Research Updates | May 2020

May Calendar (April/June)
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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.
5/1/20 – particles vs solidification fronts

This was a so-so week. I’m doing pretty good at 4-5 pomodors a day, but I have had even slower days. Today I am clocking in 6 pomodors though. Still, I’ve done a bit of reading. I’ve started discussing some papers in a new blog post, you can find it here. Like this, I will update it monthly (assuming I can keep it up). I use as an outlet to discuss the paper as a review, and then I discuss its relevance to me. I’m also tacking on some papers referenced in it that are worth looking further into it.

I talk about sediment and particle entrapment (as opposed to solutes), and one thing Catherine pointed out was that solutes may not act the same as particle. The difference between a particle and a solute is just that a solute becomes a homogeneous mixture, sometimes breaking down (I think). HCN is miscible; that is just the liquid equivalent of soluble. I’ll discuss the mechanics over on the paper review post. I am not going to finish the paper today, but I am going to do an overview of it for now.

Also, I found this site that lets you easily import a pdf and fairly well read it to you. It isn’t perfect. It limits you to 20 minutes a day of moderate quality voice (no limit on low quality). However, a VPN does fix that issue. Nevertheless, it has helped me stay focused. If you know me, you know I am an auditory learner, so even if I have to go back several times, it helps having that to help me follow it along.

5/13/20 – Remote sensing, paper reading, and comps review

Since we last spoke, we had the remote sensing short course. It was informative and mostly enjoyable experience, but it was also exhausting at times. I made significant progress on each of the daily labs. Although, I still have a good bit of work left to do in addition to the project we grad students have to develop.

I am trying to work a little bit on the labs and on other things since I have so much time. I finished reviewing a paper I had begun before the class (you can read my thoughts here). I am going to continue doing that paper review post which I think is working well. Overall, this week has gone well. I think the remote sensing course helped get me in the mindset of treating my days at home like work days (sucks we didn’t do it sooner!).

Monday I reached 7 pomodoros. Tuesday wasn’t the best at 5, and that includes a meeting which is a questionable task. Today I think I will clock in at 7 pomodors (and end the day a bit early!). Granted, that includes one for the group meeting, but a 2 hour meeting deserves one pomodoro in my opinion. It is interesting to see how I work on different tasks. Today, I got carried away by Garhard’s comments on my proposal. I was very engaged, and it made it easier to focus. Alternatively, reading a paper or writing are very different activities that I often get distracted from. I think that is also reflected by my tendency to obsess on one task. I start each day with a plan; I try to dedicate time to everything I need to work on. I inevitably focus most of my time more on one task. Granted, I make a point to shift focus the next day, but it still makes it hard to do multiple things in a day. That is disappointing because things like reading or writing end up being sprints that are tough to maintain (as I’ve mentioned). All that said, it is interesting to reflect back on my tasks. I have a saved account on pomodoro, so I can see what I did when.

In regards to Gerhard’s comments, I felt good about most of them, and those that I was unsure about I feel I know how to go about answering them. That said, there were definitely things I am going to push back on because I am confident in my work (or so I keep telling myself).

a beautiful montage of Cassini images from Cosmos Possible Worlds
5/29/20 – A belated update

As I write, the date is June 11th, and needless to say I’ve fallen short of my blogging goals. I’m going to try and summarize the rest of this month to best of my abilities because I still like to have for here. It helps that I logged my time on Pomodoro. This was fresh off of the remote sensing class, and I was trying to balance research and the class responsibilities. I’m trying to balance my daily activities. More often than not, I find my self spending entire days on one thing (labs and class project vs studying for comps). Overall, if it works it works, and it seems I am spending equal time for each.

In the last week of May, I met with Gerhard about my proposal. This has me worried for my comps, not because I wasn’t prepared, but because of the level of anxiety I had around the meeting. Realistically, I don’t think I should be worried. We had two very productive meetings. In one I answered all of his questions with ease while also identifying a couple areas where I could stand to research the Titan background. In the other, we talked about the model and where his focus is going to be; it’s the paper I base this off of.

We came to the conclusion that the proposal could stand some edits, and after talking to my other committee members, we agreed on letting the proposal run a bit long. I needed to spend more time discussing 1) the numerical methods used and 2) the broad uses of the mushy layer model and reactive transport models. I did a broad review of the material with great help from Jacob, and you can find some of my discussions in my May paper log. I’ll probably go back and do a review for one of the other papers I read too, so keep an eye out for that (3rd) listing on that post.

I successfully finished lab one for the class. My goal is to finish at least one a week. I also need to make time for work on the project so I don’t leave myself with just two weeks to do the project.

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