Week One: Thursday

Refection: Day Four of REU Research Overview 
For as long as I can remember my parents have always said, “____ is what you make it to be”. When I started high school they said, “high school is what you make it to be”. So I decided I wanted to be involved. I joined the marching band, winter guard, student council, and volunteered after school at  children’s home. Then I started college and they said “college is what you make it to be”. I decided this was my time to focus on academics. I found a passion in computer science, and found myself involved in various programming projects. Now I am beginning the summer before my senior year of college, and I keep thinking “this summer is what I make it to be”. And so, all week I have been thinking about what I want out of this summer.

I want to leave here in ten weeks satisfied with the work I have done this summer. And so, I have decided to create a list of goals. I want each of these goals to be obtainable, but challenging. I want to focus on both expanding my knowledge and growing as a person. Further, I want to prepare myself for not only the rest of college, but for a career in computer science. With this, I have created three goals:

    This summer I want to learn. I want to learn for my mentor Professor Kay Connelly. Specifically, I would like to learn about research. I have very little knowledge about research. I would like to learn about data collection methods, technical writing, and Android development. Additionally, Then I would like to learn from the grad student I will be working with, Majdah Alshehri. I would like to learn about her experiences in grad school, how she got to where she is, and more about her personal interests in research. Lastly, I want to learn from the other ProHealth REU students. The ten of us are from different schools and have different majors. I want to take time this summer to talk and listen to each one of them. I have decided to measure this goal by three things. In nine weeks I want I say that I have learned three new skills. Each skill must be learned from a different person.
  2. Skill for Senior Project
    In the fall I will be enrolled in a computer science senior seminar. For the seminar I am required to create a semester long project. The project can be anything. Unfortunately, I have yet to come up with a project. This summer I would like to learn some skill that can use in my senior project. There are bonus points if I come up with an actual idea for a project.
  3. Ideas for Future Plans
    Like I said, I will be starting my senior year in the fall. And as of now, I have NO IDEA what I want to do with the rest of my life. My dream job would be writing code for some product that helps disabled individual. How i get from here to there…. I have no idea. This summer I am hoping to learn more about a career in research. Additionally, I would like to learn more about careers after graduate school. In nine weeks, I do not have to know my life plan, but I do expect myself to have a better understanding of my plan for the next two to five years.

So those are my goals for this summer. Hopefully, they will be keep me motivated. I am excited to see where the next nine weeks take me.

Also, If you have time check out my personal website!

& One last thing. Here is a draft of the elevator pitch I will be giving at tomorrow’s ProHealth Tea:

Hello, my name is Devon Mensching, and I am a senior computer science major at DePauw University. So what if technology had the ability to detect and respond to elevated stress in real time? This summer I will be researching how the Microsoft band to detect stress levels in new mothers with Professor Kay Connelly. I will work on a team to create an Android phone application, as well as a Microsoft band application. These applications will use survey methods to see how stress correlates with the Microsoft band output. Our work will help further the research in wearable technology’s ability to detect emotions in real time.