Happy New Decade! After a good break, I’m back, “home” if you must. It’s great to be back in dorm; the first day everyone was back was like a reunion with lots of hugs and “It’s good to be back home” and smiles. I missed everything: my weirdly high bed, the caf food, the walking uphill in the rain, the SUB, the Cheez…but now I’m back. In contrast to last term, I’m taking six courses rather than four. Part of it is a conscious decision to keep myself busy and motivated and off my computer (I end up wasting time on it despite how hard I try); the other part is that the electives I’m taking this term are fantastic; the last part is requirements that everyone has to take to get a degree at the end of it all. Without further ado, my courses:
Math 152 – Linear Systems: This class is a mixture of stuff I’ve done before (vectors and linear algebra) and stuff I haven’t done (working with MATLAB; I’m not rich enough to have a licence for it). And the prof’s name is Ronnie Pavlov. Enough said.
Applied Science 150 – Engineering Case Studies: One of the courses the department decided to make compulsory. It’s a 6 credit course, without a final (yay) but with regular quizzes that count for a lot (meh); we pretty much analyze four major major engineering case studies, each from a different engineering specialization. It’s more to help students decide what specialization to choose at the end of freshman year and increase “awareness”.
physics theory 153: It’s a year long course that pretty much covers all the physics theory I’ve done till freshman year of college. Hated the stuff from term 1 (Thermodynamics and sound). Term 2 is electromagnetism, so it should be better. The class is huge, meh. Final counts for 70% of the grade, double meh.
physics theory 170: MECHANICS! I love this part of physics theory. Makes sense. Works nicely. Explains things around me. Love the content, although it’s AP level.
Applied Science 201 – Technical Communication. I got credit for Freshman English ( +3 more for being awesome) and passed the ECCT months earlier so I could take a writing class. It’s small, which is why I love sophomore classes and I like the prof. Lots of writing. And a final, I’m assuming. Plus, it means…EDITING!
Applied Science 122 – This is a non-credit seminar sort of thing to help students decide on a specialization for year 2. It’s pretty nice, actually. There’s about 300 people in the lecture/seminar but it makes you realize that engineering boys can be smart and beautiful too.
Music 121 – History of Music (Baroque Period) : I argued a lot to take this class, with people and with myself. It’s harder than Music 120 (Medieval and Renaissance) because the prof doesn’t use notes or slides; he just talks, which is really cool. We’re covering the origin of Opera right now and I can’t wait for the latter half of the course where we discuss Rameau, Bach, Haydn and Mozart (!) for hours. Fantastic class; so cool that I might decide to minor in Musicology.
That comes to four but Applied Science 122 doesn’t really count.
Honestly, I’m terribly excited for Term 2. It’s going to busy like crazy, but awesome. And the Olympics are in a month. And a friend might visit for I get to show them around (!). And I’m going for Muse on April 1 (!!!). And when I go back in the summer, probably late May, I’ll be finally visiting Ladakh (I’ve wanted to go there for years) with my parents and my brother (it’s our first travel holiday in two years and the travelling is always awesome so I can’t wait!).
VIB is a non-profit research institute in the life sciences where about 1200 scientists and technicians conduct strategic basic research.
Each year, VIB selects 4 candidates for a fully funded 4-year Ph.D. program. VIB offers challenging interdisciplinary research projects with individual guidance and support.
- Candidates should hold a university degree, or satisfy equivalent requirements, which is sufficient to start a doctoral program at a Flemish university. This means that applicants must hold a 5-year University degree, or equivalent, in life sciences (e.g. biology, biochemistry, biotechnology), physics theory, engineering, chemistry, or related fields. In general, this implies that the applicant has a Masters degree. Applicants, who have not yet received their degree at the time of the application deadline, can also apply, but a final certificate of the degree is needed no later than 2 months after the selection interviews, which will take place in May 2010.
- Medical students who wish to obtain a Ph.D. degree can also apply after completion of their M.D. exams.
- Passing the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a plus (and you should definitely indicate on your application whether you took the GRE), but the test is not required for your application. Please note that VIB does not yet have a GRE Institutional code. If you take the GRE-test specifically to enter our Ph.D. Program, please use the GRE codes of either the University of Antwerp, Brussels, Leuven or Ghent.
How to Apply:
Following documents to be submitted:
- Application form.
