Week One: Defining Variables

Share This:

Sunday, June 2, 2019


Megan Anderson


One week ago, I flew from Kansas City, MO to Washington, D.C. While I cognitively know that seven days have passed since then, it feels challenging to accurately measure this time (and, thanks to the informal solidarity of my fellow interns and official investigations into the nature of time, I know I’m not alone in this difficulty). The past few days have been full of walking around the city, learning my position within the grid of numbers and letters; socializing, eating, and even kayaking with the other interns; and meeting people engaged with physics in ways I didn’t even know were possible. 

Taking my cue from the world of science, I’ve decided to bring some order to my blog posts by first defining the variables in the equation of my summer. . .  

 AIP desk

Overarching experiment:  

Working at the American Institute of Physics as the Society of Rheology History Intern (which means I get to research and write biographies of accomplished scientists, help with outreach projects, and just generally learn how a physics library and professional society function together - yay!!!). 



A love of physics that is shared by everyone in and related to this internship program. 

Also, my fondness for Trader Joe’s, science outreach, museums, tea, and puns (all things that have been present this week!). 


Dependent variables (what’s measured/observed):  

The interactions among us SPS interns, progress on work projects, personal & professional learning, and extent of exploration in DC.   


Independent variable (what’s changing):  


 Intern group

Of course, this post is meant to provide an orientation rather than a comprehensive account. We’ll see how the story unfolds! It doesn’t quite seem fitting to come up with a defined hypothesis, but, between you and me, I’m feeling very excited for what the next couple of months hold.  

Megan Anderson