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)…
Anyway, so for dinner we had some delicious things including about a million croque monsieurs (grilled sandwiches, the flavors we had included banana, chocolate, apple, as well as ham and cheese; OMG YUMMO). And that was the main course!!! And then for dessert we had some raspberry ice cream with fresh raspberries and whipped cream that was made from scratch (I ADORE this last ingredient, btw). Not only that, but all of us even took shots at the piano! It was so fun and I was so happy to play the piano again! One of Sarah’s aunts is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, but that didn’t stop her NO NO she got on that piano AND ROCKED THE HOUSE WITH EVERY ELDERLY BONE IN HER BODY!!! :D
Well I had such a great time with them, I told them I would have to have a photo of us all! But I had forgot my camera :( “NO PROBLEM,” said Sarah, “we can just back tomorrow.” Which we did. AND YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THIS, THEY HAD ACTUALLY BOUGHT ME A BOTTLE OF CREMA MANDORLA!!!!!! Like sweetest ladies ever? I’ll never forget the delicious food, their supreme kindness, and our bouts on the piano! Wonderful! :) I will meet Sarah again just before I leave, when I will ask her to give thank you notes to the great hospitable people of Bethune :)
And then Sunday it was off to Lille! Sarah drove us for the hour long voyage, and when we arrived at her flat there suddenly she started FREAKING OUT. She had forgotten her laptop in Bethune, which held all of her work that she needed to have during the week for her physical therapy internship and university studies… Zut alors! After she had made several frantic phone calls requesting family members back in Bethune to bring the laptop to Lille, she suddenly realized that BAM, it was in the suitcase!!! Whew :D
Well to be honest, although Lille is cute and everything, nothing is open on Sunday (like most towns in France, shame…)
Sarah and me in front of the Opera House of Lille…
The jazz musicians that night :)
Anyway, before I end this session, I’ll just include a little story about how I got my ticket to Lille… So I found this guy selling a ticket on a site. It was $22 first class O_O rather than $39 second class, the latter I would have had to pay on the official TGV site… Anyway, I met up with the guy, got the ticket and had a cup of coffee with him and darn it, the ticket worked!!! Woohoo. It was kinda funny, he actually was an immigrant from Africa that had overstayed his carte de sejour (like a green card). This was sketchy as heck but ended up just being AWESOME ;-)
Anyway, coming up….
Tour de France, getting my new camera :), buying tickets for my ACTUAL vacation (btw I haven’t had more than one work day off since Spring Break FML)… :) and trying to deal with some musicians…
Almost a year ago now, I was just about to start my first Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) at JPL. NASA had sent out an email to all of their summer interns containing a social media template to announce that we had been selected as NASA interns. Excited to show my NASA pride, I posted it on my Instagram story, unaware of what would come out of this small action.
Hey hey! We’re starting a series where I walk you through my best finds for food and drinks in the Pasadena region, and in the LA metropolitan area. Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, if you will (although, for copyright reasons we can’t call it that). As you explore your college options, I firmly believe that food and location are more important than your high school guidance counselor may lead you to believe. And I’m here to share my best finds from my time at Caltech with you.
Over the past several months, I have had the opportunity to intern at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under the mentorship of senior research technologist Dr. Xiaoqing Pi. Dr. Pi’s guidance and mentorship has been instrumental to the development and success of my internship at JPL, where I use machine-learning to enhance the accuracy and integrity of navigation and communication signals. In addition to helping me develop an understanding of atmospheric and ionospheric remote sensing and machine-learning, Dr. Pi has often offered his insights on how to improve my researching skills. Dr. Pi was generous enough to take the time to answer a few questions regarding his research and advice for future student interns. I believe many students can benefit from some of the lessons that he has taught me:
The transition period to remote learning was a very uncertain time, especially for research and the Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program. Many hands-on projects had to pivot at the last minute to facilitate off-campus contributions. However, many Techers were able to take advantage of the research opportunities offered at Caltech and JPL to make the best out of remote learning and research. To paint a picture, I’ve interviewed a few talented Techers for some insight on what researching from home looks like for them.