Tuesday, August 16, 2016


This is it. We are (almost) done. Only a few more rehearsals and before we know it, the anticipated tomorrow will come. We will be standing at the podium in the auditorium, telling everyone about our summer research. Ahhhhh

We went to Crossroads for lunch because what do you know? It finally opened! We had attempted to go there multiple times in the past, but it was always closed!

We played 2 Truths and a Lie and Never Have I Ever. Aren't those supposed to be get-to-know-you-games that you play at the beginning of the internship? Well we played them today because we're special.

I'm trying to come up with some meaningful last words to end this internship, but I'm really blanking. I'll just half-quote Zihao and say that this internship is a good way to "have friends and be cool." Which is the truth. It was a good time. And not only did I become friends with lots of fellow nerds, I became friends with a hedgehog named Mo (which is MOre important).

So that's all .... For now. Maybe in like a year I will randomly post a blog and everyone will be like what???! (Just kidding, who would keep checking my blog after a whole year?) Alright then. Goodbye!!!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Day 29

Today, Allyse and I had our most successful presentation rehearsal so far!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Day 28: Mad Scramble

The entire day before 2:00 cannot be described as anything but a mad scramble. Allyse and I had to make many adjustments to our presentation, like compressing the slides and rehearsing it. Unfortunately, we weren't able to rehearse with each other before the 2:00 run-through.

It was 1:59 PM. After a messy transition from Google Slides to PowerPoint, our presentation was as good as it would get at the moment. We felt slightly panicked. We dashed down the stairs to the auditorium.

Witnessing the other interns' presentations was very constructive and beneficial. Everyone did very well! I may have made Maria laugh in the middle of her's, but I am proud to say that I was able to control my laughter when Cici mentioned "Prussian Blue" in her presentation (Ryan Higa reference).

Although the timing was not in my favor, I appreciate that we had the chance to rehearse in the auditorium today. The other interns gave helpful advice and Allyse and I were able to revise our presentation later to make it more organized and coherent (with the help of Dr. Messinger).

Today was our last Friday cookout. It made me sad. I brought guacamole and it was gone in 2.75 seconds...wow Maria.

Just kidding. It wasn't just Maria. We all ate it.

Ok but Maria ate the most.

Just kidding again....

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Day 27: Bad Strawberry Situation

Once again, I find myself starting off my blog with a complaint. But I believe I have a good reason to do so, as I have been faced with Java's smoothie strike 2. Maria and I had walked to Java's again and decided to play it safe by ordering a strawberry smoothie (no coffee involved). Unfortunately, this smoothie was just...sketchy. (Check Maria's blog for an accurate description and further details.)

The rest of the day was okay. I spent the morning writing a script for myself as last minute prep for a practice run-through with the other interns during lunch. We all watched each other's presentations (I feel like my grammar is wrong here) and gave advice. It was the first time Allyse and I had rehearsed our presentation. Although it was a rather bumpy ride for both of us, I am glad we went through (all 50 minutes of) it. We received helpful advice from the other interns and made adjustments to our presentation afterwards.

I am making notecards now. Hopefully it helps.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Day 26: Bad Chocolate Situation

I apologize for my negativity here, but I must explain my anger regarding a Chocolate Situation smoothie. Sometime in the afternoon, I developed craving for a smoothie, so Maria, Allyse, Alice, and I took a walk to Java Wally's. I thought "Chocolate Situation" sounded like a splendid name for a delicious chocolate smoothie. To my immense disappointment, it was not a chocolate smoothie at all. Rather, it was 99.9999% a frappe with only the slightest hint of chocolate. I don't like coffee. I like chocolate. (But ok, it was kind of my fault because I didn't really read the description before I ordered it.) I'm still angry though.

Besides that whole mess, my day went quite well. Allyse and I finished our presentation (yay) and showed it to Dr. Messinger, who gave us a couple suggestions. Now I am working out a script which I will pressure myself into memorizing word for word but then tell myself not to because that's not going to make me a better public speaker.

