Reflections: 3 months

The summer term is finally over. It ended on a high note with an A (and a spot in the top 3 of the class), and a summer project report that I am happy with. Overall, it was a successful term.

I did well in coursework. Three As in a row after the first two terms is a huge morale booster. Before this, I hadn’t had any serious study for almost 5 years. I feel that I have again a good momentum to continue rolling forward.

Anyways, research is more important, and that’s the main thing to reflect on. The focus of this third month was certainly the experiments. I did a lot of coding – I can do a lot more things in R now than I could before. I spent a lot of time trying to implement the PARMA model based on a couple of papers. It sort of worked, but not perfectly. As it turned out, it was not necessary for the paleoreconstruction experiment. Then I implemented a disaggregation algorithm and it worked nicely – easier than I thought it would be.

I think I need a better work flow – one that can integrate reading, writing and debugging code, running code for results, and writing everything down. Gotta try a few things.

The first semester was purely dedicated to coursework. The second semester focused a lot more on research. Next term, I’m taking two classes and doing TA for a half-semester course, which is actually a full course compressed into half. And I’m gonna continue to expand the summer project more. It’s gonna be a 3-way balancing act. I’ve learned to work with one and then two things at a time in the second semester. Third one is time for three. It’s just good timing. I can do it.


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