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Mentor: Shannon Bernier

Mentor's Responsibility for PARADIM:  Johns Hopkins Graduate Student, McQueen Lab

REU intern:  Morgan Fernandez


Shannon Bernier is a first year Chemistry PhD student in the McQueen Lab working on quantum computation of materials informed by data collected in our own lab. Before coming to Hopkins, Shannon received a B.A. in Physics and Chemistry from a small liberal arts college in Maryland. 

Project Title: 

Laue, interfacing moving parts with computer and writing program to give real-time data about position and how to move crystal

Project Description: 

Morgan will interface the moving parts of the Laue with the computer and also write a program that gives real time updates on the alignment of the sample. This will help in the remote future by allowing anyone to move the sample to the desired alignment and take data from outside of the lab.

Research question that defines the REU student's project:

Can we make the Laue fully remote-capable and more user-friendly?

Project plan/research task to answer the research question:

The project plan is to reduce the need for users to “eyeball” alignment by attempting to:

  1. Create a remote-control program that can replace the physical joystick for the Laue’s existing motorized sample stage,
  2. Write or adapt a program to serve as a “progress bar” of how close the sample is to some desired alignment and make suggestions on how to move closer, and
  3. Can we make the Laue fully remote-capable and more user-friendly?

List of tasks to be performed by the REU student and tasks to be performed by the mentor to answer the research questions:

Student tasks:

  • Learn LabView basics
  • Write a simulated remote-control program
  • Learn what the current physical joystick and motor driver do
  • Write a control program to replace the physical joystick
  • Learn crystal structure basics and look at simulated or actual Laue images for example structures
  • Learn about orientation matrices and how one can be identified from a Laue image
  • Write or adapt a program that can identify the current crystal alignment
  • Write or adapt a program that knows what the Laue image should look like at a different alignment
  • Write or adapt a program that can tell user which direction to go and how far
  • Know how much the motor moves in response to a given signal (i.e. speed, distance, and direction)
  • Merge all the programs so that the user can receive suggestions on how to move and then make those moves.

Mentor tasks:

  • Compile resources about crystal structures and the instrument
  • Proofread code, offer suggestions based on how the programs and instrument are going to be used