Monday October 15th

Chrome Dev Summit Travel Grant!

I received word today

  • I received a Chrome Dev Summit Travel Grant! This means that my travel and accommodations will be paid for by Google (via Women Techmakers and the Chrome Dev Summit team) for the conference! Out of the students that applied, I’m honoured that I was chosen, and am just really grateful for the opportunity.
  • One of my side-projects (like a life project), in addition to the topic I’m planning on focusing for my PhD (which is related!) is to make a Haskell Browser :) So this would help me immensely! I saw Mariko’s post on Browsers this past week, which is in addition to other posts I had been reading on how Browsers are made. I’m happy a lot more people are posting on this, because the information is scarce. It really is like a dark art!
  • Little by little, I chip away at it, but as I said, it’s a longer-term project. I definitely don’t have the experience in Haskell yet to do that, so I have already completed several little parsers that can pull a website and parse data from it. I haven’t quite gotten around to JSON yet, and no, I’m not using libraries just quite yet!
  • One of my weaknesses (which I did a bit of last week, and spent all of last Wednesday on before my GSoC dinner in a little cafe in Nob Hill!) is in understanding data structures in Haskell. I think that a solid understanding of these will help me have a better grasp of how things are made, and will help me overall. One step at a time.

Last week

  • Was a super busy one! I managed to do 40 hours of work, visit San Francisco for my GSoC dinner, work with my group for the non-profit website, get paperwork together for applying, go to class and do a practice run for my sailing race in November.
  • If I can manage, I’ll do a picture dump of ICFP photos, chocolate fountains and all that. I didn’t stay for the Norvig visit (he came to visit us!), as I had to get a flight out of SFO, but it was really worth it going up there and talking to people about their experience during GSoC. I also enjoyed meeting a few formal verification peeps who are applying for a PhD this year also, and their word of advice, as well as meeting Googlers and hearing their path from being a GSoC student and mentor.

GSoC dinner

  • That day was fun because rather than commute around the Bay, I just stayed in a cafe in Nob Hill and did Haskell all day. At the moment I’m focusing on data structures, but after this month is complete, and applications are in (probably around mid-November), I’ll be diving into stuff I need to know for my upcoming internship.
  • One of the things that might be nice during my stint in the Bay is to volunteer at the Computer History museum on weekends or something, for a few hours. I don’t know if they’re understaffed, but I wouldn’t mind doing something like that!
  • My friend and I are still doing data structures/ algorithms twice a week during lunch time at work. So I’ve been trying to transfer my knowledge to Haskell, because some of the data structures are a little bit different in terms of how you think about them. I also have the Functional data Structures book. I want to be solid in this knowledge because it will help me break down how to think about other complex structures.


  • Met with our client for the website; she was really insightful and we actually had a few interests in common! I used to help teach kids robotics on my Sundays, and we both had similar goals about education in computer science at the early level (her age group is 2 to 8 years in areas that are financially limited). Her company uses Scratch Jr, and when I was doing the workshops, we used Scratch and the Mindstorms kits. LA has a huge education (at the lower level) problem at the moment, so it was interesting to hear her perspective.
  • On Sunday, I went sailing for my race practice. I love sailing! Racing is just awesome. My whole crew is really fun and I had a great time! There was another race going on in Long Beach (our represented boat came third in two races!), so we didn’t have one or two other members who will be on our boat; they were at that race. I did mostly trim and grinding, but every time I am on the boat, I learn so much! I also saw Zenji, Ellison’s boat, on the water. I like that when you’re sailing, it doesn’t matter; you can have your piece of mind, regardless of your social status on land. It’s liberating.
  • Talking to people who aren’t in tech 24/7 is also great. Two of the ladies on my boat asked me what a “hackathon” was, saying it sounded “like a spitting contest”. That cracked me up, but it was also refreshing. A bunch of them are sailing to the Isthmus coming up, and I had signed up for that, but I can’t take a long period of time (ie more than a day) off at the moment. Not until at least the end of November.


  • Trudging ahead with the new week!
Written on October 15, 2018