Image credit Avolore. Used under CC BY 2.0

So You’re Starting Grad School…

  The new school year is rapidly approaching, or has perhaps already arrived for some. As one of the resident graduate students here at EngineerBlogs, I thought I’d offer some advice to anyone embarking on the quest that is the US doctoral degree. On my own blog, I’ve offered advice about questions to ask on visits. So now that you’ve matriculated, what’s next? Accept that everyone is going to have advice, and much of it may be completely irrelevant to your department and situation. Learning to parse large amounts of information to find something relevant is a critical skill in graduate school, so consider this practice. Make sure you have all of the requirements for candidacy/graduation written down in one place. What courses do you need to take? How are your qualifying exams structured? When are you expected to achieve candidacy? In the beginning, you’re still going to have courses, but you’ll want to […]

What's In My Bag: Conference Edition

What’s In My Bag: Conference Edition

So this week, we’re talking about what our essentials are that go in our bag. Because I have a very nice desk that is the only place I really work besides home, my daily bag contains my wallet, keys and phone. It used to have a book, but my phone does that now. And since everything I’m working on is on a remote server, I don’t need to take documents back and forth. Since this would be a very short post otherwise, I decided to instead go through what I bring to academic conferences. This can be divided into two parts: my luggage and my day bag. My day bag is a very nice black leather Samsonite bag which holds everything I need, while preventing me from deciding to pack the supplies needed for a small army. This bag contains: Laptop and power cord Conference booklet Medium Moleskin notebook 3+ […]

Coding Cave

Coding Cave

I’ve been in hiding for the last two weeks or so, as I’m in a fairly intensive coding phase of my research project. While I normally take frequent breaks and interact with my coworkers, during focused coding efforts, I tend to lose track of time and tune out what’s going on in the office/outside world (hence the recent lack of posting…). Cherish has talked before about the effect of office space on productivity. Most of the time, I’m fairly happy with my office space. We’re lucky enough to have windows, and my office mates are all in my lab group. However, what I really want when coding is a cave with no distractions and a really large monitor. I also need enough space to scribble psuedo-code, to make sure it will do what I want before I start fretting about syntax. My prior desk served this role pretty well, as […]