my new skills and my understanding of these discussed tools as the school year continues.