Friday, February 11, 2011

Thoughts on Grad School While I Warm Up my Curry

Made curry last night.  It worked out.

This point of my life has been extremely intense.  I've never felt so stressed out, nervous, excited, tired, awake or frightened before.  There have been very few points where I have felt this taxed and rewarded.  There is so much going on. It's hard to describe

Research has been good yet breakneck - though I am in a bit of a lull right now.  We managed to get two papers into conferences in Hawaii!  SECSE and IWMSE 2011 to be more precise .  One is based on my honors project and is pretty much all me.  The other is with a small team of us.  Both are kind of heavy for different reasons.  I think they both turned out pretty well.  I'm first author on mine, so here's hoping!  I had a lot of help from Andrew Brownsword who has awesome insights into performance and optimization.

Teaching is a very interesting experience and continues to be really rewarding.  I'm learning a ton every day.  Maybe someday I'll sort it all out and write some lessons learned, but first I have to figure out what those are.  It's super fun running a CSC lab - especially in 110.  You have a lesson plan, but we also get to add our own spin/creative variation. It's cool when people understand things or get legitimately excited.  Computer science is often pretty boring, but it really doesn't have to be. Making it fun and bringing people over to the dark side is pretty awesome.

In terms of actually coursework, I don't do a whole lot.  I'm in advanced cryptography, which appears to be working out.  It's interesting, but really theoretical, which isn't really what I'm into.

I'm also doing a grad seminar with a focus on being an international researcher.  Every Thursday we go in at 8:30 am and talk to folks in the UK.  That's kind of cool, but I think I need to know more about being a Canadian researcher before I branch out to the rest of the world.

Anyway, that's me for now.


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