1. 19:12 15th Feb 2013

    Notes: 2

    A few hundred years ago, the people who run the place where we live had
    some money problems. They decided to have their people buy land to make some money. They got some trained people to mark out the land so people could buy pieces of it. For the next hundred or so years, this went on. This caused a lot of changes to the land and how people used and thought of it. It didn't go so well for the people who lived on the land first. But no one cares.
  2. 14:24

    Notes: 2

    A Hybrid Logical Framework

    When I went to after-college college I studied different ways of telling computers how to do things, and different ways of explaining ideas to computers. If you have an idea that is a plan for what you want the computer to do, and if you can say your idea in a way the computer can understand, then the computer can help you figure out if your plan has a chance of working, or if it is crazy and wrong and will never work. But there are still lots of ideas that are good and right, but we don’t know how to say them to computers. In my after-college college work, I found some new ways of explaining ideas to computers that made it possible for computers to understand more ideas than before.

  3. 09:36

    Notes: 1

    computer writing

    I study the way people write on the computer when they try to write like they talk and how the computer lets them. I got a lot of comments from people who use the computer to talk to other people and looked at them. I also asked two groups of people about why they write like they do. I learned that people like to write like they sound, that they like to make words look different, and that people do not seem to understand that the computer is open for other people to see.

    Jen Cunningham


    Kent, Ohio

  4. Systematic approaches to studying mitochondrial disease

    My job is to study the parts of us that change our food into power that helps us live, understand what happens when people get sick because those parts don’t work, and find ways to make these people better. Sometimes there are wrong letters in the directions our bodies have to change food into power. Since we all need that power to live, people can get very sick and die if their power directions are wrong. The problem is that we don’t know how to fix power directions (or any directions for that matter), even if we know exactly which letters are wrong. Also, different wrong letters can make different things go wrong. In fact, so many other things can go bad when power directions are wrong, that it’s hard to know where to start fixing things and because of that, we don’t have many ways to help these power-sick people. 

    This means we need new ways, and to find those we need to understand everything else that goes wrong when someone is power-sick. Figuring out what those other things are is very important but pretty hard, especially because we couldn’t see many of them for a long time and don’t know what they have to do with each other. These days it is becoming easier to see more types of things that go wrong, so we’re trying to put all of them together, understand them as a whole picture, and look for what’s different between power-sick people and power-okay people. Knowing how things are supposed to look can help you figure out how to get there.

    There’s lots of stuff out there you can give to sick people that might make them better, but how do we know what would work for power-sick people? We can’t just throw everything possible at them - so instead, we take tiny little parts of them (without hurting them) which also can’t make power out of food very well. Then we try all the ways we can to fix these tiny little parts. If we find ways that work, we try to find out exactly how they work - we look at all the things they do and fit them into our picture. Sometimes this can help us understand better what happens when people get power-sick, and that in turn can show us even more ways around the problem. Our hope is that the ways we find to help some power-sick people and understanding how they work will help many other power-sick people too.

    Raeka Aiyar (@raekaaiyar), Germany
  5. Twentieth Century Transport and The Role of Discursive Conflict in Socio-Technical Transitions

    I am studying how people talk at each other about ways to go places, like cars and trains.  It will help us understand how people have word fights about the things that they use to do stuff.

    Sometimes when a person makes a new thing that helps people do stuff, it doesn’t get used because there is already a different thing that people use to do that same stuff. This can happen even if the new thing is better than the old thing, because people don’t like to change the things that they use to do stuff. Sometimes, however, really big stuff happens and the old thing doesn’t work anymore. That means that people might start using the new thing, but there will still be word fights between the people who like the new thing and the people who like the old thing. These word fights help to decide which thing gets used in the end.

    During the last hundred years, there have been a lot of word fights about what kinds of things we should use to go places. At first people liked to use trains, but then people started making cars. Then there was a big fight where lots of people from lots of different places hid in the ground and shot at each other. Then it happened again. Cars and other things like cars were good for these fights, so people made lots of places to make more cars. When the fights was over, these places made lots of cars for people, and people started using cars to go places and stopped using trains. There was a word fight between people who liked cars and people who liked trains, and the people who liked cars did better, and then lots of people started using cars, and less people started using trains.

    A few years ago, people started using a bit less cars, and a bit more trains, and there is another word fight between the people who like cars and the people who like trains. Some people say that too many cars will make the air very hot, but other people say they like their cars too much to stop using them.

    I am going to study the word fights between cars, trains, and maybe other ways of going places, to understand how word fights are important when people stop using one thing to do stuff, and start using another thing to do stuff. Maybe this will be important to help us use things that don’t make the air very hot.

  6. Under the Trains in the City: What Happens There, and Who Cares?

    My paper is about the big old things that trains and cars go on in a city: the ones that are over the ground that the roads go under. No one planned very much for what would happen with the parts under them, but over time people have put lots of little building in there. Besides cars driving through the open ones, some people fix cars there, others store things in there. In the parts of the city that are away from the middle, some people even sleep there, touch each other for money, and put crazy stuff in their bodies. What I want to figure out is how different people use these places, what everyone thinks about them, and how that changes the way that the people who run the city do things with them. I say that most people don’t think about them much, but that they are very important.

