I won something!

This past week, I was humbled to receive the Monika Andrews Creative Volunteer Leadership Award, which is offered annually to a resident of Brockport, Sweden, or Clarkson in recognition of volunteer contributions to the community.

Me with Bill Andrews (to my right, who endowed the award), Rozenn, and two members of the selection committee.

Here’s a snippet of text from the Award citation:

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3D Printing quick fix

I recently inherited a laser cutter (an FS Laser HL40-5g hobbyist class tool) and have been trying to get it up and running. One of the first problems was the laser cooling. These lasers require water cooling, typically provided by an aquarium pump in a 5 gallon bucket of water. The pump I inherited seemed to work fine, except for one small problem:

Houston, we have a problem.
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Let’s have a Chat[GPT]

ChatGPT is all the rage right now and I figured it was time for me to jump on the bandwagon. I’ve been exploring the API to see how I might use (and potentially abuse) the chatbot in my teaching and research. Perhaps I’ll write a bit later about how I had it design the introductory slides of my course this semester, or how well it performed on the first test in my course Quantitative Chemical Analysis, but for now, I wanted to share how it could help with developing a research idea.

Here’s the situation: I have a student who is interested in creating a biosensor for her independent study. The paper she found uses a field effect transistor which is something that (a) I know virtually nothing about and (b) requires a fair amount of high end equipment that is unavailable at my institution. What we have is a cool way to make graphene (I’ll share that later) and I’d like to know if I can functionalize that graphene with something that might be interesting. I decided to see if chatGPT can help me with my research. Here’s the transcript.

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‘Tis the season

Grades are in! It felt like a long semester for me, since I had to wait until the last day of finals to give my exam. Usually, the weekend following exam week is filled with holiday preparations, but this time, it was filled with last minute grading. Most importantly, I didn’t get a chance to fully decorate the cantina. Still, a few decorations were placed: sabers were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that Darth Santa soon would appear.

The home Lego situation is a bit more festive. We enjoyed building this years winter scene, which added to our previous houses (this was last year’s addition) quite nicely. I also came across a company that builds blinky bricks, making my Lego illumination tasks a breeze.

I’m hoping Santa brings me a few more blinky lights so next year’s village can look a bit more like the Griswald’s. Merry Christmas everyone.

Coal for Gimli?

Gimli gave us a bit of a scare after Thanksgiving. The basement doors blew open during a windstorm and the runt escaped. He ended up spending the night outdoors. After an anxious night (yes, I’m attached to my kitties), I took what I expected to be a final search for Gimli around the neighborhood, when I heard him crying near the garage. I turned around and there was a grumpy Gimli, sitting on the patio, cold and scared, but no worse for wear. (In fact, despite the rain he was neither wet nor muddy, so I’m thinking he got himself caught in the garage and was too scared to call out when he hear us searching for him.) Anyway, he spent his day back warming up.

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