Despite having work, my last two days in Paris were awesome.
So picking up where i left off! That Sunday was a wacky day… I, yet again, was out until sunrise _ Regardless, I still managed to arrange a picnic with some friends (thank god for cell phones); they were Kerry and Katie, the MITers, and we had a delicious little lunch at Luxembourg Gardens.
I am writing this as I sit in my room at Ecole Polytechnique intermittently packing my things. My plane will take off toward the fire engulfed city of LA in about 7 hours. I miss my friends. I miss my family. And I miss Paris and the people I got to know here, my new friends, and heck I haven’t even left yet. I’ll recap a bit of my final Parisian hurrah…
They say that time flies when you’re having fun, but this is ridiculous! I feel like I just showed up in Paris yesterday! Boy has a lot happened since I saw you guys last… Most notably I did the huge Eurotrip that any American traveling this continent really must do. Most people do tourism throughout this trip, but not me! Haha my plan was a bit more complicated (and in my opinion, fulfilling!) than that :D So why did I scurry around Europe for 12 days? The direction of my trip was motivated by several things, including opportunities to see some of my favorite musical artists perform, getting to know certain regions through the eyes of the people who live there, meeting up with tons of my family members, and even finding beautiful places to relax and do a lot of nothing! :)
So before heading out of Paris for a while, I wanted to do a bit of more touristic stuff. I was excited because Friday night was when I got my code to work, so this was definitely a weekend for celebration :) I planned on meeting up with some of the Cite Universitaire students before they left on Saturday, so we arranged a meeting at the Eiffel Tower. However, there were so many people and between trying to get to the top and people being too late etc etc we missed each other! I paid 3.50 euro to walk to first level of the tower. And then I waited in line to get to the top. However, I thought that the line I was in was to buy the ticket and get on the elevator; I was wrong. It was actually only where you get on the elevator; people are supposed to buy tickets elsewhere. The people in line next to me said they’d save my spot, so I ran to get a ticket to the top but they had just closed the stand! Can you believe that… :( So I found a guy that was working there and I told him my situation, but he was really frustrated because there were a ton of people that wanted to go to the top but had been too late to get tickets so they were harassing him about it. Well finally I intervened and told these people to stop feel so deserving and to basically leave the guy alone; my argument was that I was ready to leave despite the fact my friends were at the top and I had already waited a long time in the wrong line. Hahaha so the guy really appreciated it, so he winked at me and led me to the elevator where he let me in for free :D and I got to cut everyone in line hahaha. Before he did it though, when I still thought I wouldn’t get to the top, I said bye and thanks to the people holding my place in line.
My code is working. My code is working. AWESOME.
And here I thought that life with a 9 to 5 job could never be as busy as Tech!!! Maybe that’s because it’s uh… NOT a 9 to 5 job anymore. So my project is so close to being finished (kind of). I’ve basically learned everything I need to know, and written all the little parts of code I’ll need, la dee da… Now it’s time to streamline everything! Here’s the thing: the level set routines that I’ve been using are all made for a matrix mesh that is oriented a certain way… If you want a point (x,y) on the level set, you just just take the (i,j)th component of the matrix and multiply by dx,dy repsectively… Well for the finite element routines, BLEH it’s made so that the rows are different y values, so to get (x,y) you have to call the (j,i)th element. And there’s no sense of length associated with the finite element routine; so the analysis is dependent on making sure the mesh is discretized with an element aspect ratio of 1… Otherwise the computation just looks…. nasty… Too bad… So it sounds easy, but it actually turns out that there are many subroutines that have been written with one context or the other, so we can’t just “flip” or transpose the mesh because other things will get very sad. So that’s what I’m trying to figure out right now! :) IN OTHER NEWS :)Continuing from where I left off! So the rest of the weekend with Sarah was incredible! On Saturday evening, her two aunts (sweetest ladies EVER!) had us over for dinner! It was great: we started off with snacks and if you recall, I mentioned earlier that aperatif is both an appetizer as well as a liquor drink… Well when they offered me an aperatif I just assumed they were talking about appetizers… But they actually offered me a drink called crema mandorla, which is an aged combo of almond extracts and Marsala wine… To be polite I drank it and it was rather sweet, so naturally I loved it! I told them I would need to memorize the name of it so I could maybe one day enjoy it again… (REMEMBER THIS LITTLE PART OF THE BLOG)…
HELLO! (again :D
Well as always, it has been a WHILE :) So where to start…
WELL HELLO! HOLY TOLEDO ARE THINGS GETTING AWESOME :D Why don’t I just start with something which I have amazingly not yet even mentioned on here: courir :D (English translation: running). For those of you that don’t know, I run at Caltech, and not only when I’m late for classes! I actually participate in cross country and track, sports I’ve been doing since 7th grade (almost 8 years of this stuff GEEZ times goes fast)… Anyway… so last summer I had your typical fair share of monkey attacks while running on trails in the Hong Kong mountainside; nothing AS exciting so far at Ecole Polytechnique (however, I did see something like a weasel or ferret on my run last night, which was fun for me because I would actually love to adopt a little mammal like that)… Anyway, how could I get so lucky to figure out my living situation and even find a great place to stay in shape as well! :D I mentioned that massive hill that one must scale to get to Ecole Polytechnique, so I actually use that as part of my workouts! It’s hard enough to walk up let alone run up, but we runners understand that great :) feeling when you finally get to the top after ironically telling yourself the entire climb “don’t look up, don’t look up” :D
Hey guys! I know it’s been a while (almost a week!) since I put something up and that’s just because I’ve been UBER BUSY @_@ :D So let me begin with a quick little tidbit about our lab BBQ; this happens once every year for the CMAP lab (CMAP stands for (in French) the Center for Applied Math). This BBQ was next to the lake that is on the Ecole Polytechnique campus and had so much food I had no idea where to start. People were encouraged to bring something to share (and I really wanted to help out) but there is no supermarket on campus at Ecole Polytechnique; not even a little convenience store! And it’s not like one can just go to a grocer next door. Nope. To get groceries you have to first walk to the edge of campus, then walk down about 300 steps and the go a distance to find a market in Palaiseau (which is the town Ecole Polytechnique is in) and then you have to march up those 300 stairs again… Obviously I was not going to have time or energy to do so! (BTW what is it with me and gawd-awful inclines? Last year in Hong Kong I lived at the bottom of one of the most tortuous hills you could ever imagine… And I ran in a nature preserve that was like a collection of the meanest mountains you’d ever run on!)
WELL GEEZ Have I had a crazy week! I believe last time I chatted with you kids it was around when I got my haircut last Saturday. Well I promised I would tell you all about the music festival, so here we go!
One week down! My gawd it's gone by fast; but at the same time really slowly... weird. Anyway, I guess I'll start with just some typical stuff before I move on to the highlights...
Bonjour. Je m’appelle Antoine et– WELCOMEWelcome to my “As it’s a happening one” blog. I’m going to give you guys a little preview into the world of Caltech intellectual offerings and opportunities, specifically some insight concerning my current summer research experience in France at École Polytechnique.