  7. 04:48 30th Jan 2013

    Notes: 3

    How stereotyping affects first impressions from faces

    I am studying what people think when they see another person’s face. So far I have found out that people pick up on whether that person is a man or a woman, how old they are and what they are feeling. Also people decide what the person they are looking at is like as a person just from their face - do they look like they might be good or bad? Do they look like they know a lot? I think this is important to study because how you think about their face might change the way you speak or act around them or maybe even stop you from talking to them at all!

    Next, I want to know what happens when you have these different sorts of thoughts together: does being a woman make a face look more like they’d be a good person? Does being old make you look like you know more? Also, I want to know what happens if you already think that women make better friends or that older people know more - how does that change how you see someone’s face?

    People sometimes think that they know what someone is like because they are part of a group (like being a man) but that doesn’t mean that they will actually be that way. If you see a face that is different to what you were expecting, like the face of a young person who looks like they know a lot, what happens then?

    The way I am studying this is by showing people pictures of real faces; and then asking them to write down what they think. Sometimes I ask them to tell me how good or bad they look as a person, or how old they look or things like that. I like my job because I get to meet a lot of people and talk to them about what they are thinking!

  8. Strain and interface effects in polar oxides

    This one type of stuff, which means stuff that always has an interesting field around it, has lots of use in computers and such things. This field changes easily when you do something to the stuff, which means the stuff can be used to sense changes. The stuff will lower another field you put it in quite a lot, so the stuff is good for this if needed. Because the direction of the field can be changed with another field, the stuff can be used as memory.

    For these things, the stuff is used in very small pieces. In these cases, the stuff acts a bit funny. The other stuff on which the stuff is grown will change the stuff, and this changes its field. This has not been used in computers and other things yet. Further, putting two slightly different pieces of this stuff together gives you edges, which can have completely new funny things happening in them. New strange things can be found at the edges between well-known pieces of stuff. Understanding how the fields work in this stuff and its edges is quite a new thing. These funny edges could also be used in making computers and such things. Trying to understand what other stuff will do to the field in the stuff, and what edges between pieces of the stuff will do, needs lots of big computers, because the new funny things come from small changes between different states of tiny things in the stuff, when other things are slightly changed. Figuring out how the stuff works is possible with this one way of doing it, which can give a pretty good idea of what happens when lots of tiny things are together.

    In this book, I first tell about my ideas on well-known stuff when grown on top of other stuff. Together with people who check how the stuff works, I say that it is possible for some stuff to have a funny field it would usually not have, if it is grown on top of another stuff. Further, I find out that the direction and other things of the stuff under it will change the field that the stuff on top will have. In the (111) direction, different stuff under it can change the field that the stuff on top will have, or even stop the stuff from having a field.

    Second, I talk about my studies on edges between two slightly different stuff. One type of edges are found to be interesting, which means they can have tiny things moving on them. The type of edge changes how tiny things move in the stuff. Further, together with people who check how the stuff works, I suggest that one type of edge will become very interesting, because it will also have another type of field. This is a field that is usually not in this stuff, because it happens at an edge where tiny things can move, between two pieces of stuff where tiny things can’t move and which do not have this type of field.

  9. Chemical and Biological Sensing with Carbon Nanotubes in Solution

    If you take one tiny layer of the stuff from the middle of the thing kids write with (not the wood), and you roll that layer up, you have a small roll-up-thing. The small roll-up-thing is over one hundred hundred times less wide than a hair, but it is much much longer than it is wide. It is too small to see with your eye, but you can see it with a look-at-small-things thing (one that is a lot of money).

    The even smaller things that make your computer and TV go can also go through a small roll-up-thing, even when it is under water. The number of computer-go-things that go through the small roll-up-thing can be big or small if there are other things around the small roll-up-thing. I made small roll-up-things (which takes a long time) and then I used a counter to study how many computer-go-things went through the small roll-up-thing when I put other small things (such as things that are inside animals) near the small roll-up-thing under water. Small roll-up-things might be good for studying the small things inside animals because they are also small. I tried to understand why the number of computer-go-things was more or less when different stuff was around the small roll-up-thing.
    Lisa Larrimore Ouellette
    Original dissertation here
  10. Telling a Story That is Not a Lie: Living Well in Ways That Are Way More Important Than Normal Life as Shown in Stories by a Woman Who Tried to Grow Coffee Before She Decided to Tell Stories Instead

    This paper explains how stories show really good ideas of the self in ways that allow us to imagine how to live well. I talked about some stories by a woman and some ideas from a man, showing that they were thinking about the same things (who we are, what we do, what is or is not our fault, what is good for everyone, whether who we are makes us good or bad, whether we can change, and how sometimes we can’t do what we tried to do). Both care a lot that we sometimes can’t really pick or control what we do, and that this is one of the things that makes us human, which means that chance and other forces we can’t control are really important in thinking about how to live well. I say and try to show that it is good to talk about these things in stories because who we are (and who we want to be) is close together with the stories we tell, as the woman I wrote about shows in her stories. 

    My interest in both the man and the woman comes from a wider interest in how we use stories to build and think about both normal and better than normal selves, and to show that they are good. In my work in thinking about how to be good in ways that are more important than the normal ones, I have been drawn to works like “The First Story Told by the Man of God” that pay a lot of attention to how things being not calm and or not matching, or not complete form best attempts think well about living well. Those parts of life that make us think more about who we are and what is important to us are, for me, the most interesting ones to consider.