REU Official Week 1, Day 1


Today was our first full day on campus! We started out with a pre-program survey, then took a campus tour and got our Crimson Cards in the process!

We then had a really tasty lunch, Chicken Parmesan, and then got down to business afterwards. Dr. Siek walked us through some important info on the REU, namely the schedule for the week and the different graduate students and faculty members we’ll be seeing this summer. We were also given our homework for the night.

One of the things we touched on last night was citation trees and how every paper has one. A citation tree is composed of backward citations, which are the references a particular paper uses, and forward citations, which are the other papers that reference that particular paper. We were assigned to create a miniature citation tree ourselves; see the graphic below for the paper I looked at!


Another assignment was to find a citation manager we liked. I stumbled upon this really nice infographic online that compared the features of different citations managers, and I’ve put it below!

I ultimately chose Mendeley because it had the most features across the board, at least of those included in the infographic. I haven’t had much time to play around with it yet, but I’m looking foward to doing so soon.

We also looked at two articles for our homework and summarized them:

The first article was about a study in which caregivers of depressed patients used a particular software to track their care recipients’ behaviors. All of the care recipients in the study had depression, and the research team wanted to evaluate how caregivers handled this caregiving and how their attitudes of caregiving might change if they were able to share the information they were recording of their loved ones with other caregivers. The researchers conducted the study in two parts, adding the sharing capability to the tracking software for the second part, which allowed caregivers to share their caregiving journals and logs with other caregivers. They ultimately found that the sharing capability overall had positive effects on the caregivers, as it allowed them to create a sort of community. It also had a positive effect on the relationship between caregivers and care recipients, as oftentimes care recipients also became invested in the journals and wanted to improve their behaviors so the caregivers could report positive things in the journals.

The second article was a study in which older adults were invited to participate in the creation of a fitness-related technology in hopes that this would increase the likelihood they would use it themselves. Researchers realized that though there are many fitness applications and technologies available to older adults, these applications are very under-utilized, often because these adults lose motivation or don’t see the practical value of these technologies. The team of researchers wanted to test whether including these adults in the process of creating a fitness application would result in their usage of the product. Participants were asked to use a fitness technology or application for ten weeks and report their usage of the product. They then were asked to help design a new product, and were asked to detail features they liked about the product they used and features they would have liked to see. Ultimately researchers found several common features that seniors would like to see included, such as encouragement to exercise built into the app, simplification of feedback data, etc., and researchers concluded that they wished to see more technology development companies engaging in a co-creative process with older adults.