22 February 2008

Magnus and Mean Squares

Week 6 is explosive. It makes my head swirl, to the point of explosion.

First of all, there is the issue of the upcoming Open House. Next week is the Open House Weekend in which prospective graduate students are coming to town to see what is going on in Buffalo, and whether they would want to spend a few years here for their graduate career. And since I happen to be the student that is responsible for the logistics of this event, then I seem to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off, arranging the airport pick-ups and accommodations of the prospective students, by contacting them, and the student hosts as well.

Good thing there is a concept of delegation, so I am delegating some of the burden to my assistant, which will plan the Saturday activities, because I will be out of town that day. I will be in Rochester to attend an assembly, and that takes the whole day. I'd be shutting my phone off, and ignoring the rest of the world, while I take a day-long repose.

So that is one thing.

Another thing concerns Magnus. Sometimes it seems that I am in the wrong place at the wrong time. At this point, my adviser and I are deliberating on what the proper experimental design is for the English data, to which we are trying to contrast the Tagalog data that I have gotten last summer. And all our trial runs seem to be failing, in the sense that it is not tapping what we want to tap.

And to complicate matters, my current IRB approval (this is paperwork that I have to complete in order to ensure that my experiments (which use human subjects) are not detrimental to my subjects) expires next month. I needed to renew it pretty soon (the administrator told me that I should do that by tomorrow) or else they might have to close it. The problem is, since I do not have a good experimental design at this point for the probing tests that we want to conduct, I cannot write a revised protocol, therefore I cannot submit a renewal application. I made correspondence with the IRB administrator telling him my concerns, and he replied that I would be better off by closing the current protocol, and once the experimental design for the probing tests were finalized, then it would be better for me to open a "new" protocol, even if the new protocol is related to the former one.

Now that would be all good, if not for the fact that we (my adviser and I) want to run the experiment before we head down to North Carolina in the middle of March. I fear that the time it would take the reviewers to review the new protocol (even if it is expedited, which it will be, since it isn't one of those experiments that they do in the medical field; I won't be injecting my human subjects with an unknown serum or something else) would be too long for me to run it in time for the conference.

If only that one reviewer did not raise that question...

Anyway, that's the life of a researcher. I guess Magnus is taking its time in order to gestate properly.

But, even if there are times that I want to clone myself, there are also times which make me smile. Like this morning. In my advanced statistics class, we were discussing how to make the F-tests in 3-Factor Factorial Designs. And if the three factors are all random factors, then it would be impossible to construct an F-test for the simple effects of A, B, and C. One thus have to do something called a quasi-F-test, and I somehow found the way how to do it, even before he pointed it out to us. If one wants a quasi-F-test on A, one should take the Mean Square (MS) of AB, and add to that MS(AC), and from the result, subtract MS(ABC). That should give the proper denominator to form the quasi-F-test.

Somehow, raising my hand and saying that before the professor told the whole class made my day today. The professor was happy that someone was getting the material and thus was able to think before him. I love it when that happens, and the professor gets excited.

So there, I get moments like that. And I guess, to cap off the impending great busy week of the Open House, I bought a ticket to see Baby, which is a musical that will be produced by the university's theatre department. Somehow, I find myself being a fan of the aspiring student artists. I've seen quite some productions that they have made for the past two years.

(Amazing ceiling, from my Wall Street Series)

1 comment:

  1. When you mentioned Tagalog I remembered I had a question for you... sorry, not related to the post (you do seem super-busy!).

    Did you find English pronunciation difficult compared to Tagalog's? I have a Filipino student right now in my class and he just can't get his "f" and "v" right in French... I think it might be related to his mother tongue. He doesn't have a strong accent in English but the letter "f" is always a problem for him. Any clue?