Research Updates | October 2020

October Calendar (September/November)

October is, objectively, the most wonderful month of the year, and it felt like it came and went faster than any other month. October began in a rush to submit my DPS presentation. I was not that concerned. I had just presented my research in July (which felt more recent than it was), and the virtual platform opened up how we give the presentation.

The final stretch leading up to the 9th (the submission of my presentation) was to produce some final results for my project. this required sacrifices. That is to say, I had to settle for simplifications rather than continually strive for perfect results. Catherine made it clear, at some point, I have to settle for what I have and move forward. This means I used the results of the SF2 model for lower concentration and extrapolated for the higher concentrations since getting a full profile at higher concentrations was a big hurdle. I think this was a good fit because the minimal data I got for 50 and 75 ppt matched up well with the fit. The next step was the 2D thermal model. This was mostly effective. I had to download an updated version and modify it for Titan, and in the process, I struggled to get the model to take the higher order fit of the HCN-water phase diagram. That is to say, I had to use a lower order fit that is less precise. Lastly, I struggled with the time steps being output because the results I presented had a thin liquid level, but it is effectively frozen. It should be entirely frozen. What’s more, the time scales are half the length, if not more, of what other predictions have for models of this size. These are all things I need to improve moving forward.

A look at the program with a view of my presentation format.

In terms of the presentation, I was frustrated with the DPS set up (going in, and after). However, I intended to make use of the prerecorded method they used. I regularly film and edit YouTube videos. This is has not only prepared me for easy editing techniques, but it trained to be fairly comfortable talking to a camera. I debated trying to record all at once or breaking it down to each slide. Each slide, I could perfect the conversation, but I risk sounding rehearsed. The entire presentation, I risk making mistakes or going over in time. I opted to go be slide. This was not effective. I got burnt out very quickly, and I found I would never be satisfied with what I said. So I stopped, and recorded all the way through. I did that one time, and it was fairly good. It was too long and had several mistakes. Rather than rerecord, I decided to give it the YouTube treatment and piece together a concise and continuous conversation with abrupt cuts throughout. This is a common occurrence on BookTube. I remove mistakes often, and I often have a bad stutter. I also do it when I want to trim down excess conversation. I had to make sacrifices to trim this down, and I did so fairly easily. It is a tedious process but one I am fairly fluent at. I am curious to hear peoples thoughts on that approach, especially as it fits into a professional setting. For the slides, I exported them as images and input them into my video editor. In retrospect, I could have had higher resolution slides by recording my screen of the presentation because I could not control the output of the slides. I am sad that I have a poster for AGU because I would have liked to do this again, with this knowledge, at least rather than a poster.

The current iteration of the paper on the HCN project.

As we shifted to the actual conference, I also began to write up the results of my work for the manuscript I started earlier this year. I finished that on time, and it wasn’t that hard to actually write. The tough part was sitting down and writing. Once started, I find putting my thoughts to paper fairly easy. I had adapted my PhD proposal into the paper at large earlier in the semester to the point that I only needed my results. I also needed to finalize a couple tables, but that was easy enough.

Check out my November research update (hopefully an ongoing report) for my plans moving forward!

In the meantime, enjoy some October bike ride photos.

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