Hi, I am Nathan Stracke.

I participated in the 2012 REUIR event at Texas State University.

I worked on LIGHT with my partner Josh, and our mentor Dr. Byron Gao. Speaking of LIGHT, what exactly is it? Other than that stuff that brightens up your day.

Well, LIGHT is a Firefox addon which allows people to connect to one another based on the website they are viewing. If someone is looking at a website which is related to sports, lets say a golf website, and another person is looking at a soccer website, then LIGHT will realize that they are looking at something similar and allow these two people to chat with one another. We are LIGHT'ing up the web so to speak.

The research experience may have been the meat of the event, but we did a lot of very cool things whilst completing our research. For one we visited many cool places such as: Intel, Southwest Research Institute, and IBM.

Intel was definitely my second favorite out of the bunch. We saw million dollar equipment creating what we use everyday, processors. It was truly mind blowing seeing the machines which allowed the engineers to modify processors! All of the work which must go into engineering that equipment is truly inspiring. After seeing the equipment we saw many great presentations by many bright people who discussed the direction Intel is moving in, and Intel's Atom processors. On a more serious note however, I must criticize Intel on their coffee mugs. There is no rubber seal around the tops to their plastic mugs! So when you take a drink with the lid on... the coffee tends to spill everywhere!

SwRI was also great. We met many of the researchers who are creating some extremely cool gadgets. Such as a sensor which people can pull through pipes and check for interior damages. This is particularly useful for construction workers who need to check the drainage pipes underneath roads. We also saw a machine which strips the paint off of airplanes using a laser! They had some physical samples of paint half still on the material, and half stripped off with the machine. It was like night and day, the difference between the paint being on and off of the material. Very cool, but I have to give the award of coolest gadget to their unmanned car. Unfortunately we did not get to see it functioning, but seeing it in action on the big screen was enough to realize how impressive it actually is! After seeing some of their research we had a chat with the researchers, and found out what they were like and what they had worked on in the past. They all were a great bunch of people! And it was also great to know that some of them had come from Texas State!

Finally IBM. By far the coolest of the bunch. Case and point, their server rooms and super computers. If someone was to ask me what it would be like to be inside of a turbine on an airplane, I would respond with something like, "Well, I can't say for sure, but I imagine that it would be something like standing next to an IBM supercomputer. Those things are LOUD." For good reason too, anything that can compute complex weather prediction models would have to be!

The final thing which I took from this program were the great people I met while participating in the event! All of us ended up being good friends in the end. One person even ended up replacing a roommate of mine in my apartment!

Honestly though, I definitely won't forget the people I worked with over the summer, or the generous offer the professors at Texas State presented me by selecting me to be a participant in the 2012 REUIR event!








Last Updated (Wednesday, 03 October 2012 17:17)