Roger Easton was kind enough to spend a considerable amount of time giving us a presentation on his work restoring historical documents (which is what I'm trying to do). Getting to hear a firsthand account on the Archimedes Palimpsest was super cool. Speaking of cool, the room we were in was so cold! Anyways, I was shocked by how well PCA had worked on the documents Dr. Easton showed us. My results pale in comparison. We also got to hear all about Dr. Easton's trip to the Sinai Peninsula and Georgia (not the state, the country) and other locations around that area. He and the imaging team got to image and process many documents from different libraries/archives there. It is honestly so impressive and touching that Dr. Easton spends so much time and effort on this work, but doesn't do it for money; he does it so that he can contribute to society. Along with imaging many documents, Dr. Easton and his imaging team got to tour those countries and experience the culture there. In my opinion, document restoration is such a good mix of science/technology and humanities/anthropology/cultural studies.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Day 25: Interns Become Planets

Today, the pretzel box overcame friction.

Also, we all turned into planets. Except for Zihao, because Pluto is not a planet, and Maria, because the sun is not a planet either. Despite this fact, we do not treat Zihao and Maria as outcasts because we are an inclusive solar system. Oh and most importantly, Mo was the moon.

I continued to work on the presentation. I shortened it so that it won't exceed 30 slides and added some pictures and results. I think it will be ready soon for Allyse and me to rehearse.

During lunch, we got to watch more of the Dark Knight. But no, we did not finish it. Offering no explanation whatsoever, Niels had abruptly stopped the movie and left. (K bye.)

I drove the other interns crazy by telling them a riddle about 2 rooms, 3 light switches, a light bulb, and apparently, E=VIt. Niels was really close to getting the right answer but in the end, I had to explain the true answer.

Anyways, I can't wait for the lunch talk tomorrow with Roger Easton!!!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Day 24

We started the day with the typical morning meeting. Mr. Callens informed us that he was arranging a Wednesday lunch talk with Roger Easton. This was especially appealing to me because Roger Easton works in document restoration which is also my lab!

Allyse and I went over our presentation with Dr. Messinger again. It was helpful and lowered my stress a bit, especially when we agreed to leave the complicated mathematical explanations of ENVI algorithms out of the presentation (since we will be presentation to a predominantly non-sciency crowd). 

Afterwards, we started the PowerPoint. We added most of our slides but it will need further editing. I worked on the presentation for a while, then took a break to do some calc summer homework. I finished 7 questions!

Cici and I took a relaxing walk in the afternoon. Then, she introduced me to her stuffed hedgehog. After intense contemplation on a name for the hedgehog, inspiration suddenly came to us and we named him Mo (short for motivation). Mo will help us stay motivated from now on.

Allyse brought in pretzels and I kept eating them because they were there. Thanks Allyse :) 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Day 23: Research Symposium

Today was an interesting day in which I was late to pretty much everything. My friend Hannah also came for the research symposium and to see what I was working on for this internship. I was late to pick her up.

We went to the CIS building first then decided to join everyone for breakfast in a different building. The other interns were just leaving when we arrived because breakfast was practically over at that point. We ate some scones, the only food left, but appreciating the free food.

There was one presentation I was especially interested in. It was about music source identification and I had participated in an experiment for it (see day 13). This presentation was not until 12:00, so I decided to show Hannah my work on ENVI and the Gough Map first. As I was explaining the many processing methods, I realized that this was a good way to practice for the final presentation. It was also a wake-up call for me to look over how PCA works again...

When my explanation of Gough Map stuff was over, it was only 11. With an hour to spare before the presentation, Hannah and I went to Java Wally's and had their chai lattes, which I highly recommend. As expected, we somehow lost track of time and it was only a few minutes before 12 when we realized we were about to miss the presentation.

