General Information

Student: Terence Vaughn
Office: 448
School: Texas Southern University
E-mail: tvaughn@reu.dimacs.rutgers.edu
Project: USCG Air Station Simulator

Project Description

I am assisting in the research and development of a software package for the US Coast Guard. It's a model that will simulate both scheduled and random occurrences of typical events that happen at a Coast Guard air station. It will also provide them with accurate statistical data about their missions to help them with optimal allocation of their recourses.

Weekly Log

Week 1:
Day one was all about settling in, getting to know the faculty, and other REU participants, we had orientation seminar and other planned activities. The rest of the week has been spent meeting with my mentors and doing background research on the various recourses that have direct a impact on my project. I also put together a power point presentation that stated my research plans for this summers REU. I presented Friday morning.
Week 2:
This week I spent most of the week getting a power point together to present at the weekly CCICADA meeting. I introduced myself, explained to the group what my contribution to the ACCAM project is, how I plan to approach it and what programming languages im considering using. They had plenty of suggestions that would keep me busy through the rest of the week. By the end of the week we concluded that Python would be the language of choice for this project. I met with my mentor and we put a timeline in place to prevent any falling behind. Because this is my first encounter with Python I took a lot of time reading and watching tutorials to help me learn and better understand the language.
Week 3:
This week we all attended a seminar that Dr. Fiorini gave on graph theory in forensics. It was a great talk packed full of a range of very interesting topics that tie into graph theory ranging from fingerprint analysis to blood splatter patterns. The rest of the week was spent familiarizing myself with a few Python libraries and other tools that im considering using to build the GUI. This has been difficult considering the number of libraries available for Python. I Worked on a mock up of what my UI will look like, got it approve and start coding it.
Week 4:
This week I met with Dr. Kantor and he gave me a few programming exercises aimed at making sure that I understand some of the statistical math that is involved in making sure this project is completed successfully. I also completed the first page of the UI. Im currently discussing some new ideas and possible changes to improve on it with my mentor.
Week 5:
This week I finally have my program up and running, and showed a demo of how it works in the weekly CRG meeting that I attend. There are still a few minor bugs to be worked out, so I spent the rest of the week correcting those bugs.
Week 6:
My mentor gave me a second part to this project, which is to take a very large data set and write a script to automate the process of cleaning that data based on a set of specific rules. I spent a lot of the time researching how to interact with an excel workbook in Python and started writing the code to manipulate the data as needed.
Week 7:
This week I continued my work on the data-cleaning program, which has proven to be challenging. This is also the week of final presentations, so I spent a lot of time preparing my PowerPoint presentation and practicing with my offices mates and mentors. Friday's presentation went well, and after everyone presented we all had a picnic.
Week 8:
This is the last week. We said our good byes to the Czech students and the American students that are traveling to Prague. I spent this week writing my final report on my project with feedback about the program over all. I attended my last CRG meeting where I gave a final summary about the work I’ve done this summer and what work I will be continuing to do after I return home. I also had a few meetings with my mentor where we put in place some goals for my continued work and discussed an upcoming conference where we will be presenting our work. I learned a lot over the last 8 weeks, this summers REU was a great experience!


Additional Information