other thoughts

My contribution to physics research

[Today’s run: 5 miles]

In college I worked for awhile as a “research helper” in the nuclear physics group at Iowa State.  I got the job because a friend from my church group was a graduate student in physics.

I helped gather data and ran computer programs to crunch the data.  There was a little bit of operator skill involved in running the programs, but I didn’t think it was very difficult.  The data was on old style reel tapes.  So, I had to do computer-operator stuff to load the tapes.  Pretty exciting because I got to play around in the machine room with a Vax 11/780.

But!  My real contribution to the effort:  I was an architectural student at the time and I had mechanical drawing classes.  So it was my job to do the lettering on most of the graphs and diagrams that were submitted to the publisher when the paper was written.  The chart was done on a plotter.  I did the error bars and the lettering.

Here is an example from one paper.  They even put my name in the authors section, which was a very kind gesture:

physics fig
physics paper