Congratulations to Lady of tdaxp. Today she formally handed in her thesis to the University of Nebraska’s Love Library. My beautiful, smart, fun, sexy, and now Master of Science wife graduates from Nebraska’s RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) engineering laboratory. The lab has the lay-out of a factory floor, with only one office, based on the control suite of a factory floor. Of course, Lady of tdaxp was in that office.
Her thesis brought some statistical seriousness to the RFID literature. Previous studies were reductionist, as all good scientific studies are, looking at the effects of one variable at a time. However, interaction effects (where the impact of one variable changes as another variable changes) were often simply acknowledged to focus on main effects. Statistically, however, the presence of an interaction effect changes the chain of logic one should use while analyzing the results.
It can also be said that my wife’s thesis bridges the gap between the experimental and pseudoexperimental literatures in RFID. Too many academic papers on the implementation of radio frequency tags in warehouse and industrial environments assume conditions do not change. The traditional solution for this is to examine existing RFID implementations, but these do not allow the experimental control that science relies on. By simulating complex “portal” conditions while carefully changing one thing at a time, Lady of tdaxp was able to not just provide more useful answers, but describe a methodology for doing so.
Lady of tdaxp benefited from the faculty she studied under, but they didn’t make any thing harder. One of her readers is a respected expert who has spent his career at Nebraska, and approaches industrial engineering from a very academic perspective. Her adviser, formally a consultant at Anderson, puts practical application and relationships with local companies first. Pleasing both was know easy task. But she did it.