omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
More writing here on the home front. I know. I am terribly thrilling these days. Tab is down visiting my mom, so there is at least one less to keep entertained. In a phone call yesterday she told me she was building a fort, but was was having some problems with "the structural dynamics" (her words) and she had to go. I am not sure what sort of scale this project was, but hopefully my mom has it under control...
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Life has totally broadsided me. We came back from a brief trip to Canada, while Tab was visiting WI with her grandfather. Sunday [ profile] crazybone called to see about interesting in seeing Stardust, which was really good. I am drowning in laundry, vegetables, and school supplies. The house is almost presentable now though. Research is going well.
omly: peacock tail feather (And then a miracle occurs...)
I am not sure that anyone here has experience with Python, but I am having some code issues. I am trying to create a loop that will create several iterations of the process combining different variables. The relevant part looks like this:

bulkcell = []
for a in (4.55, 5.2, 0.10):
for c in (2.8, 3.05, 0.05):
bulk append (a, 0, 0),
(0, a, 0)
(0, 0, c)])
bulkcell = ([(a, 0, 0)
(0, a, 0)
(0, 0, c)])


The problem is that when I look at the file that it creates it tells me that the cell dimensions are 0.1X0.1X0.05, meaning that it is taking what I was thinking of as the step as the input instead of the range of numbers that I thought that it would. Also it only does this once; there are no other permutations.

I have been trying to look up similar looping code examples and instruction, but for the most part I am find examples that are integer only for indexing purposes. Can anyone help?
omly: peacock tail feather (glassware)
I just realized that I am using/thinking of the command "grep" synonymously with the verb "grok".
omly: peacock tail feather (And then a miracle occurs...)
It is that time again. The APS is sponsoring the Adopt a Physicist Program, where highschool physics students can interview Physicists. Please note that this year they are only accepting candidates that have a degree in Physics (not any science like last year). More information can be found at the Adopt a Physicist Webpage

Registration: Now – Nov. 5 (or until full)
Teachers adopt physicists: Nov. 6 – Nov. 19 (limited to first 50 registrants)
Discussion forums open: Nov. 27 – Dec. 15

I really enjoyed this program last year, and technically I do have a BS in physics, but I am not sure if I am really a good candidate given that I don't really work in that field. Also given the crunch for my research, maybe I should give this a pass until next year.
omly: peacock tail feather (glassware)
Sorry that I haven't been on LJ much recently. I have been crazy busy. Brief recap:
  • housewarming party with [ profile] thanos73 for [ profile] notanangel last friday
  • dinner with [ profile] thanos73, E, J and their friend M on saturday
  • dinner with mom and Tab on sunday
  • it's socktoberfest
  • I am suddenly obsessed with the house being clean (this usually happens when I really should be doing other things)
  • seminars & group meetings
  • still fighting to get my software for work working smoothly. current issue: different shell types, can we use the same alias syntax? where is the .cshrc file that was supposed to be sent anyways? I have my data, but can't get it into text format until we get this resolved

To Do List

Sep. 5th, 2006 01:02 am
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
finish packing for flight on wed
eat rest of perishable food in dorm fridge
defrost fridge/freezer
go to atm
mail packages
take recycling to bin/empty garbage
finish collecting data (not processed)
send data home - Rahul contacted
send research report
return keys for dorm/office

Currently Reading: The Thirteenth Scroll The Thirteenth Scroll by Rebecca Neason
omly: peacock tail feather (glassware)
So I have been in WI for 2 weeks now, just 2 more to go! I finally feel like I am understanding how to phrase my commands and edit the input files. This has meant learning a lot about both the specific program we are using here, and more general linux commands. I can't believe it took me this long to get where I am though. I have some basic models done, so now I need to get the more complicated ones and data processing started.

In non-research related thoughts, I still have abunch of stuff I want to do while I am here. I want to get the free zoo in Madison at some point. I may go to Lakeside Fibers at the very end of my trip depending how my fiber stash is running at that point. I need to mail some stuff home, but I will wait until after week 3 is done to do that. ([ profile] astro_babe am I meeting you at some point?) Oh and the "dairy store" on campus has cheese curds in both "plain" and "dill and onion". [ profile] cwellan, do you have a preference?
omly: peacock tail feather (life is pain)
I spent some quality time today in the bowels of the library, the furthest depths of which is where they hide the science periodicals. Perhaps they are radioactive or something. Perhaps what we really need are old salt minds.

In any event I headed down in good spirits. I was organized. I had all of my call numbers, years, journal titles, volumes, numbers, article titles. The first one tried to lull me into a sense of false security; it was on a nice low shelf. The rest however plotted to all be on the top shelves with out so much as a single step stool in sight. Life is hard. But I persevered and now have all of the articles I went down there to hunt. Success despite the plot of the tall people!

Ok enough library adventure for one day. I have to head back to the health center, pick up a prescription before I can get back to work.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
The MRS conference is this week and I have been running myself ragged. I am so jealous of the students here from other parts of the country/world who just get to do the conference without the regular day to day responsibilities. Since I paid the registration cost out of pocket I have been trying to get as much out of it as I could.

Overheard - Quote of the day (from the email newsletter sent out to registrants)
"Nano is big. It is not all hype."
- Tom Weber, Director, Division of Materials Research, NSF

more specifics )

Ok that is my update for now. I should go back to my reactor homework for a bit before I pick up Tab from daycare.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
nanocrystal, nanocrystals
nanoparticle, nanoparticles
nanowire, nanowires

*Note that LJ only recognized titania.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
To anyone who feels like I have been ignoring them recently (including the EOP board), I hope you know that that has not been my intent. I have just been stupendously busy, although most of it should be over with. If I haven't spent much social time with you recently leave me aline (here or elsewhere) as I have some time opening up all at once and I really miss so many of you.