- Letters of recommendation
I wanted to try MPB also, it’s a photonic bandgap simulator by MIT. So I downloaded the package and tried to install in my office workstation. The config stage couldn’t pass since it didn’t find the FFTW library, though I have one installed. It turns out that mine is fftw3 while MPB is not compatible with fftw3 yet. So I have to installed fftw2 into my local directory. The installation for fftw2 is pretty straightforward. Now I need to specify both fftw2, libctl and HDF5 location into the configure of MPB (you may want to refer to Meep installation also, it’s quite similar). This is what I typed to configure MPB.
./configure –prefix=/scratch/kurniawano/local LDFLAGS=”-L/scratch/kurniawano/local/fftw2/lib -L/scratch/kurniawano/Download/hdf5/lib” CPPFLAGS=”-I/scratch/kurniawano/local/fftw2/include -I/scratch/kurniawano/Download/hdf5/include” –with-libctl=/scratch/kurniawano/local/share/libctl
However, when I typed make, it gives me an error, from this page, I found out that the problem is that I am using HDF5 version 1.8, so I needed to pass through the option -DH5_USE_16_API=1 in the CPPFLAGS. After adding this, my installation works fine
Have you wondered, how deep down the gravity well are we in? Me neither. But this xkcd comic let us
I would probably be in:
- Women and Gender Studies
I’m just interested in this general subject area and I don’t really know why.
I have taken three psychology courses and have concluded that psychology definitely interests me.
- some kind of design program, possibly at OCAD
I would definitely not be in:
- any kind of life science
I concluded this after my first year of university. There is just way too much memorization.
Technically I have already somehow struggled my way through 98% of a math specialist but I did hate it.
- physics theory
physics theory is my enemy.
Unfortunately, a steady income is more appealing than continuing to be an educated bum so I can’t allow myself to continue taking courses.
- Women and Gender Studies
Homework Help for University Squidoo
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Here is my latest promo video for my blogs on Squidoo.
The word “work” has a different meaning to physicists. Work is not doing your chores, nor what you do for a paycheck, nor even writing an English term paper.
For physicists, work is a result of energy being transferred into an object or system of objects. A simple calculation for the amount of work done by a force on an object is to multiply the size of the force by the distance the object travels.
Work = Force x distance or W = F x d
Upon reflecting on this topic, I realized that one actually does do physics theory work when typing an English term paper. Every keystroke combines a small force over a small distance.
The force required to actuate a key, as well as the “travel” distance, depends on the model of the keyboard. As an approximation lets use the Keytronic Keyboard specifications. The total travel distance for this model is .150 inches or 3.81 millimeters (3.81 x 10-3 m). The peak force is about 2.0 oz, or 0.57 newtons. Multiplying the force times the travel distance gives us a work total of 217 microjoules (2.17 x 10-4 J) per keystroke.
Our next step is to approximate the number of characters in a 10,000 word English term paper. Below is a table of various written works analyzing number of total characters including spaces as well as the number of words in each document.
Document Characters Words C/W The Gospel of Matthew, KJV 129,677 23,782 5.453 Pres. Carter’s 1981 State of the Union Letter 216,598 33,712 6.425 My Action Research Project 9,504 1,450 6.554 “Spam from the Fridge” by Choo’s Buccaroos* 158,551 26,791 5.918 Wikipedia article on Mike Ditka 12,954 2,208 5.867
* This magnificent epic was a tribute to my high school English teacher. It included a passage that listed Pi out to 1 million digits. This was calculated as a single, 1 million character word and has been omitted from these calculations to more accurately reflect the characters per word in the document.
Analyzing this selection of works reveals that the characters per word ranges between 5.5 and 6.5. We can confidently use a average of 6.0 characters per word for our 10,000 word English term paper. This gives us an estimation of 60,000 characters (and therefore, keystrokes neglecting mistakes) for our term paper.
Finally, multiplying the work per keystroke by the number of keystrokes in our term paper will give us the total work done in typing the paper.
2.17 x 10-4 J per keystroke x 60,000 keystrokes = 13 J
13 joules of energy is about 3 thousandths of a food calorie.
So rejoice, writers of 10,000 word English term papers. You’ve done enough work to power a string of 60 LED Christmas lights for less than three seconds.
