As I have said, this week I was busy making my final presentation. I had to overhaul my presentation at least four times in two days. And this morning, I presented it in front of almost everyone from AIP and SPS, my mentors from NIST and fellow summer interns.
Yesterday, I was really surprised to meet Prof. Bentley (one of the hardest and coolest professors in Adelphi and I know he reads this journal every week J) in the science café. We had a dinner together and he wished me luck for the presentation the next day. On that science café, Prof. James Gates gave a talk about string theory. It was fun and educational. Both Prof. Bentley and I won some prizes for answering the quiz questions asked by Prof. Gates.
This week at NIST, we replaced an old and noisy chiller with a new one. It looks like this new chiller needs another chiller or fan to cool it down. We also got our much-awaited Si-TSV sample. We will be heating it next week along with our old samples. I hope we find some significant results before this internship is over, which is in a week and a half.
Yes, our time in the DC is almost over!! That makes me sad because we had so much fun here, except for the heat. Today the heat index is 1210F; I don't like that at all.
Well our internship is almost over. I am saying this because our final internship presentation at AIP is exactly a week from today. So we all have a busy week ahead of us.
Today we went on a tour of National Science Foundation (NSF). I still cannot believe we also got to meet the Deputy Director of NSF, Dr. Cora B. Marrett, along with other important people at NSF. Thank you Patricia Engel, former SPS Intern, and AIP for arranging this tour.
At NIST, we spent most of the time this week collecting data from Vector Network Analyzer (VNA). Now I am getting used to working with VNA and the process of data collection. We also spent some of our time analyzing data. So far our samples have gone through 150 heating-cooling cycles and we haven’t seen any changes on the input reflection coefficient. But I'm still hopeful that we'll get some results that I can present in our final presentation next week.
The 4th of July fireworks were simply amazing. We went to the Lincoln Memorial and waited for five hours; it was worth it. Tuesday, we analyzed the first set of data we collected last Thursday and prepared for our presentation on Wednesday. Heather and I also visited to the NIST museum and set up a tour guide for the tour on Friday. After the presentation on Wednesday, we connected a chiller on the automated heating chamber system and took some data to optimize the system. We took a repeated number of data sets with the Network Analyzer to see the consistency on the measurement. We took at least 50 measurements on samples at room temperature.
We all visited NIST on Friday, and the tour was surprising and mind-blowing for me. I have been working there for more than a month but I never knew NIST has such a hi-tech facilities and research labs.
Week five is also over and yes; time does fly by really fast. After a quick visit to New York, my week started without any bumps. We prepared some samples for the upcoming three day-long training on RF (Radio Frequency) Analyzer. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the training was all about the theories like S-Parameters and Smith Charts. But Thursday was all about the hands on training. We took our first data from the samples we prepared on Monday.
When I was at the training on Thursday, other fellow SPS interns were visiting ACP. An email from Kendra on Thursday morning made me little jealous because it was going to be a lot of fun. But I did not miss the biggest event of the day: Barbeque at Fred Dylla’s house. On Friday, we all went on a tour of the capitol. Courtney and Cabot both did a terrific job as our tour guides. Now, I cannot wait for this weekend because it is 4th of July.
On Wednesday, after the weekly presentation, Annas and I tried to run the heating chamber for the first time. Finally, all the components - including valves and JC system - are working properly. Because of the safety reason, we had to put a circuit we designed for valves into a box. Now our set up looks organized. Yesterday, we took some sample data and we got the results were as we expected. Today, we are cutting wafer into small sample pieces and we will be heating them next week if we pass the review later today.
Last weekend Yaw Obeng, my research advisor, had Barbeque at his house. But I had to wait 30 min each at Foggy Bottom and Metro Center for a train. Yeah, I do not like the D.C. Metro’s weekend schedule. Today, I am really excited because I am going to New York for the weekend. Bus ride will not be fun but I will get to meet friends after a month.
I cannot believe this is already our third week in DC. Last weekend we all went to see the DC Pride Parade. That was the first time for the most of us and we all enjoyed it. On Sunday, we went to Georgetown Cupcakes. We had to wait for at least half an hour in line to get in. The Science Café at Busboys and Poets on Monday was interesting and funny. Joe Placa talked about “Annoying: the Science of What Bugs Us”. Wednesday evening we went to a Golden Triangle Summer Concert at Farragut Square Park. Frozen yogurt and the concert after a long train ride from NIST was the best combination. And tonight we are going to a Noah and the Whale’s concert.
At NIST, all the devices we need to automate our heating chamber have arrived. Today we are building a relay box that will be connected to the FastTRAC 620A. It took multiple visits to the storeroom and Home Depot to find the necessary components required to build it. Hopefully we will be able to run the chamber by early next week. Yesterday, Heather and I, along with some SURF students, presented the work we have accomplished so far at NIST in the weekly meeting. John Suehle always makes this meeting lively. I hope I will be able to present data we are going to get from the heating chamber at the next meeting.
This week started really well. Both Heather and I got our badges, NIST username/password and email account. We do not need to get guest passes anymore. Now it feels like we are real interns at NIST.
This Monday Annas and I cleaned and greased the heating chamber and make it usable for our project. Yes, it is really old, older than us! Yesterday, we got some of the devices we ordered earlier this week. Today, we will be assembling solenoid valves and I hope we finish it by the end of the day. While we were waiting for those devices, we did a lot of readings. I think I read about five papers in TSV (Through-Silicon Via).
Last weekend, we walked a lot. But the best part was Fidele and I tried thrilling air-to-air combat in an F-4 Phantom II jet fighter on interactive flight simulator. It was so fun that we did it twice. And tonight we all are going to the performance by The Capitol Steps. It is going to be MAD fun.
I traveled a lot in the past week. I was in Boston the week before. I came to DC the day after I came back to New York from Boston. I was really tired, but the excitement of meeting other interns overshadowed it. Moving in was not that bad but dragging around luggage in 90F was not fun. I met interns from all over the US who had different accents.
Orientation at the American Institute of Physics (AIP) was fun. The paintings in the conference room were interesting, especially the jaguar. We also had an opportunity to have lunch with the 2006 Nobel Prize winner John C. Mather. He gave great and encouraging advice to us. We also got cool gadgets, like the galileoscope, from AIP.
The first day of work at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was after the orientation in AIP. Since I am an international student, receiving a badge to enter into the NIST complex and the building is really hard. On our first day of work here, Heather and I were stuck in the security gate for almost half an hour.
I will be working with Annas Afzal, a SURF student from City College of New York, and he is graduating today. Yesterday, the post doctorate I am working with gave an overview about the work that we will be doing for the summer. It is interesting because we will be starting from the very beginning, i.e. we will be setting up the lab and going from there. Dr. John Suehle just gave me a machine, which I have to program and make it work the way we want it, and it's due on Wednesday. I hope I will be able to finish it on time.
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