We sped back to the Louise Slaughter building but had trouble finding the room the presentation was in. When we finally found it, the door was shut and we were late by 8 minutes. We decided not to barge in right in the middle of the presentation.

We were very disappointed to have missed the presentation, but it was time for lunch and that lifted our spirits. After some confusion regarding blue vs. red tickets, we found the room we would be having lunch in (and we weren't late, good job). There was a lunch speaker who talked about her goal to make solar panels more common in Rochester. I was intrigued by her story and inspired by her dedication to improve this city.

After lunch, Hannah and I leafed through the symposium packet and picked a different presentation to attend. This one was about the emotional and physiological responses people have when reading about interpersonal violence. We thought this topic would be relatively easy to follow, but we ended up a little confused. We assumed we were not the presenter's target audience. And by the way, we were late to this presentation (but only by a minute).

Going along with the day's theme of tardiness, Hannah and I had hoped to go to Ben and Jerry's after the presentation and take advantage of their 50% off Friday deal. After fast-walking across what seemed like the entire campus, we arrived at 2:10. Ben and Jerry's closed at 2.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Day 22

Today, I mostly wrapped up my work on ENVI. I selected a few of my best results to send to Oxford. Afterwards, I finally got to work on the Codex Selden (the Mexican one) after Di saved me from having to wait 10 years for results to load. The codex images had over 900 bands originally and had to be reduced to around 300 so that programs could run faster on it. I tampered with Di's image reduction code for a while with little success. Thankfully, he came to the rescue before I almost overloaded and destroyed his custom-made code.

So I found out that Blur and Divide does not seem to like the codex.

On the left is the RGB image of a section of the document. The result of Blur and Divide on a Match Filter result is on the right.

Oh wait, you probably can't see anything...well that's because there's nothing there. At first I thought I had clicked the wrong buttons, but I redid the entire process and was once again met with a blank square with random black specks scattered sparsely throughout (which you can't see now because the picture is too small).

On the other hand, Blur and Subtract (a different form of "spectral math") appeared to be more promising. At least there was something in the resulting image.

Although subtraction seems to work better than division in this case, I still think that "Blur and Divide" is a cooler name.

I believe I am officially done with processing images of the Gough Map. I may attempt to get more out of the Codex Selden but I'm not sure how significant my finds are. I will definitely start to make my PowerPoint soon.

Oh, also- we played a game of Apples to Apples during lunch as a means of lowering stress levels. Being the studious intellects we are, the game was taken quite seriously. It may have possibly increased stress instead. I'm kidding. Our stress level either decreased...or remained the same. But really, it was a fun game.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Day 21: Movie Night Attempt 1

There are only 2 weeks left of this internship. This fact hit me hard, along with the realization that I will have to gather all my results and compile them into a presentation that I will be showing to a large, intimidating audience in only 14 days.

With the home stretch before us, Dr. Messinger, Allyse and I have planned a rough breakdown of the 2 remaining weeks. After running ENVI processing on a couple more chips and hopefully a quick look at the Mexican codex, we plan on starting to make our presentation at the beginning of next week. Pretty much, the sooner we finish processing the data, the sooner we will finish the presentation, and the more time we will have to rehearse it. This is intense.

Backtracking a bit to this morning, we got a tutorial on how to use RIT's library database. Dr. Boateng gave us many research tools that will be helpful in the future. I also found out that I am locked out of my RIT account! Oops.

Dr. Messinger showed Allyse and me a greatly compressed version of the 100-slide powerpoint we had made of our Gough Map results. We will select several more significant results, created recently, to add to this powerpoint. Then, we will send it off to Oxford.....exciting!! Also, Dr. Messinger is trying to arrange a time that we can Skype his colleagues in England. Also very exciting.

The lunch talk topic was very interesting, but sadly, I had gotten minimal sleep last night and my attention span was very short.

Allyse and I got introduced to Roger Easton. This is a big deal. He is famous and highly regarded, especially at the imaging center. I had read a book that talked about his involvement in restoring the Archimedes Palimpsest.

