Tag Archive | sci-fi

My IAC Dean’s Research Internship

june 1939 coverThis year, I was given the opportunity to do research through the IAC’s Dean Research Internship program! This internship pairs first year liberal arts students with a professor of their major and field of interest in order to learn the ropes of conducting research. In this program each student could either work on their own project with guidance from their professor, or they could help their professor with whatever they were working on. I chose to do the latter.

My professor (Dr. Jay Telotte, an LMC professor and expert in science fiction and animation) and I explored the relationship between science fiction pulp magazines and movies from 1920-1950. We wanted to know if movie companies used print platforms to advertise their films and, if so, how. My only previous experience with the subject was Star Wars, but I was immediately interested by movies and magazines and the way they advertised different subject matter.

tumblr_ooq9bgjk3n1rve49co6_540Both mediums have similar fan bases, so we were surprised to find that there actually were very few traditional movie advertisements present. Instead, there were tons of reviews, pictures of cameras, stories about Hollywood…basically everything but big full-page ads with headlines screaming about War of the Worlds or Star Trek.

So, the separate worlds did converge, and over time, these interactions became more and more frequent, just not in the way we expected. It was really interesting to learn about; it was almost like I was experiencing these shifts over time too.

Last week, we had a research internship exhibition where all of the Dean’s Research Interns shared their work with both faculty and each other. It was exciting to see what everyone else had been working on all year. It was also a really good chance to practice IMG_8649giving presentations to strangers in a more professional setting—something ya girl is not used to or totally comfortable with, but that I was happy to practice.

Thank you so much again to the Dean, Dr. Telotte, and Elizabeth Miller for this amazing opportunity, all of the help you’ve given me, and for the innumerable lessons and skills that I have learned! My freshman year has been wonderful, and I am so grateful for this invaluable experience.

If you are interested in learning more about what we found, the subject matter, my experience and what I learned, or the internship program itself, check out the website I made! ~ https://spacebarinvaders.wordpress.com/

IAC Dean’s Research Internship

August 28th, 2016

When I applied to Georgia Tech last winter, I applied for a slew of other scholarships too. College scholarships, alumni scholarships, Dean’s scholarships, “outside” scholarships…img_8648so many that, by the end of the process, they were all an incoherent whirlwind of “maybe’s” and “money” and “unlikely” in my head.

So, when I found out that I was being awarded the Ivan Allen College (Tech’s liberal arts college) (yes there’s a liberal arts college) Dean’s Research Internship Scholarship, I freaked.

First, because I was super excited about it. It’s a paid internship, under the guidance of a professor in my major. And I’m a freshman. Opportunities like this are extremely rare, so I snatched it up.

img_8568Then, though, I freaked because I had no idea what I was going to have to do. I was excited about it, of course, but what would such a position entail? There was nothing about it anywhere online. Would I be helping a professor with his or her research? Would I need to come up with projects of my own, and only consult this professor for advising? How would I fit this job into my already inevitably busy schedule?

I didn’t know what to expect, but even in February, I couldn’t wait to get started.

Now it’s here, finally, the beginning of the fall semester and the beginning of the mysterious scholarship research program that the World Wide Web has yet to recognize. Now it’s here, and as I figure it all out, you will be the next to know.

In Time Movie Review

in-timeSo last night I watched the coolest movie.

My friend mentioned it in conversation a few days ago and, no one else ever having heard of it, we were all eager to watch it. This naturally called for a girl’s movie night. And Moe’s.

What it’s about:

It’s like something straight off of Tumblr. Like, I think I’ve actually seen a post before with a screenshot from this movie, only no one knew that it was the movie and made up stories to go with it instead.

Anyway, the plot: There’s a guy named Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) who’s really poor. He lives in the ghetto and must work and mind his own business just to survive. That is, until he gives aid to a man who is being targeted for his wealth.

After a dramatic turn of events, Salas finds that he himself is in that man’s position and is being hunted as a fugitive. He is accused of theft and kidnapping and murder and worse: helping the poor.

Oh, and I left out one tiny detail: the society’s currency is time.

The amount of time that people have is depicted on a glowing green clock located on their arms. This time is not only how much “money” they have – it’s also their time to live. Run out of time, and you die.

These clocks start counting down when people turn twenty-five. They stop aging, but survival becomes everyone’s primary goal. This is even true for those who are rich – it is easy to steal time. It’s transferred from person to person by holding wrists; all someone would have to do to rob you would be to point a gun at you.

And boy are there a lot of guns in this movie. Because Will Salas? Yeah. He’s basically a dystopian Robin Hood.

IN TIMEWhat I thought:

Holy dear goodness did this movie get me hype. I still can’t believe I had never heard of it. Then again, the fact that it’s sort-of underground might have made it even cooler.

The best thing about this movie was, undeniably, the concept. Time is literally money. (There were so many pun opportunities. My friends almost killed me.)

It was full of action and was generally fast-paced. I say generally because there were some pretty pronounced lulls. There were too many scenes with empty landscapes where nothing happened, too many scenes of them running from a threat that didn’t even seem to be pursuing them, too many shallow heart-to-hearts.

If the heart-to-hearts were shallow, though, it is because the plot itself was a bit iffy as well. Not the main one (that one was clear: Justin Timberlake Robin Hood and Love Interest steal time from rich to give to poor). But the backstory, the context: Where is everything taking place? Is it America? How was the system even implemented? Who, other the timekeepers, is running things? Why are there only two social classes (everyone is either really-poor-about-to-die-and-must-work-to-survive or is-so-rich-that-they-need-bodyguards-so-as-not-to-get-robbed-and-or-killed)? What happened to Salas’s dad (this is hinted at but never explicitly explained…it felt like the director knew he needed a backstory but didn’t deliver)?

Granted, this is a movie, not a book, which would have done a much better job at world building. But in an almost two-hour time frame I felt like they could have made some things less perplexing.

in time 2This was nowhere near as offensive, but the acting was uncomfortable at times as well. Or maybe I just had a problem with Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried). They tried to make her character a badass, they really did – and they almost succeeded. And I’m not sure if her running around in six inch heels for the entire film was empowering or demeaning. Either way, it kind of made me want to kill her.

Everything that is wrong in this movie pales, however, when you’re actually watching it. It’s so interesting, so unrealistic, so dystopian, so scary, and so cool. It’s something that I wish I had thought of first. The problems I found are basically me being nitpicky; it’s a good movie. Seriously, go watch it right now.

8/10 stars