Sunday July 3rd
Research, Presenting Research, and Socials
This has been a hectic week
- It’s been a really hectic week, and once again, I can’t get all the things I would like to get done. I am chipping away at emails, so for persons who have emailed me, I will get back to you, I promise. I try to be thoughtful and read through the emails, and personalize them as best I can, given the time that I have. So I will try to do that but I really can’t promise anything. Time goes quickly here, and I have a lot to do, and higher immediate obligations to some things than others. I have to continually remind myself that my time is my own, and that if I cannot get to it because something I need to do should get done, I should prioritize that. I think that this is cultural; someone pointed out to me last week that I often try to be accommodating, and I should prioritize my needs a bit more (and this is useful during my PhD for not burning out).
- In other news, I had a really great week! I am making progress in projects, and attended a bit of a conference, which has been really helpful in some of the work I am doing for my research project (not related to my job; unfortunately, I cannot disclose anything related to that, sorry! I have a firm boundary on this stuff and if you ask me I will not answer. They are pretty cool about us working on other projects as long as they don’t directly conflict and we get our work done, which is nice, as researchers, it is inevitable that some of us are also working on other projects, presenting at conferences, still working with our advisors outside of our work hours, giving talks, etc. So it is very much a research lab, and they are very reasonable, which is great.). So today, I am mostly working on that (non-work) project, since it’s my “day off”, chatting with my parents, and reading a paper that was presented during one of the workshop tutorials that I think lines up very nicely with our work (I was also able to speak briefly with one of the authors, which was really nice! He also gave me some interesting places to look for information, too, and seemed to think the work we were doing was super interesting!). The other student I am working with who is doing his Master’s also asked me to look at a blog post he was working on related to our topic of research (including a nice write-up on some Game Theory basics; his background means that he knows quite a bit about this, although he is finishing up his Master’s at the moment and is super into crypto), and has published that, and it’s a good read! I also plan to eventually do a write-up, which will probably be a Medium post or something like that, and will link to that, but that will probably be later in July or in August. Tomorrow I am also participating in a group meditation session after putting in some work on a project. My mind is starting to vacillate again, having so much to juggle in my head, that it will be good for me.
- Good news, too! I have also been accepted to Tapia to present work on some isogeny-based cryptography work I am working on, attend their doctoral consortium, and I have received a scholarship that will get me there (flight, hotel, etc). I am super thankful, and will definitely post about my experience there. It will be my first in-person poster session, as I have mostly presented during quarantine, which meant that I was either in Gather Town presenting posters, or in a breakout Zoom room somewhere awkwardly scrolling through slides. So this will be a first for me. The conference is also in Washington D.C., which is the U.S. capital, which being an immigrant, and having this be a first experience for me, both in presenting a poster and in going there, means a lot to me. Interestingly, one of the universities I almost attended (that gave me substantial funding) in Undergrad is in D.C. It will be an adventure!
- Finally, I was accepted to a mentorship workshop and will be matched with a mentor who can help me with some of the work I am doing for my research project (specifically on modelling computational game theory with some stochastic properties), as I am working on a proof. I am learning a lot, but some of it has also reminded me of how much I really enjoyed the Random graphs class I took last semester, and how much I am also excited for the follow-up class this semester on Spectral Graph Theory. I am also sitting in on a workshop (one-day) on Computational Randomness Theory tomorrow, too. I found the workshop and emailed the organizers or something, so it turned out to be a great-timing you registered-just-in-time kind of thing. And guess what; they even have talks on Expander graphs, which is a thing in isogeny-based cryptography, too. So stoked! Anyways, I’m super thankful for that as well, and we shall see how it goes.
This week has been very fun!
- Our group is pretty close-knit, so we definitely had fun walking together, and we usually travel together and that sort of thing. It’s been nice meeting so many people, and having so many new friends.
- I am supposed to reconnect with three more friends this upcoming week, too, so there’s that, too. It’s been an incredibly busy time for me, but I have been doing the NYC thing where you fit in as much as you can, optimally (a bin packing/compact spaces problem). One of the most incredible things I remember is seeing that drivers here who have dropoffs will time their dropoff so that they can accomplish it in the space of time between which a bus arrives at the stop. You optimize everything to get more done. So I’ve been noticing my schedule is like that these days, also.
- My friend took a photo after a rooftop social I attended this week in front of this beautiful painting, which is actually made of buttons.
- A view of the city from the rooftop. The view is pretty much 270 degrees (so you can see all around except for a tiny area, like a catwalk runway design, essentially).
- I hung out with one of my dear friends from LA. We ended up hanging out in a park, eating Taiwanese food and getting boba. It was an amazing time.
And that’s it
Written on July 3, 2022