Sunday, April 26, 2009

End of the Semester Crunch Time Squared

Hold my blogging!

We will be dwelling in that end of the semester crunch time for the next several weeks.
(Quantity squared).

The Boychick is finishing up or has just finished up several major freshman projects. He has done his Inquiry Project for Humanities, and he has given his presentation.
He is working on his Big Ideas Project for Science. This project is cool because the project has to be about Big Ideas and their connections for the Scientific Revolution for the big Medieval Faire the school is having this coming week. He has chosen to explore the connections between the Plague (Pestis yersinius), Galileo and Newton. Ought to be interesting! Newton had repaired to his mother's country estate to escape plague infested London, when he was sitting under the apple tree and observing the waning moon, when he had his AHA! moment that the force that caused the apple to fall to the earth was the same force that kept the moon in its orbit. I know that Newton refined Galileo's ideas about motion, particularly falling bodies, but I don't know how Galileo is connected to the plague! Except that the falling bodies he dealt with were not corpses. They were marbles and cannon balls and oranges from Africa.

In the meantime, this was my home today, and I will be spending more time there in the next few days. It is Zimmerman Library at UNM. I work there, because the Lobo lab lets me print journal articles for free and because there is a coffee shop right in the Library. (A tired student can take a cup of joe right into certain areas of the reading room, if it is properly covered). I make occasional forays over to Centennial Science and Engineering Library (CSEL) and even rarer trips to the Health Sciences Library and Infomatics Center (HSLIC). Much of what I need can be obtained electronically from the more centrally located (right next to the duck pond) Zimmerman.

My crunch time involves two papers for courses, and doing organizational work, research and editing for a paper to be published.

Today, I did a lot of work finding imaging studies for my Psych 650 (Neuroimaging Analysis). I am looking at two competing theories on visual processing differences in autism. The studies I was interested in finding are to provide evidence to suppport or discount either of them. For Psych 650, my job is to look at the experimental designs and imaging analysis techniques to determine if differences of opinion are the result of different analytic styles, or problems in the data. Overall, however, my research purpose is to become really knowledgable about the "vageries of visual processing in autism" (as one paper is called), because there is a growing consensus that the "deficits" we see in autism may be the result of a very different way of processing sensory input; a way that does not obligate the brain towards global perception.

My other paper is a lit review for Special Education 695 (Readings). I will place what I learn about the neuroimaging results from the Psych paper into a larger look at the recent literature about cognitive theories of autism, and the structure of intelligence in autism viewed through the lens of visual processing differences. I will looking to find the gap between the science and interventions that is the ground for all good translational research.

I will be probably be lurking a bit on my favorite blogs, old and new. But if I am not commenting, don't feel too lonely. I still owe ChristineMM an answer in a discussion sparked by this blog entry weeks ago!

It is, after all, ACT--Academic Crunch Time! Squared.

Years ago in Russian class, our prof, Boris, taught us a delightful little song: "From session to session, a student's life is fine!" A "sessiya" is exam and paper time.

We made up our little ditty to the tune of Frere Jaques:
Ya niznayu, Ya niznayu, na evo, na evo,
Ya n'panimayu, Ya n'panimayu chorosho!
(I don't know, I don't know, from it, from it! I don't understand, I don't understand, at all!)

It's Academic Crunch Time!

See you Mother's Day.


christinemm said...

Good luck on crunch time!

Came over to share this. I now see you are busy but still think you will be interested.

Wonder as the date comes that the artwork will be unveiled, if/how the mainstream media will react, and the public?

I was wondering if this article and artwork will inspire you to blog your thoughts on it?


Close up image of artwork

I saw this on Twitter on a Druge Report update.

Obama portrayed as Jesus on the cross. IMO a visual of the Obama as Messiah notion that has been said in some circles...

Laughing Stars said...

I am so impressed with the work Boychick is doing! Good luck to all of you during crunch time.