Thanks to www.phdcomics.com for the image.
First, I should really wish you a happy New Year! I hope 2012 has been going well for you so far. To be honest, I barely feel like I've been away, but that's a story for another blog. I think it's fair to say though, that even having been away from my office for three weeks, my head has very rarely left the topic of my PhD.
Now that I'm back, my main task of the next few weeks is coding the video data from my pilot. For those of you not familiar with real-world eye tracking, we use a mobile eye tracker which the participant wears like a pair of glasses. The eye tracking software makes a composite of the scene camera footage (i.e. what the participant's head is pointing at) and eye camera, where it identifies the location of the centre of the pupil. Put the two together and you have a video that shows where a person was looking in the scene over time. Very clever.
The downside is that coding is normally a manual frame-by-frame process. There are 30 frames a second, and I have four hours of data to code. I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this! To help prevent the slide to insanity I've decorated a bit with some relaxing pictures and nice smelling candles (that won't get lit, just smell nice, Mr. Health-and-Safety) and am arranging several evening meet-ups with friends so that I don't glue myself to this chair until it's all finished.
I hope you're keeping your fingers crossed for me that I find something. I have another experiment to arrange too, but I'll probably worry about that later. So all in all, it's a crazy-busy return to the office, but despite all that, I'm glad to be back. :)