I have set out to answer the question: What does a contemporary college student's diet include? Because that is too ambitious of a question for me to tackle in its entirety, I have broken it down to a smaller question: In the past year, what have my friends most commonly been eating?
Because I am almost always signed on to AOL Instant Messenger via the chat program Trillian, the most accurate way for me to research my friends' eating habits during the past year is for me to surveille our past chat conversations. Trillian logs the history of every conversation I have ever had. The history files take the form of text files. I saved the history files from the past year for 40 of my most conversed-with buddies. I then used Windows Grep (a searching program) to find in the conversations any time my buddy had mentioned he/she had just eaten, was eating, or was planning on eating. I used Microsoft Excel to log each hit in a cataloged list that records the person's alias, gender, type of food that they ate, timestamp of when they mentioned eating it, and the exact quote from when they ate the food.
After analyzing and sorting the data on Excel, it was apparent that six foods were the most commonly eaten: Pizza with 17 hits, Ethnic Food with 8 hits, Meat with 7 hits, Pancakes with 4 hits, Potatoes with 4 hits, and Chocolate with 3 hits.
I represent the data in list form, in bar graph form, and in pie chart form. I also represent the data in a sculptural food pyramid that is based on the standard food pyramid. I measured out a pyramid that has sections proportional to my data results and made a [[Image: Scale Model of Pyramid.jpg]]. I created a sculpture of this pyramid in a pizza box. Each section of ''The College Food Pyramid'' is represented by the actual food in question (plastic-wrapped). On the inside of the top of the box, I drew a diagram of ''The College Food Pyramid'' and affixed a relevant list into each section (including a timestamp and quote from the buddy who ate the food in question). I chose to represent my collected data with ''The College Food Pyramid'' because it is a more aesthetically-pleasing form than the bar graph and pie chart. It appeals to the visual, tactile, and olfactory senses. It is accessible and reminiscent of a well-established visual sign (the standard food pyramid).
[[Image: Exterior\_thumbnail.jpg]] [[Image: Pyramid\_food\_thumbnail.jpg]] [[Image: Pyramid\_list\_thumbnail.jpg]] [[Image: Interior\_thumbnail.jpg]]