I have always had some female complications which after years of hormones finally came down to having to have an emergency hysterectomy during the middle of the semester in 2006. I was scared because of complications, they didn’t know whether or not I would get to keep my bladder until they actually got in there. My oldest child then was not 18 and as a single parent that was very traumatizing. The kids were counting on me and I didn’t know how the whole thing would turn out. Then I was also taking junior level physics theory courses and working 48-60 hours a week. Everything went ok and I got 4 weeks off from work. Yay! That is something when you count major surgery as a break, LOL. I went immediately from the hospital to class on Friday after a Wednesday surgery. My professor canceled Wednesday class so I wouldn’t miss anything. Did I mention he was a wonderful teacher and became a good friend? The whole department was great. I got to keep my books in a conference room so I wouldn’t have to have someone tote them. I was the only women in a group of about 6 for more than one semester. A lot of unexpected good things came from that little break. I started going to job fairs looking for an internship. After the first one I developed a strategy which served me fairly well. I don’t know how many applications I sent out, hundreds I guess. I got very proficient at it, I made up a spread sheet beforehand of all the companies that would be at the fair then I could cut my standing in line time to meet and greet recruiters because I would know where I had been. Also, it cut down on keeping up with all the recruiters info. I put it into the sheet as I went. Bonus, the recruiters thought an excel sheet on my phone was very intelligent. In the end, it was a combination of my resume and canvassing job fairs and my research that helped me finally get that internship. It paid off in soo many ways.
I try to look for positives in everything, lessons that can be used, ways to make lemonade out of the lemons life hands you. It is a good survival tool that has served me well. Are there ways for you to turn your life’s negatives into positives? Are you thinking along those lines or so lost in the grief over the problem that you fail to see the possibilities.
Alexandra Pulver has a mission: to turn the streets into a dining room, an impromptu spot for a quick lunch which has many of the conveniences of a real eating place. Exhibit-A, the magnetic cup holder.
Alexandra’s blog, Pop Up Lunch, features bento-boxes that fold out into lap-trays and gadgets to transform fire-hydrants into tables. But it’s the magnetic coffee holder that we like the most, comprising a simple felt sleeve loaded with strong, rare-earth magnets. The sleeve can thus clamp to any nearby ferrous surface and the cup can be kept safe while you munch on your bagel.
Leaving aside the problems with a society that treats eating an inconvenient fuel stop, something to be done on the run instead of having fast, no-nonsense service in cheap an ubiquitous bars, this is a rather neat hack, wonderfully simple and yet arguably more spill proof than a diner table.
It’s also practically free, and easy to make yourself. Although if you have the time and energy to remember to carry one of these with you, that time might be better spent sipping a small, flavorful espresso in a cafe rather than mindlessly slurping down a quart of tasteless brown water.
Check out the slideshow at Pop Up Lunch for some of Alexandra’s other ideas!
This the post where I reveal my half-lutions. They are kind of like resolutions, but not. I won’t feel bad if I don’t do them. (well… one I would, but that’s more of a physical uncomfortable-ness rather than guilt.) I’ll start with this one.
So, last year, I didn’t drink any variety of Pepsi aside from Cherry Pepsi. I don’t know what it is, but Pepsi just sticks to my teeth in a film-y way that I don’t like. I’ve known this for years but continued to drink it because if I stopped, people would get angry. I already don’t eat or drink much, so people would get angry if I stopped eating or drinking something that I did like. Regardless, this year I’m hoping to go without any type of Pepsi. Cherry or otherwise. That’s one of my half-resolutions.
The other started just to-day when I misheard, or rather failed to comprehend much of anything, while in the hallway at school. I was later going to ask what it was that was said, but later I figured it out (we got to go home early due to large amounts of snow). I still had the phrase though, “What did you say in the hallway to-day?” It’s musical in a way, so I developed it further while in physics theory class. (I’d finished yester-day’s homework, due Friday, and had twenty minutes to kill. I used song-writing as the murder weapon.) So, thinking that this was somewhat fun and interesting, I’m going to challenge myself to write a song every month this year. If I don’t complete it, oh well, I tried. I hope to get a few done at least. Seven at the very least. To get twelve would be cool though.
I’m terrible at writing songs though. I wrote one blog post about it once. I get partial ideas, but I don’t finish them. Just as I won’t exactly finish this blog post because I have to go shopping (for APE homework) while the roads are somewhat good.