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Well, it's been a long time. So much has happened, but it is impossible to record it all here at once. It isn't healthy journal practice, anyway. Three advisors later, I think I finally really have found something worth doing and at the same time, not so over my head that it does not require continual pestering of the advisor (which would have been fine, were it not for those previous advisors being so reclusive and inaccessible, and in one case, I swear they had taken some form of sadistic pleasure in making me feel like I am stupid). I was starting to think that the only thing consistent in my bad advisor relationships was me! (SO CLASSIC, at least when applied to love. Speaking of which, though, wow, crazy things have happened there since the last update, but currently things are going well there also. But another time.)
Anyway, I've finally managed to reawaken my inner programmer that lay dormant for so long ever since starting grad school, and have moved in a much more applied direction--I actually get to compute things. Thank goodness, for I can actually see all these otherwise hopelessly abstract concepts. But the beautiful thing is, it is an excellent application of a lot of the theory I learned in real analysis so many years ago. All that weak solution/dual space/Lp space b0llocks actually is useful in real applications, aside from being mere curiosities. This method of solving things is very effective on cool curvy spaces (manifolds) as well, and it appears I finally have hit upon the correct theory for formulating all this on manifolds. There really is something to be said about learning things in context, because all the books seem to rehash the same old junk and blather on and on about exotic, weird identities that our exotic, weird objects satisfy, instead of, say, actually putting it to use and seeing how it works in (research) practice. But once you see it that way, it suddenly actually makes sense. I wonder if this is some kind of wall deliberately put up just to test budding mathematicians, and maybe, you know... kill off some competition. They weed out the so-called "less-capable" by making them lose patience. Nothing is more satisfying than making your colleagues feel like crap by testing them with a real bitch of a problem that could be so easily explained with the right tools, but instead, why don't we just hide them away, keep and it a secret, ok? You're smart, you figure it out! (Kidding. And sorry, ranting.)
Anyway, the concrete goal we have (and thank goodness for concrete goals... what a novel concept!) is to research, study, and extend evolution. No, Darwin hasn't been invited to my thesis, yet, but we are trying to study the different ways sufaces can evolve via prescribed laws (i.e. differential equations). It's a fruitful an interesting field. And, not only we want to study it, we also want to actually see this process in action by an actual program. More later..
Oh god. 2010 was ridiculous in the love arena. It'd take an entry longer than the entire rest of the journal to chronicle it here. LOL.
But, after the dust settles: this time it ain't Bitter Singles Day.
Yep. Even that lead balloon sank.
If chemistry is what it takes to fall in love, I think I may be helium.
Happy Bitter Singles........... errr i mean Valentines Day!
Well, at least she's not the same valentine as it was the last 4 times, so I suppose that is progress.
How could I miss something so important, like the.......
( Canonical New Quarter MusingsCollapse )
I told her I liked her.
It went over like a lead balloon.
(That's going to be the month's catchphrase......)
[UPDATE: evidently there are some lead balloons that float.]
Ok so a new maximal interval has passed since I last updated, even along with several Canonical New Quarter Musings (although I may make backdated entries to restore the order of things). Sorry about that. Life in grad school has been a very rocky one... despite the good time I had up in Berkeley reading a lot and not having to TA, it was not well-structured enough for me to read and understand the current research papers in the field at any sufficient speed... well, at a speed sufficient to satisfy the prospective advisor I had back then. Anyway, I did get a new advisor, and some semblance of order is restored now. I'm making some progress, although I'm still put off by some long estimates and calculations in the high-powered analysis used in a lot of proofs. My "field" of math, I would say now, is conformal and spectral geometry. Overall, it is still geometric analysis.
We'll see what happens. Hopefully I'll keep the journal up semi-regularly. I think weekly might be a good thing to shoot for. I can't do it daily, because it then becomes all-consuming and excessive. I'm obsessive like that. And hopefully it won't be just about progress in math, but perhaps also progress in social life, something I have also been working on. And perhaps also about a new girl I like ;-) But more seriously, half the advisor problems came from a lack of communication and, you know, that terrrible shyness that I have (yes, that's with 3 r's). (But I may chronicle progress and insights in learning concepts in the math friends list).
( For More Details on What Happened...Collapse )
( Falling out with the advisor...Collapse )
( ... and Finding a New AdvisorCollapse )
Oh yes, I'm also very happy about that election. As chronicled in this entry from *gasp* February of 2007, I'd already read The Audacity of Hope and have been cheering for the guy for nearly 2 years now. Whoever has that bumper sticker must be very proud.
[UPDATE: backdated entry on 11/04 added]
So here's the obligatory "Where were you when (history-making event) happened?" entry. I'd better record it now while the memory is still fresh....
The day started off reasonably early. I decided on an early morning last-minute review of various state and local propositions, and filled in my sample ballot appropriately. I chatted with |2avi, my main politics h0mie and fellow early (i.e. since before the primary election season) Obama supporter, about what was up, the fact that it was rainy, and whether or not there would be lines. I finally settled on a vote time of 10:30, skipping the usual before-work rush.
I simply went a block south to the condo complex clubhouse in which I'd voted for the '04, '06, and this year's primary elections. Surprisingly, they'd reverted to paper ballots. I remember doing '06 on machines. Die, bold! errr. I discreetly hid my Obama/Biden sticker under a zipped-up jacket (due to the law that there is to be no electioneering within 100 feet of the polls, I would have had to dispose of it). I took a good 15 minutes to vote, merely copying what I had done in my booklet. I had to leave a few blank, since I honestly did not know what the heck they were, and why were we even bothering to vote on it. I checked over it twice; it was so satisfying finally filling in that oval for Obama after 2 years of rooting for the guy.
After voting, I immediately proceeded to get my free Starbucks coffee. I'd heard that there were also free donuts---solid tori over at Krispy Kreme, but being all the over on Clairemont Mesa, I think I was going to pass on that. After the coffee I perceived a nagging growl in my stomach and decided to head over to have a gourmet lunch over at Whole Foods. Like the true liberal snob that I am. They had chimichangas, samosas, red potatoes... all excellent stuff.
Finally back at my place I packed up my computer and headed off to campus, in order to prepare for sections, which would occur during the first poll closings.. I was sorely tempted to cancel section and just watch and cheer. Instead what I did was take the computer to section and kept reloading at convenient moments. The students were very upbeat as well (even with the few straggler McCain supporters).
The first really good news: the networks all called Pennsylvania having 0% of precincts reporting. I was extremely nervous over this since last minute polling showed a tightening race. In retrospect, of course, this was complete paranoia. Then Virginia was placed in Obama's column, and that's when I knew it was going to be a short night. The class cheered.
By 6pm, which was my dinner time, it was pretty certain. Over a pita sandwich, I sat reloading every once in a while on my laptop. The networks also called Ohio much earlier than I was expecting. For the 7:00 section we pretty much knew that by the end of section, the election would be called, since the polls would be closed at 8pm Pacific, in 3 certain Obama states whose electoral votes would put it over 270. It was not going to be the long nail-biter of a night I was dreading, after all.
When the election was officially called, I was in my office, having just returned from section, wrapping it all up. I cleaned things up and watched the acceptance speech before meeting up with some other h0mies at TGI Friday's, although it was quite empty and there was not much cheering to watch, since all the excitement had already happened. Slightly disappointing, as there wasn't a big party, but hey, I'm not complaining... I'm very thankful there wasn't another nail-biter and Supreme Court selection and have another election steal!
Dear Former Valentine,
(Apologies to the perfectly innocent vacuum cleaners that I insulted by saying that.)
Your Former Friend,