Monday, May 23, 2016

Weekly Blog #33- Final Presentation Night

Last Friday was ISM's big event, Final Presentation Night. FPN day was probably the most stressful night of 2nd semester, in large part because of the sheer amount of requirements and items to take care of. Whether it was finishing my Final Product or coordinating the abundant papers and props with my volunteers, I felt very overwhelmed with these tasks on top of trying to memorize my speech and ensure a certain number of attendees. One important lesson I learned throughout the planning process was the benefit of keeping a positive outlook. Rather than letting a responsibility loom over me for a week, I could have viewed these assignments as a way to showcase my knowledge and end senior year with a bang. Luckily, I gained this insight when the event started because the large and eager audience inspired me to showcase my passion for EE and my journey through ISM. I executed my auditorium introduction well, and although I only had 2 attendees at the very beginning of my presentation, I ended up with a full house of around 15 people, each eager to try the random number generator and mechanical flashlight. FPN was a successful and memorable event, especially the IHOP "dinner" at the end. :) ISM has helped me come a long way since last fall, and I will always remember how much it has taught me about professionalism, my field, and myself.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Weekly Blog #32- Almost There

This week, my mentor and I met up to go over final product. We originally planned to do a logic gate demonstration with sensors and lights, but this weekend, he managed to find a circuit that acts as a random number generator. The principle behind the circuit is that the battery supplies power to the small chips, and when time runs out (depending on how long you held the button), whichever chip it last reached is responsible for certain bulbs. The 7 bulbs form the outline of a die, so if the 4 corner bulbs light up, you have the number 4. It's not as interactive as the light sensors, but the logic behind it is really interesting and clear. I remember in computer science, if I wanted to create a random number generator, I would just type out a few lines of code and call a command, but I wouldn't know how the computer actually did that. Although I'm not too focused on how everything works/only hardware, I like having an idea of what goes on behind the scenes.

As you can deduce from my title, this Friday is also the night of FPN! I have a lot of work to finish in terms of my speech, setup, and product. A lot of ISM students (myself included) have focused on the work and the dreaded deadline for final product, but I must keep in mind that this is an opportunity to demonstrate what I've gained throughout the year. This presentation and product, if executed well, could inspire someone to be a part of ISM or even pursue electrical engineering.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Weekly Blog #31- Final Final Product

This week, I met with my mentor to go over my Final Product. We finalized the two-part product into an overview of the different types of applications of ICs and a logic gate demonstration with a circuit, lights, and sensors. I had done a lot of research in a broad scope, analyzing logic gates, types of IC chips, and various applications of each, so I've been more informed over the past few weeks and will be able to write a more comprehensive report of IC applications in different industries. I've also researched logic gates and how they function, as well as how certain circuit components work (i.e. sensors and transistors). Next week, we will assemble the circuit and logic-gate demo!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

FPN Mock Speech #1

(The speech is broken into 3 parts due to lack of storage on my phone)

Weekly Blog #30- Mock Speech 1

This week, I finally recorded my mock speech for FPN, which I'll post shortly under the videos tab. In the beginning, I was pretty reluctant to get up, change into my suit, and rehearse my 20 minute speech and rerecord multiple times. I waited pretty late to get started, but once I did, it wasn't nearly as tiring as I had expected. If anything, I was more thankful that I had rehearsed and recorded this speech because it only revealed the amount of practice I needed and the improvements I could make. I recorded it so many times because I kept stumbling over sentences that weren't worded as perfectly as written, and even at the end, it wasn't as smooth as it could have been. I also noticed some awkward movement in terms of shifting my body weight or having fast gestures, so this video will help me improve the current state of my presentation. I also realized that the bulk of my speech was about my original work, so I may try to incorporate more about my ISM journey, given that I had a few extra minutes to spare. Overall, I realized that I need to start memorizing parts of my speech every day or two to really solidify my presentation.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Weekly Blog #29- Speeches

My invite is complete- and everyone is invited! I finally finished formatting and proofing my invitation which will go out next week or so. I chose the dark green color with the faint orange line to match my board design, which resembles a green chip. Before I get into the more difficult tasks (like the 30 minute speech), I wanted to mention how something as "simple" as an invitation required a lot of proofing and attention to detail. I had originally missed paying attention to symmetry, like spacing at the top and bottom, and articles, like "of" or "to." Even the fonts and sizes took a lot of messing around with. Our teacher emphasized that the little aspects show professionalism and appeal to guests.

However, the most important issue to consider right now is my speech. How will I prepare a 30-minute speech that captivates the audience yet demonstrates the skills and knowledge that I've gained? In my experience, after half-memorizing my Original Work speech and research/intro speech, I've realized that rote practice and memorization are the only ways to successfully execute a long speech. I'm not one who can eloquently improvise with only a basic outline- I end up cutting out important topics, talk too quickly, or use too many filler words. As much as I don't like the aspect of writing, memorizing, and rehearsing a 30-minute speech, I recognize that it is the best way for me to deliver a memorable presentation. I am starting to prepare it this week, and we will see where I'm headed next time!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Weekly Blog #28- Logic Gates

This week, I met with my mentor to discuss plans for Final Product. We decided that a logic gate demonstration with lights would be a good interactive portion of my presentation, so next week we plan to test it out. One of my original ideas for Final Product was to create a kid-friendly game or kit involving logic gates, so if the demonstration test run works smoothly, I might try to develop that idea. As for programming the IC chip, we decided that it may not be feasible to purchase a chip and download and learn that specific program. However, I will continue my research on the functions and applications of different IC chips, watch tutorials, and read example code to get a good idea of what I might be exposed to.

As FPN approaches, I've decided to amp up the design/marketing aspect of my topic. Electrical engineering doesn't attract the most excitement or interest for most people, so I'll probably add lights to my invitation and find more ways to incorporate interactive and eye-catching designs. Additionally, a lot of the people I'm inviting will be attending other students' presentations, so I want to maintain a large audience.