Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In which we make a professor giggle

We had important professors visiting a while ago from some big-name university in the U.S., touring our building. Usually I don't get those kind of visitors in my lab because we're somewhat empty right now, waiting for an influx of summer students and a bunch of large equipment. Luckily I was busy typing up a storm, trying to sort out piles of spaghetti code (mine, oops) on my seemingly complicated screen.

If we do have important visitors I usually try to look as busy as possible while they tour the lab. I was almost surprised that they stopped on the tour to ask me if I could give a "quick, 60 second explanation" of what I was doing. Feeling somewhat impish, I asked if they'd like to see a demonstration of the super precise pricey positioning system that was part of our collaboration with medical researchers that I had been programming. I did this with my best serious face and my best making-things-seem-more-important-than-they-are tone of voice. Then I made the camera mount play a song while it moved to position.

I didn't expect the group of old men in suits to start giggling, but they did. Now the guy who ran that tour asks if he can see the musical lab equipment every time he stops by with a tour group. Maybe undergraduates/grad students that aren't bitter and miserable are a good selling point for the department?


Miss Outlier said...

Laugh! I love that they still have a sense of humor...

What song did you play?

Enginerd said...

For now it sings its ABC's, but it can also play scales and a bit of techno. We're trying to get a band going with some piezos and a viscometer.

I tend to veer off on tangents. Pick your tangent from the menu on the right.