All the interns gathered for a movie that was scheduled for 3:00 but started sometime closer to 3:40 due to technical issues...and Z-How [sic]. We watched about an hour of the Dark Knight. Not what we were shooting for, but that's ok. Our movie will be showing tomorrow and at random pockets of free time until we finish it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Day 20: Bring Your Friend(s) Day

Today was exciting. I got to show my friend Molly everything I have been doing during this internship so far. Dr. Messinger gave a concise explanation of our work and the purpose of document restoration. I then gave a short demo of the different ENVI processes we have been using on the Gough Map.

We got a delicious free lunch at Salsarita's. Molly and I were feeling adventurous and ordered Poquitos for dessert. They were like very not dense donut holes coated in sugar. We enjoyed them and decided that our adventurous decision was worth it.

After lunch, we had the most successful volleyball game yet. I figured that this may be a result of the increased amount of players on the field allowing for greater surface area covered and higher chance of someone being in a position to hit the ball. Regardless, we felt pretty proud when we actually had consecutive volleys. Our practice must be paying off, just in time for the Olympics!

Later, Cici and I taught everyone how to play the game Contact. It was actually very hard to explain so no, sorry, I'm not going to explain it again on this blog. In short, it involved guessing words and "reading minds."

Apparently we were in a mood for group games, so we also had a friendly competition of Pictionary on the Reading Room whiteboard. It started when Molly drew something that I was supposed to determine as Winston Churchill. With my knowledge on historical figures being extremely flaky, I was absolutely clueless until Emily walked over and figured it out in a millisecond.

Molly and I left at 3:00 for her 3:30 eye-tracking experiment in the Color Building. We decided to give ourselves ample time to search for the location to accommodate for the fact that we were slightly directionally challenged. We reached the building attached to the Color Building and walked in confused circles there until we came to the realization that the Color Building was one floor down.

Molly finished the experiment in a recording setting time of 15 minutes (it was supposed to take 30 minutes). We really felt like having some icecream to celebrate this impressive feat. The internet claimed that the RIT Ben and Jerry's was open at the moment: "Tuesday hours: 11:00-21:00" (military time I guess). You can probably guess what happened. Yup, that's correct! After walking across the entire campus, we were faced with the disappointing fact that Ben and Jerry's was closed.

We were crushed by this discovery, but it did not cease our quest for food. We found a coffee shop (that I forgot the name of) and got lattes and frappes. Not as good as icecream, but still good.

So that was my day: food, fun, and friends!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Presentation Outline

Enhancement of Hyperspectral Imagery of Historical Documents
Presentation Outline

Abstract/ Project Introduction and Description (1)
  • Historical Documents
  • Spectral Imaging
  • Spatial/ Spectral Image Processing
    • Spectral (color)
    • Spatial (brightness and location)

Hyperspectral Imaging (1)
  • Define: Collecting hundreds of colors
  • Pictures of Oxford Set-up
  • Example of spectra of images

Processing (2)
  • Overview
  • ENVI
  • Classification
  • PCA Signature Matching (SAM, ACE, MF)
  • Spatial Processing

Classification (1)
  • K-means, Mahalanobis Distance, etc.
  • Example (picture of each)

PCA (1)
  • Explanation and visualization
  • Example (picture)

Di's masks in PCA (1)
  • Picture and explanation

Signature Matching (1)
  • SAM [ACE, MF]
  • Reference spectrum to compare
  • Examples (pictures)

Spatial (1)
  • Blur and Divide
  • Examples (pictures)

Gough Map (1)
  • History
  • What’s in it
  • What we’re looking for
  • Data

Pictures of Gough Map (3)
  • Big picture (high resolution)
  • Big picture (HSI [“data” picture file], used for processing)\)
  • Zoom ins

Results (7-10)
  • Pictures, spectral graphs, etc.

Summary (1)