For every step forward, another curveball

Well, once again, grad school has decided to throw me a curve ball. I’m really getting sick of them. And hopefully, this one will be really easy to figure out and move forward from.

When I run user studies, I need to run them in a lab that has either mac or windows computers – as the software I use only runs on those. And, as “luck” would have it, there is exactly one lab like that in computer science at my school (all windows). And then, because it’s not hard enough with only one lab, this semester, there are four courses using that lab, so it’s already quite booked up just by lab time.

I was then informed that I can’t book the lab unless the instructors who have classes using it all gave me permission. And one instructor promptly said sure, but not until April. And I understand the instructors dilemma, the lab is so booked that students are already going to have some trouble getting in and using it. But if I have to wait until April, there is a good chance I will run out of time to gather data, as the studies have to be run by a certain date to access the participant pool I want to use.

Moving to another lab poses it’s own challenges – I will need access to enough accounts so that I can login each computer under a different account. This is easy to do in comp sci – because we have accounts that you can get access to for this very purpose. Not so easy on the main network. Other labs are also booked up, so the problem of finding time available for use is still going to be a problem.

At this point, I’m trying not to stress about it and instead focusing on believing that everything is going to work out. My supervisor is unfortunately away right now, but is aware of the problem. As he’ll have a much better idea of how to gain access to and use other resources on campus, hopefully he’ll be able to find a solution.

I suppose, worse case, I will have to run the studies one or two people at a time, using computers/laptops that I have access to. Not so awesome, but do-able.


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