I have my final in Probability and Statistics tomorrow. Think happy thoughts for me... Since the whole course was only 5 weeks long it went really fast and I don't know that I have absorbed all the information quite yet. I will be unavailable tonight or tomorrow between packing and studying.

And speaking of packing... We should be able to move in as of friday. A lot is packed right now, but there is still more to be done, and I want to wash all the sheets, blankets etc before we move.

The lab has been keeping me busy of course. I recently had a miniature break through, but my computation models have been crashing the operating system after about 3 days of computation, leaving me with no results. Hopefully this will be resolved soon. On the other hand though I am finally getting excited about my research for what amounts to the first time.

Adding to that I have not only my own literature search, but a new abstract assignment our advisor gave us. She did a search for "gold nanoparticles" and came up with 4000+ articles for us to split up. Fortunately [ profile] kracktek noticed there were many duplicates for some reason. When the search was run again we found only 903. Divided among 6 students this worked out to about 150 articles each by the beginning of July. We need to read the abstracts, identify those relating to our research (group in general), give the relevant ones to those they pertain to, and write a literature review for the gold nanoparticle literature in our field. Oh and I need to write some something for our NSF/my funding.

*I am amused to note that LJ does not recognize nanoparticle as a word. It suggests "nonpolitical" or "unpoetical".
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
I decided that I should come in and get some work done today. So I arrived at the lab a little before 9. All the doors were locked to the building, but fortunately I got my card authorized fairly recently, so I could get in anyways. Yup, the building was still fairly bustling with grad students taking advantage of a relatively undergrad free day to get work done. I looked up a bunch of stuff I know I will be asked about at group meeting tomorrow and set some more research alerts.

I still need to do a little more work on a problem given by my adviser last week to the whole group, but I think I will go do it at home. The CO alarm in the lab attached to my office has been going off regularly (*beep* text="high"). I am not sure what is being run or if the reactor is leaking, so all and all home sounds like an attractive place to be.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
I thought it was pretty funny that I got a political one:


In honor of Spring Break:


And the work I will have to during it:


And some otherwise random quotes:


And the return:


And finally just in time for the EOP meeting:

omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
This is not intended to offend anyone who is bi-polar or whose loved ones are, but seriously this is getting pretty awful. I am not bipolar (to the best of my knowledge) but grad school is definately making me seem that way. Monday I was so anxious about my presentation I quite literally made myself sick. Tuesday I had the presentation and felt awesome after, particularly after I got the email from my adviser commending the work I had done and saying what a great start on my thesis work this was. I was giddy and happy for all of about 1.5 days. Then the current HW assignment had me crying at the computer cursing my inability to do this program (the graduate coursework not the software, though that too for that matter). (There is a corollary to Murphy's law that states that if you wear non-waterproof mascara you will end up crying before the day is over.) Even my roommate commented on how it was all really high or really low with very little middle ground.

I could really use a relaxing break next week (my spring break) but instead I will probably run around doing more research then I usually have time for. The one bright spot is that [ profile] astro_babe will be coming to town, which I would set aside time for.

PS. LJ wants astrobabe to be fixed to astrolabe. This amuses me disproportionally.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Gaussian is a molecular modeling program I installed at work today. In the output code there tends to be a quote or smart ass remark. Today for benzene, one of the first ones I ran I found the following quote:

Discoveries are often made by not following instructions,
by going off the main road, by trying the untried.
-- Frank Tyger
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
So I finally have keys to my lab. Yeah! Between that and the fact that I have a computer and desk now I actually am starting to feel like I belong. And after that good news comes the bad. We are on day 6 of no internet at home, but the cable guy was supposed to be coming this weekend. We will see if he fixes the problem, just diagnoses it or does nothing.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Just got out of group meeting a few minutes ago. The post-doc was giving a presentation on where he would like to go in his research. What I was struck by most was the fact how incredibly nasty one of the professors in our research group was. Okay, yes, this is graduate school and I consider it part of a professor's job to point out logical fallacies or over looked items. The sneering and nasty comments muttered under his breath were a little much though. I am so glad that man is not my adviser!

In other news I am apparently going to be one of the "lucky" grad students to have to teach two semesters this year. Originally the number of accepted students was planned to allow each student to teach for one semester of the year. I did mine last semester. Then a bunch more students apparently unexpectedly finished their thesis work. So there were not enough grad students to go around. Anyways, my adviser pulled me aside after group meeting to let me know that I would be working for one of her classes. (She only allows her research students to do TA work for her.) While yes I would appreciate the extra money, I was really looking forward to some time to establish my research free from TA duties.
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
When I was at my mom's house this weekend I saw a commercial for something I did research on! How cool is that? After all that time working at Gillette I now have a product on the market that had some of my hard work on it. Gillette owns Oral-B and for a while I was working on what has become Oral-B/Rembrandt Whitening Strips. (Gillette also bought out Rembrandt last year.) If anyone is wondering why I know so much about whiteners, this is the reason. Success at last!
omly: peacock tail feather (Default)
Time Dilation!

So this morning I started to freak out because I had not heard back from an email I had sent. It had been about a week and a half so I was really worried. Then I went back and read their last email to see what they said then, only to discover that it was written only two days ago. So which is it a week and a half or two days?

My answer: why both! To the outside world only two days have passed, but internally I have been cramming so much into each day that they have been slowly stretching to accommodate all the things I need to do until I am ready to drop from exhaustion. Just think how much more productive we could all be if we could just master this control of time dilation. On second thought, nobody give my adviser the idea. I think I need a nap.


omly: peacock tail feather (Default)

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