• 10 Automation Science Lab Rules

    Being a member of the Automation Science Lab is a privilege only for top-notch students who are actively interested in research.

    (Updated Jan 2009)


    • 0. Share.
      We actively encourage cross-fertilization. That is why you are here. Please discuss your projects with each other and be generous with suggestions/ideas. At lab meetings, please show interest in others projects and participate by asking questions. If you tune out at meetings you are doing everyone, especially yourself, a disservice. We are always open to suggestions and input!
    • 1. Be friendly.
      Please be friendly and greet anyone who enters the lab. Get to know others in the lab. If you don't recognize them, ask their name, what they are working on, and introduce yourself. If they are not lab members, please invite them to contact me directly to learn more about the lab before they enter.
    • 2. Be Safe.
      Always take good care of your lab key, be sure NOT to label it so if it's lost, it can't be used. ALWAYS deadbolt the lab door if you are the last to leave, even if you are just going down the hall for a minute to get a drink of water.
    • 3. Be Alert.
      If you notice any problems in the lab: anyone strange or leaks or anything suspicious, call University Security immediately: 642-6760.
    • 4. Keep it in the family.
      Due to space and security constraints, I regret that we can't allow lab members to bring in friends who are not official lab members, ie, the lab cannot be used at any time for class/group meetings.
    • 5. Keep equipment working.
      An undergraduate student serves as the lab systems adminstrator responsible for ordering supplies, lightbulbs, replacing software, keyboards, etc. Please alert him when something is not working, and please alert both of us if you need something that is not currently available.
    • 6. Keep the lab looking professional.
      I often bring in visitors without notice. Please keep the lab clean and neat by taking a few moments before you leave to straighten up the tables and chairs, and wipe down the table. Always carry out garbage so it doesn't leave things sticky. Don't eat anything smelly in the lab. It is important to always leave the main lab conference tables clean and clear, and the chairs organized, especially if you are the last to leave.
    • 7. Stash your stuff.
      Postdocs, Grad students and active undergrads can ask me to assign a drawer in the lab for personal papers/notes etc.
    • 8. Borrow after asking.
      If you want to borrow anything from the lab, a book, a tool, an extension cord, etc. please ask me first. If that's not possible, please put a large note on the desk describing precisely what you borrowed, the time in, and expected time back. If you don't do this you are stealing, and that's not cool.
    • 9. Attend and Participate in lab meetings.
      This is important, it's the best way to learn and share ideas. Due to many time constraints we don't set a fixed time for meetings, but try to find times that work for as many in the group as possible and give at least a week notice. If you miss a lab meeting we expect you to send an explanation via email and update on your progress. If you miss two meetings without an explanation we will restrict your lab privileges until we receive an explanation. Remember that we have limited research slots and we rely on undergraduate contributions to group research efforts. If student starts a project and then drops out of sight in the middle of the semester, it sets back the project and takes away a slot we could give to another student. If you find yourself overwhelmed or distracted, let us know as soon as possible. And see Rule 0.
    • Inspiring Quote about Research.
      Universities are places where facts are made. Research is a collaborative process, so scientists need lab assistants, humanities researchers need library aides and graduate students need all the help they can get. A curious, competent undergraduate can always find work assisting a researcher. Regardless of the field and the specific project, helping them helps you. The obvious benefits are new skills and invaluable experience. But there is also something powerful in seeing how the right experimental or analytical approach can sort through a mess of observations and opinion to identify real associations between phenomena, like a gene variant and a disease, or a financial tool and the availability of credit. With a window into the world of research, you will find yourself thinking more critically, accepting fewer assertions at face value and perhaps developing an emboldened sense of what you can accomplish. Most important: research experience shows you how knowledge is produced. There are worse ways to prepare for life in an information age.

      AMAN SINGH GILL, Ph.D. student in the ecology and evolution department at Stony Brook University