Sunday, December 21, 2003

No updates in a while, yet again. Well, I am at home now, the semester is over, and I have nothing but time to do things like post. Unfortunately, I don't really have any crazy cool links to post. I hope you're all still checking NewsDog for thought-provoking news and commentary. Oh, and regarding my previous post, WatchThatPage works great; I highly recommend it.

So, the semester ended up being a great one. Teaching was a great experience that taught me a lot and added another twist to the long-term industry vs. academia decision. In some ways, I wish I could start over with the experience I have now and do a better job. But, I guess nothing teaches you like actually doing something, and there had to be a first time for teaching. I don't think the students suffered too much from my early shakiness, either, so overall there isn't much to regret.

AJ and I also got some really cool results on our final project for our math class. It's amazing how sometimes you luck out and do something cool even after totally procrastinating and basically blowing off a task; definitely not a phenomenon to rely on. It is fun to do work in young fields (eg. computer science and combinatorial game theory) where even a mediocre idea can still get you good results. I guess even in established fields like physics, there are probably new subfields that have the same property. A better way to do things is probably to find an area like this, take your time, have a good idea, and then just own the area. Oh, which reminds me of one cool link I can share: my old advisor Daniel Jackson's lecture notes on succeeding in research. You sort of had to be there to get the full experience, but there are still some valuable things to glean from the slides.

So, if we haven't been in touch in a while, drop me an email; I'll definitely have time to respond in the next few days.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

For those fellow compulsive web surfers who hate wasting time checking those infrequently updated pages for an update, a potential solution: WatchThatPage. I haven't actually gotten an email update yet, but if this works, it will make me very happy. Recommended by Ilya.