The analysis of the 4 datasets I have has finally paid off, and results are very interesting. I’ve written up a structure for the article we want to get out of this, but so far haven’t had the opportunity to discuss the structure. Partially laziness, partially sickness, partially scared that again it wouldn’t be good enough yet…

But the structure will be discussed a week and a half from now, with the whole committee together so I had better get my act together.

My other research is panning out as well, albeit not was fast as hoped. First there were technical difficulties, and do I ever not like programmers who think their mission in life is to fill their hours, rather than getting a good product and a satisfied client! Next there are participant difficulties, mostly in terms of getting enough participants rather than anything else. Especially when you are going to do something like exploratory factor analysis or principal components analysis it’s important to have enough people give answers, otherwise there’s not enough data to see patterns in the first place. And yet, even knowing that, I think I wouldn’t have changed my current experiment.

It took a while, but I finally got feedback on my first draft from my other supervisor. It looks like the data fit a 3D structure much better than a 2D structure, and while it all makes a lot of sense, in essence it still might be hard to write this down in a comprehensible manner.

Tomorrow we have another meeting with all of us (i.e. both supervisors and promoter), and then I’d like this article to be on the agenda. Well, it’s up to me to make the agenda, so what do I want to discuss?
– my dataset, which generates errors and I don’t know what do to about them (prolly will make an appointment with one supervisor to figure it out)
– my online questionnaire, which is finally finished and now needs to be sent to several mailing lists. Do they (granted, mostly promoter) approve of the set-up, and what kind of announcement/begging test are they in favour of?
– the article I’m still writing on, mostly discussing the 3D figure, and the implications for my research (which are quite positive)
– the article that should have been written ages ago, but is being held up by the analysis of the giant dataset.
– the rest of my planning, which involves one more experiment somewhere in september and writing everything up (should I start filling in forms, or is it too early?)

Usually, when coming back from a conference, my head feels incredibly full and yet, at the same time, like a stack of umbrellas opened up in my head. Straight, upside down, left, right, on top of eachother, through eachother… it’s an image taken from Dianna Wynne Jones, but very useful, because ideas and questions are just going any which way and it’s hard to capture them on time, or even verbalize them in a way that might later on make sense.

It’s one of the reasons that I always make copious notes at conferences, because when I read them over later on, the feeling might come back and ideas could be verbalized. One of the things the last conference made me realize is that the world is small. There was a PhD student who works with measuring behaviour in severly physical and mental handicapped people. It isn’t my field at all, at least not the people who are her target group, but how awesome would it be to be able to measure whether somebody is comfortable or not without having to ask them constantly? Not to mention, my mother actually works with multiple handicapped people, and I’m fairly certain she’d be interested in the follow-up. I’m actually bursting to tell her, and ask her whether she would like to cooperate with the PhD student!

Another exciting thing of the last conference: there were so many women! I’d almost forgotten there could be conferences where women are almost half the participants (and then I’m not counting the salesgirls). It was extraordinary to just look around and not feel so … isolated. I admit, that’s a very good feeling, and one that encourages me to keep believing in my own possibilities and capacities. Hopefully, that way other people (women) can take strength from me in return.