Tag Archive for 'research'

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Q: Round 2

Well, that time has rolled around again. I’ve been assigned a new committee for my second shot at the qualifying exam. Tomorrow I pick up the problem I’ll be presenting on, so today is my last day to get any useful studying done.

Strangely, I have not done much studying. I don’t think that it’s because I don’t feel like I need to study; I think it has more to do with keeping my anxieties under control. If I spend too much time looking at notes, I will freak out about everything I can’t reproduce off the top of my head. Last time it was my anxiety that killed my performance. I’m hoping this time around that the confidence in my own research abilities that I’ve gained in the past seven months will keep me calm enough that I can reason things out as I know I would in a less stressful situation.

It’s probably also useful that my committee this time is made up of professors I am less intimidated by. And that I got an A+ this past semester in the course taught by one of them. And that I had a great presentation at APS a couple of months ago. This exam is just supposed to demonstrate that I know what I need to know to be a good researcher. I am already a good researcher.

I can do this.

Project 22 – 16 – 20 November 2007

New Haircut

Last Friday before we were to fly out to Salt Lake City for our conference, Stephanie and I made a trip to the Ithaca Mall for last minute business shopping and some hair cuts. I got a good six or seven inches taken off and finally got rid of the remnants of that last horrible haircut where the man took a “texturizer” (a.k.a. hack-saw) to my locks. I’m much happier now.

Lights Of The City

Saturday marked the first time that I’ve ever been in NYC. Unfortunately, that stay consisted of sitting in a terminal of JFK for hours. As we took off for Salt Lake City, I attempted a few shots of greater New York City at night. It was rather amazing to see how the exact contours of the land were lit.

Pillar Of Flame

The first day of the conference was pretty brutal for me, having arrived in Salt Lake City at the equivalent of 1 A.M. in my normal time zone. I was up early with a miserable headache and too little sleep, but I showed up in style and forced myself through plenty of talks. That evening there was a big reception during which they held a “fire show” outside. Basically, there was a ring of industrial size fans around (I assume) a jet of flammable gas and these two fellows with flamethrowers creating towering pillars of fiery vortices. The physicists loved it.

Salt Lake City Panorama

On Monday, after having made it through the terror known as My First Conference Presentation, I took a walk down to the Mormon’s Temple Square for a few photos. Later that morning, a bunch of us walked back that way to go to lunch at a lovely restaurant (The Garden, which I recommend) on the tenth floor of a nearby skyscraper. From there, I took this panorama of the western portion of the city, complete with mountains, the Mormon Tabernacle (silver elliptical building), and the Salt Lake Temple (guess).


What is Utah known for? If you answered “Mormons,” you’re right. But what else? The correct answer is, of course, dinosaurs. Knowing this, I convinced Stephanie that on the last day of the conference, we should venture across the city to the Utah Museum of Natural History after we were finished with sessions we needed to attend. We scouted out the appropriate bus route, hiked up to the museum, and spent a few hours enjoying prehistoric animals. I had way too much fun taking photos, which will undoubtedly make their way into the gallery soon. In this particular shot, we can see two allosauruses going to town on a camptosaurus. In the background, one can see the plates of a stegosaurus that’s obviously trying to get away as nonchalantly as possible, because, who wouldn’t?

Leaving On An Embraer RJ145

This entry is brought to you by the free wireless access generously provided by the Syracuse airport. I’m off to the much-mentioned conference in Salt Lake City, and thence to North Carolina for Thanksgiving. I expect Internet availability at both destinations–the real question will be how much time I have to spend with my laptop. In any case, I thought it worth mentioning.

Hopefully this next week will have some more interesting photos, including some that don’t involve macro zoom. 😛