Thursday October 4th

One more Week

It’s almost been a week

  • Since my last post. I’m really busy. I can’t post the photos from ICFP just yet, or the JPL photos I took tonight :(
  • This month, instead of Hacktoberfest, I’ll be working with a team on an application that will benefit a non-profit local to where I live. So I’ve been in meetings for that. So far it’s been Trello boards and online meetings and we have a central meeting in person all day on Saturday. It’s for a real company which has an existing product that needs to be improved based on what the client wants. This is good experience for me, and I’m working with two other developers, a product manager, a UI person and the client.
  • Oh, did I mention there is apparently going to be a video crew (so I’ve heard) and our bios will be up on the project’s site?
  • I think it’s better because I get to work with a team for a longer period of time than Hacktoberfest, and focusing on this particular assignment is going to help me from November in understanding what I’m going to be learning/ working on with respect to Haskell in production for next summer. It’s also a better simulation of what working on real production code is like, and is a stronger contribution than random open-source pull requests because we will be interacting with a database and that sort of thing.
  • I want to help Ed and really enjoyed the Rust open-source contributions, but I really need to just focus. Only work that either relates to what I’ll be doing over summer, Haskell learning, or grad school stuff until I get into a school. Period.
  • I’ve also been doing Haskell katas every morning, but after this month, I’ll dive back into just working on Haskell and building things with Haskell.
  • I’m also organizing myself for grad school. That’s taking up a lot of time and I’ve had to schedule out every single thing and I don’t know if I’ll get into a single school. But I’ll give it my best shot.
  • Class is a non-issue. It’s mad easy this semester, even though it’s a core class. Typically I do my homework ahead of time, but I’ve been so busy I did my assignment the day it was due this week.


  • I signed up for a sailing race for women (I took part a year ago, also!). It will have to be the Sunday one, as my Saturdays are booked working with my team on the application. I had to cancel two longer sailing trips, but the group is pretty understanding and told me to let them know how things are going. The race though..I have to do that, and it’s just one day. It energizes me and helps me focus my energy on the water on my one task. It’s good for me.
  • Next week, I also have the GSoC dinner in San Francisco. I scored a $50 ticket so I decided to fly back to LA (but take the bus there).
  • My work is kind enough to let me fill in the work hours I’m missing, so I’ve been doing that, and it’s been pretty chill. I like this guy who has been sort of mentoring me; he’s a great fit for me and is clear in how he explains things.
  • The next three weeks will be pretty gruelling because I’m filling out applications and just getting things together. This may all be for nothing. But I am reminded of this video by Matthias where he says that this is like falling in love. I am completely and utterly in love. I have to do this. And if I don’t get in, you bet I’ll be applying the next year, and so on. I’m pretty sure my friend at work is also tired of hearing me talk about it, too (haha).
  • I came back from ICFP and stayed up all night thinking that I had to do this. I’m in LA, but my mind is not; I’m weighing all my options and thinking ahead about how I can best prepare myself, because I am GOING to do this. I don’t have a back-up plan.

Space Things

  • I hung out with my friend at JPL tonight. I saw this really interesting talk by Sue Owen on data analysis that is open sourced for mapping emergencies and disasters. I found the fringe diagrams to be fascinating. I still love data; it’s fascinating, although the crowd was not very big tonight. I guess most people just want to see cool robots and hear about “Space”. This had neither. It was just about looking at and analyzing data, charting maps and relationships, communicating data and it was all spacecraft orbiting in the Earth’s atmosphere (so no cool zoom out shots of planets or anything, which the public loves… lol).
  • This is part of why I think I’d really enjoy just dedicating my time to research 100% right now. This is.. essentially..research. Make hypothesis, look at data and observations, confirm or deny hypothesis based on findings, supported by your communication of your observations. Refine as needed.
  • I also really enjoy seeing how the scientists communicate their data and what they do. They work in a very specific area that is quite complex. How do they narrow it down, make us (who have a limited knowledge) interested and make their case within a 45-minute span as to why we should care about what they do? How do they convince us to become involved? I learn so much every time I attend. I love that my mentor also asks questions; he works within the same organization, but as a scientist, he knows there is a lot he can learn from his peers so he asks them questions. Why would you choose this instrument vs that one? How does the data change based on X or Y variable? I enjoy the lectures a lot and since most are post-docs or professionals, they all tend to be very knowledgeable about what they do and have a polished way of explaining their work. They answer the questions from the audience really well.
  • The project is NISAR and you can read about the SAR algorithm here. I’m pretty sure the recorded video will be up soon!

Oh yeah

  • I’m in a Google video. I didn’t know about this until today. I happened to be talking with my friend about it and she mentioned it.
  • I’m also part of a research study for a company and I’m using the gift card to buy a book that will help me on some stuff I’m working on.

But that’s about it

  • Just..really busy. Oh, I saw deer today at JPL! :D
Written on October 4, 2018