Friday, August 29, 2014

Beyond Controllium

Dear Diary,

Kieron has a rule that labeling as much as possible in a paper is a good thing.  But I think I've found the example that proves the rule.

Apparently someone posted an ArXiV paper on the emergence of consciousness (two words I find to be too much).  It alleges that 'perceptronium'....something, something, blah blah, what is perceptronium?

Ok, fine so I didn't read this and maybe indeed someone will make use of it, but perhaps also the ideas in this paper have abnormally high levels of Beyond Controllium.

That is, "Professor, the fluid we put too much perceptronium has come to life and is destroying the city!  It's levels of Beyond Controllium are too high!"

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Another summer's come and gone

Dear Diary,

It's only a few weeks left until school starts.  That means people will be dropping by my office wondering where the 1100 rooms are (hint: the other end of the building!).

Ah!  But it is not my office anymore!  I have two new officemates.  One is David.  He is trying to get into the group.  The other is John.  He is also trying to get into the group!  They are working on stuff together while they try to get into the group!  With Kieron!

In the meantime, I find it nice to have some company.

Katrina left yesterday.  We went  downtown* for some noodles.  Good luck, Katrina!

[Editor's note:  The collection of shops just outside of campus is not strictly a downtown.]

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Student Representative

Dear Diary,

I just heard that I'm the new Student Representative for the Far West division!  After running for three times, I finally got elected!

Now, I better get back to work so I can keep up with my own stuff!

Thank you so much to all who voted for me!

Monday, August 25, 2014


Dear Diary,

This weekend, I had the opportunity to go and help out at a GRE workshop primarily for students who come from places without graduate schools.

While I was there, I had the distinct feeling that I didn't have time for it, so I'll have to get working hard today.  But it was good to go and help out.  Time well spent, I think.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Katrina's Talk

Dear Diary,

Yikes!  I missed Katrina's talk!  She's the undergraduate who was working on some things this summer...and now I'll never know what they are because I missed the presentation!

Ugh, I feel terrible.  I didn't remember to set an alarm for it, so I only remembered when the clock struck 8:40....I even missed Kevin's talk at a meeting because I didn't know which room it was!

I guess I'm shaping up to be not very supportive.  I think it's important to go to peoples' first talk and be there to congratulate them.

But I need to actually do that!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Gap

Dear Diary,

Remember how I kept crashing the computer cluster so much that I was temporarily blocked from using it?  Well, I've finally figured out why that was happening:  it was physics the whole time!

Turns out that the systems I was looking at are (tinily) gapped, so I was trying to converge something that is really hard to converge!

Now, I'd run the gamut of thinking about what it could be:  my problem, their problem, science broke...but it was physics that prevented me from getting the answer.  Fortunately, we have enough other systems to look at that this doesn't hamper us.  Further fortunate is that I made those systems months ago and was finished with the project for some time!  Kieron would have been so pleased if I'd only known it!  Good thing I started working on something else in the mean time...

Ok, well now that I've finally gotten all my computer privileges back, I don't need the cluster for a bit.  Oops!  Sorry computer administrators and everyone for causing a pain!  It looks like physics can't solve all your problems!

It's very strange to get the end of the physics education and realize that all the important lessons were contained in the great works of art, classic literature, and recess.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Dear Diary,

Stefan showed me a way to manage of a lot of code.  More specifically, Xcode or Eclipse with the former being only for and required on Macs.  What this handy bit of software does is to sort through all of your programs that you're writing.

The most useful thing I've found so far is that if you right click on a function you've defined, you can have the program show you where it is defined.  Neat!  I always looked down on Xcode when I programmed earlier because it was the default for opening program files, but I see it has more use than just making apps and being slow!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to...

Dear Diary,

Aha, the first full day of the first week of work; now back from vacation.  Now, I can start learning DMRG!

Err...what's this?  The postdoc, Stefan, that I'm supposed to be learning from with various questions just got a job at a software company on his vacation!  He's going to leave very shortly!  Wow!  Congratulations!

Hmm, I guess that means my time table must be moved up...better get to it.