Intern Class of 2010: Cicely DiPaulo

Recently, CIS caught up with Cicely DiPaulo, one of our summer interns back in 2010. She reminisced about her internship experience and updated us on what she's up to now.

Briefly describe what your research project involved.
The research that I was involved in was centered around the Multi-Displinary Research Lab and the concept of Novices vs. Experts.  This entailed several experiments using stationary and mobile eye trackers to determine differences in the skill-set of novices and experts.  What does a senior medical practitioner see when they look at an xray? Are there certain areas they look that was drilled into them through experience that makes them better at what they do than novices?  Could what the experts see be taught to up and coming doctors so experience did not have to do so, speeding up the process of becoming an expert?

One of my favorite experiments had to do with army snipers as they looked out at a scene searching for enemies among the trees.  As they did visual sweeps of the area were they looking at specific spots? Perhaps spots that experience taught expert snipers where the enemy would most likely appear?  If so then this data could be used to teach recruits snipers more effectively.

 

What was your favorite experience during the internship?
My favorite experience during the internship was taking all of the knowledge I had learned in the beginning few weeks and getting the chance to create and execute my own hypothesis and experiment to test it out.  We, as high schoolers, were trusted to write a proposal detailing our hypothesis, how it would be tested, our data and results and conclusions drawn.  All the responsibility and excitement of working on REAL hard data that I designed and implemented was one of the greatest feelings for me to date.  Especially when it was over and I had data that actually meant something in the real world.

Above: Cicely DiPaulo, left, from Pittsford Mendon High School, adjusts the Positive Science Eyetracker worn by Octavia Rhim, from Benjamin Franklin High School. They spent the summer of 2010 as interns in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, where they worked in the Multidisciplinary Vision Research Laboratory. Photo by A. Sue Weisler

 

How has the internship influenced or changed you?
This internship was extremely valuable for my growth as a person as it cemented what I enjoyed and just as importantly what I did not.  Working in a lab on research that had impact on the world really helped me decide what I wanted to do with myself in the future.  Not only getting exposed to the lab I worked in but making friends with the other interns and hearing all about what they were up to was truly an invaluable experience.  It was like getting exposed to five or six life paths over the summer and being able to decide what caught my interest and what did not.  This was extremely valuable as it stopped me from picking a major and switching or going in undecided.

 

What are you up to now?
Right now as a sophomore Imaging Science student I am actually in a team that put together a grant proposal to do my OWN research.  This is especially exciting because it is research that I am interested in and everyone that I gathered together on my team are my friends and hard working classmates.  The opportunities available to us as students are incredible considering it is only my second year and I am already geared up to do my own research.

 

What are your future plans?
My future plans actually include studying abroad next year fall semester.  Even in a science centered major I found time to study an entire semester in another country!  That and working on research for my proposal so it can be entered in Imagine RIT in the spring.

 

Would you recommend this experience to others?
I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone who gets a chance and is interested in the field of science.  What you learn, the people you meet and the things you get to work on are an extraordinary experience that I would go back and do again and again.

 

Anything else you would like to mention.
In a major like Imaging Science hard work pays off with great rewards and opportunities!

 

Cicely graduated from Pittsford Mendon High School in 2011. You can read the blog she kept while she was an intern here.

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Last Modified: 6:12pm 16 Nov 12