FAQ

Q: When in the semester does the lab staff start/stop working?

A: The labs' IT specialist works year-round. The remaining regular lab staff are GAs. They start working the week that classes begin and continue until the end of finals week. However, their schedules may be irregular during the first week of classes and during finals week. Please check the lab doors and lab website or check with lab staff for details of their hours. The faculty associated with the labs are on 9-month appointments and must dedicate the summer period to their own research projects. Please plan accordingly.

Q: How do I reserve one of entire labs for my project/class?

A: Send a request via the 'Lab Request Form' on this site.  An email will be sent to the lab staff, who will confirm with you when the lab is reserved.  

Q: How do I reserve a computer or a soundbooth?

A:  For the General Lab and Phonetics Lab, send a request via the 'Lab Request Form' on this site.  An email will be sent to the lab staff, who will confirm with you when the computer or soundbooth is reserved.  For SLAB and the Tracker Lab, we have sign up sheets in/just outside the lab.
You can also make or cancel your reservation by calling the respective labs. If no lab GA is on duty, you can also request a reservation by sending e-mail to lae-ga@lists.hawaii.edu

Q: Can I check out a lab key for a long period of time, if I plan to work there a lot?

A: Depending on the number of keys still available and the requirements of your project, you may be able to check out a General Lab key for long-term use, e.g. while you run the subjects for your dissertation. To do so, send a request to lae-admin@lists.hawaii.edu following the general instructions for requests. The Phonetics Lab key is not available to check out.

Q: What kind of help can I get from the lab monitors? Can they teach me how to use software I've never used before (etc.)?

A: Currently, the lab monitors are graduate students with varying levels of experience with lab research. Some may be able to assist you a lot, some may not know anything about your particular question. If you have a question about anything to do with the labs, do ask the lab monitors -- that's part of the reason they are there. They will do their best to help you learn how to do new tasks in the time they have available. However, the lab monitors have numerous responsibilities. There may be times when a monitor is working but cannot help you because he or she has other duties to complete. 

Other ways to get help include:
  • Using the hardware and software manuals.
  • Using "How-to" sheets that lab staff have created. "How-to" sheets are available in the bookshelf in the General Lab and on the teaching table at the Phonetics Lab, as well as the User's How-to folder under Users on Wheel (the computer on the General Lab teaching table).
  • Using other resources, such as the PsyScope email list, FAQ websites for specific programs, etc.
  • Meeting with your faculty advisor or committee members.
  • Make an appointment during the office hours of faculty affiliated with the labs.
  • Sending email to lae-labs@lists.hawaii.edu to see if other users can answer your question.
  • Although there are many ways to get help, laboratory-based research regularly requires figuring out how to do new things on your own. Students using the labs should expect that they will have to puzzle out some of the specific procedures necessary for their research, and plan their research timetables accordingly.

Q: What if I experience computer/software problem that Lab GAs cannot assist me with?

A: In that case, please contact our IT specialist: arronte@hawaii.edu or visit him at his office in Moore 161.

Q: My equipment is due back today, but it's after 4 pm. Can I drop off the equipment even though a lab monitor is not on duty?

A: No. A lab monitor must be present AND on duty when you return equipment. Equipment must be checked by a monitor to make sure that it is working and that all components are present. It must then be returned to its storage location. This can take several minutes, which can be a significant amount of time when multiplied by multiple users. Please do not ask the students who work as lab monitors to interrupt their own research projects and work overtime for the labs checking in equipment when they are not on duty. This causes many problems for the labs and for the GAs.


Q: How can I check out books, journals and manuals?
A: You can check out books and journals for one week when a lab monitor is present. Also, you can check out manuals overnight when a lab monitor is present.



Q: How can I extend the reservation of a check-out item?

A: You can either come to the lab you checked out the item during the monitoring hour, or call a GA during that time.

Q: When are the lab monitors on duty? How can I find out when the lab monitors are on duty?

A: Lab monitor hours are posted on each door and on each lab's webpage. Inside the lab, the name of any on-duty lab monitors are posted on the board. Please remember that most of the lab monitors also spend time in the lab trying to complete their own research projects. Please be respectful of their time when they are off duty. We cannot pay them overtime for doing work after hours.

Q: What if both sound booths in the General lab are reserved when I have to conduct an experiment there?

A: A couple of options:
  1. Reserve the Tracker Lab computers.
  2. Contact the person who reserved the computer and negotiate the schedule.
  3. Visit the Center for Language and Technology (Moore 256) to reserve their recording room.


Q: How can I take a quiz for an advanced user?

A: First, print the advanced user agreement form, and fill the information requested. If you are a student, you need a signature from a faculty advisor. Then, visit either the Phonetics or General Lab during monitoring hours, and request to take the quiz. Please note that the quiz will take about 30 minutes, so plan ahead. It is an open-book quiz with the agreement form in your hand. The best way to pass the quiz is to read the agreement form carefully ahead of time.