December 2019 Research Updates

December Calendar (November/January)
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This is an ongoing post of research updates during the month. Updates are provided every few days, and you can easily reach the update by clicking the link in the calendar.
12/2/19 – Another Month

I came in this morning to find the 200 m depth python code I had running over the summer was still running. Unlike with MATLAB, I don’t know how to measure its progress. I am going to let it continue and when I need a figure I may have to use an existing result from the previous set up for the meeting on Thursday. In the meantime, I need to finalize the presentation and the annual report write up.

Goals: Work on the report and presentation over the next two days. I intend to have the written report done by EOB on Tuesday and the presentation by the end of Wednesday. The last couple days of the week, I will work on the manuscript edits.

Return to Calendar.

12/5/19 – Vicious

Okay, so the annual progress report meeting with my committee was today. It was vicious. I’m writing this the following Monday, so luckily I’ve had time to let it all sink in. Nevertheless, I’ve got a ways to go. I am not prepared for comp exams in February and it is being pushed back until April or May. I do not have a sufficient understanding of how the code I am using works. Granted, I reviewed it at the start of the year, but after I got to Georgia Tech it became hands on. I made the necessary changes and everything after that was about getting the necessary results. In any case, this has been an eye opener.

Catherine, has given me some recommendations on how to try and improve my understanding of the novel (e.g. replicate pieces of it in Matlab). I’m working on that. Even on my first review, I recognize the discussion makes more sense this go around having been hands on with the model, so I am hopeful moving forward. I won’t pretend it wasn’t embarrassing and shameful to be told, “you are not at the point you should be at the stage in your PhD (~16 months in).” It was tough but necessary. I’m not about to give up. As long as I am offered a path forward I am going to take it, and I must say, I feel better despite what happened. Obviously, I’ve felt like I should be further along. It sucks to have that confirmed, but it means I have more guidance to get on track.

There was some criticism in regards to my Annual Progress Report. Apart of choosing not to pass it by Catherine first, I don’t regret how I approached it. There is literally one line even addressing the need for an Annual Progress Report on the Earth Sciences requirements page. I used the template I was given a couple years ago that asked for Background and Progress to date. I knew it was an abridged document and made a conscious decision to include references in text, in case the reader wanted to dig deeper, but this wasn’t my proposal. Therefore, I opted not to provide a full list or a complete run down of the model. I did the same thing for my first report.

Obviously, my lack of details on the model was representative of a greater problem, but it is frustrating that there aren’t more details on this provided by the department. I recognize this may have been resolved, at least in part, if I had reached out and included Catherine in the process. Unfortunately, I wrongly presumed to think that wasn’t necessary because I had been through the process before. I am trying to make a point to reach out to her more often.

Return to Calendar.

12/9/19 – Tomato Timer

I’ve taken to using the tomato timer. It has helped me focus a good bit, but I’m also faced with quantifying all the time I could be working. I can fit 15 pomodoro’s in an 8 hour day. Of course, things come up, so my goal is at least 10. I have yet to achieve this. I spent a good deal of time studying the model and making notes/writings in my proposal. Unfortunately, I lost focus later in the day Monday. Then Tuesday didn’t go much better. In any case, I think it is a good thing to work towards. my tasks/goals: continue studying model/editing proposal, edit manuscript, work on LPSC abstract, and a bunch of administrative tasks.

One thing I think might help to keep me focused. If I get the urge to do something distracting, I can log it as a personal pomodoro. While still a distraction, hopefully this will help me regain focus after the 25 minute segment is up.

Image result for you'll die if you try pennywise
How I feel when I write.

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