These past few weeks absolutely flew by as we were all busy with our week of summer school in Poland as well as finishing up our projects in the few remaining weeks we had in Germany. Poland was a lot of fun; it was a week filled with informative lectures on new technological applications in human-computer interaction as well as hands-on workshops that involved various skills like sketching and prototyping. I also got to experience and learn a lot about the culture and history of Łódź, like how the bustling shopping center known as Manufaktura was once a textile factory. We were lucky enough to be able to zipline off the rooftop of Manufaktura and see the beautiful views from above.
I met lots of graduate students and professionals at the summer school too, and it was fun collaborating and learning with them during our afternoon workshops. There were lots of after-school activities a lot of us participated in too, like a walking tour of Łódź where we got to see some really interesting sites like this hallway of broken mirrors formed together to look like flowers.
I’m not sure when I’ll be back in Poland again, but I had a lot of fun during my week there at the summer school!
Once Midori, Calvin, and I got back to Stuttgart, we were all busy finishing up our projects before the end of our internships. Although there was a steep learning curve in the beginning, I finally was making a lot of progress with my underwater Unity environment. I was especially happy with how all of my scripts were turning out, especially with all of the object movement in the scene. Since Midori and I sat in the same office, I would lean over and make her test my environment to make sure what I was trying to simulate still made sense. It was a lot of fun working with the Oculus, especially since I had absolutely no experience with virtual reality before coming to Germany. This is what my setup looked like:
I was able to finish up the underwater environment and give a brief demo to Tonja and Pascal! I was really happy with how it turned out, and even though I’ll no longer have an Oculus headset to use, Pascal gave me a lot of useful information of how I can convert the scene to Google Cardboard so I can use my phone and be able to see the scene I built in a virtual environment.
The entire lab also had a summer barbecue party! There was so much good food and competitive ping pong, it was a really fun way to wrap up our summer in Germany.
Before coming to Germany this summer, I was nervous about how everything would work out – research at the University, living in Germany, the language barrier – but these past two months flew by in a whirl. I learned so much, not only about human-computer interaction research, but also about graduate school in general and how to even just live on my own in a foreign country. I had so much fun this summer, I’m so happy I was able to take part in this opportunity!