T.F.V. ‘Professor Francken’
De Technisch Fysische Vereniging ‘Professor Francken’ is de Groningse studievereniging voor technische natuurkunde, verbonden aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. De vereniging is vernoemd naar de eerste hoogleraar technische natuurkunde in Groningen en is dan ook gericht op studenten en medewerkers van de vakgroepen technische natuurkunde. De vereniging heeft ruim 700 leden en organiseert onder andere binnenlandse excursies en jaarlijks een symposium en een buitenlandse reis. Een aantal activiteiten, zoals de introductie voor eerstejaars en de Bèta-bedrijvendagen, wordt in samenwerking met zusterverenigingen georganiseerd. Het lidmaatschap is een must voor technisch georiënteerde studenten.
Who is Willeke?
Willeke Mulder, is a second year MSc student Astronomy at the University of Groningen current secretary and commissioner of education of T.F.V. ‘Professor Francken’. She has been active in committees like the Sjaarcie, Traktaartcie, Fraccie and Wiecksie.
This month I really wanted to write a blog about my astonishing experiences with doing a case study for the Foreign Excursion Committee, the Buixie.
Why doing an internship?
Currently I am in my second year of my MSc Astronomy. When I started my master degree there were two specialisation options. This was where I choose the most applied specialisation called ‘Instrumentation and informatics’. In order to meet the requirements of the first year, I had to do an internship in the field of Information Technology. I really did not know where to go with the internship until T.F.V. ‘Professor Francken’ came with the solution: Doing a case study for the Buixie (Foreign Excursion committee) at ASTRON in Dwingeloo.
ASTRON and LOFAR
First I would like to tell you something about ASTRON as a company. ASTRON is the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. Radio Astronomy and especially radio interferometry find its application in the LOw-Frequency ARray, known as LOFAR. This radio telescope uses sets of dipole antennas divided over core stations in the North of the Netherlands and remote stations all over Europe. LOFAR software is used to combine all electrical signals obtained by the individual stations during an observation, to form a so-called sky distribution.
In order to look into LOFAR, it was useful to come towards ASTRON every day. I still remember my first day, arriving in Dwingeloo with my mug and backpack. I got an office spot in a room known as the ‘Dinosaur room’. It appeared to be the former directors office with direct view on the Dwingeloo telescope. The first week I had to make a photo for the staff portrait gallery and I got a lesson from the assistant Working Conditions Act, how to sit properly behind a computer. I had to laugh hard when they placed a footstool below my feet. My colleagues were coming from all over Europe. Together we had lunch every day at 12:00 o’clock, and at 16:00 o’clock a (couple) cup(s) of coffee with cookies I baked the day before. There was always a nice ambiance at ASTRON, but of course work had to be done..
My case study was part of the ADDER project, a collaboration between ASTRON and the Netherlands eScience Center located in Amsterdam. I can tell you, it is amazing to join Skype meetings where progresses are discussed with people all over the Netherlands. During my job interview, there was also a member of the eScience Center present through Skype. My part of the project implied using Machine Learning approaches in order to investigate how to support the System Health Management of LOFAR. Therefore I first had to understand the data pipelines of LOFAR and I had to find a way to monitor all relevant Meta information.
To give you an idea of what I did, I will try to summarise the main steps I had to take during the project.
- Studying the datasets, stored as MS files (Measurement Set) in order to try to understand the data processing of LOFAR. I found out that I could improve the data selection process. At that moment observers had to look at 741 inspection plots (plots showing frequency vs. timeslot) per observation, while lot of them looked similar.
- I wanted to find a way to join all inspection plots that looked the same in order to reduce the 741 plots to about 30 images. This would save time for the observer to investigate an observation. Therefore I looked into the machine learning technique ‘Clustering’.
- I found a way to read the Measurement Sets, find and store the relevant information and apply a clustering algorithm with the use of Python knowledge obtained during my BSc Astronomy. The program I wrote is now applied to LOFAR’s standard pipeline. This year together with eScience Center, my supervisor and I expect to publish a paper about our findings.
I took a case study from the Buixie, I got a wonderful job experience, many amazing colleagues, a lot of knowledge about programming, a possible publication and a lot of fun.
On Monday January 30 there will be the final practice session of this period. The Linear Algebra 1 practice sessionwill last from 10:00 till 13:00 o’clock in room X5118.-152, X5118.-149 and X5118.-156. The Oefensescie will make sure that there is enough coffee, tea and cake to stimulate your brains and improve your concentration. Good luck to you all!
Just before the start of the weekend, on Friday January 27 there will be a practice session for the Waves and Optics exam. Make sure to be there to test your optics skills. From 10:00 till 13:00 o’clock there will be free coffee, tea and cake! The session will be held in room X5113.0202. Good luck on your exam!
Just as usual the Oefensescie of T.F.V. ‘Professor Francken’ organises not only practice sessions for senior courses, but also for the courses of the first year of the BSc Applied Physics. Come and join us on Thursday January 26 10:00 till 13:00 o’clock in room X5118.-152 and X5118.-156 with the Mechanics 2 practice session. There will be plenty of free coffee, tea and cake!
This period T.F.V. ‘Professor Francken’ the Oefensescie will organise no less than four practice sessions! At this moment you are still very busy with celebrating the holidays, but we would like to remind you of the opportunity to test your academic skills during the sessions! We will start on Monday January 23 10:00 till 13:00 o’clock in room X5118.-152 with the Statistical Physics practice session. As usual we will make sure there will be free coffee, tea and cake!
Who is Delân?
Delân Çağlar, is a first year Math student at the University of Groningen and already active in two committees of T.F.V. ‘Professor Francken’. He has been a Biology student for already 4 years and this year he made the brilliant decision to study Mathematics. Finishing studies and finding jobs was deferred for some extra years of being a student.
The story of freshman, Delân Çağlar
My story as a freshman is probably a little different than that of most freshmen here as I’m technically not really a freshman. I’ve been studying Biology for the past three years and decided that instead of wasting most of my fourth year on just a few courses I still have to do, I would just start another bachelor! I know, I know, what the fuck was I thinking, but so far I’m not regretting it. I’ve always loved mathematics and now that I know that I want to become a teacher, I figured I’d increase my chances of getting a job by studying maths, since math teachers are scarce. Also, I didn’t like the idea of already having to work in three years (yay procrastination!).
I first came into contact with Francken during the very awesome Pienterkamp. There I met lots of awesome people who encouraged me to join the association. After going to the cocktailborrel and the barbecue, I was certain that I would have an awesome time here at Francken.
After spending some time here, I decided I’d like to do some committees besides the ones I’m doing at Biology. After doing some research, I soon came to the conclusion that the Fraccie was the one for me. Just when I decided that three committees would be more than enough for me, I got asked to be part of the Sjaarcie. As the gullible idiot that believed that a fourth committee wouldn’t be that much more work, I accepted. So now I’m a proud member of four awesome committees.
Of course, you’re not doing a bachelor just for fun. Besides committees, I’m also very busy trying to survive the hardships of mathematics. While I passed all courses during the first period and enjoyed them too, they are quite a bit harder than most first year Biology courses, so it was quite the adjustment. However, if I’d put down the beers some more and instead focus a bit more on studying I should be alright this year.
While I’m very busy right now, I’m very glad I started this bachelor and became a member of Francken. The courses are (mostly) fun, the people are awesome and the activities are very funzies. For those who are enticed by the idea of doing a committee, you should definitely go for it. While it may take up some of your time, it is really worth it and you’ll have a lot of fun doing it.
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