Year two – done!
So take my plans for last summer as listed in my last post and put them here instead. Last summer fell away from me and I was caught up in so many things with family, studying for my basic qualifying exam, and buying a house (yes, a house!). This means that nothing academic really got accomplished and has been pushed off yet another year. Though, I actually got to organizing my REU research files and sent out the latest drafts to the group members! Not a huge first step, but a step nonetheless. Now, if I can only locate my handwritten notes in the attic boxes from the move. That’s the task for the coming week.
That research/reading on Cohen’s Kappa I’ve been doing since last spring semester is still going strong and *hopefully* finishing up this summer. I really want to do a reading with another professor but I don’t know with whom or about what. I enjoyed the topic of smoothing this last semester but the professor who taught it seemed a little rough and in a tumultuous time personally – and to be honest, I’m a little scared of him. I did my first seminar presentation/paper on smoothing methods and while it was confusing as my first solo dive into statistical literature, I think I remembered a bit of it! Very little though, just the main ideas. This time around it was MUCH easier to understand the concepts. Though, I think if I want to get into this area I’ll have to brush up on my asymptotics and convergence notes since that’s most of what we discussed in class. Luckily, we don’t have to have a thesis topic/advisor chosen yet. Even after two years of dedicated courses, I feel like I’ve barely scraped the surface and am not prepared to settle on a topic for the next few years. Time to branch out a little and dive into some new areas!
The Kappa reading actually led to a byline from my professor introducing me to a gentleman he did basic analyses for before. There was data he needed analyzed for an article and there I was, free graduate student labor. It was quite enjoyable learning a bit about the science topic in order to play with the data. It wasn’t a huge data set, in fact it was quite small, but it was a good introduction to consultation work. I ended up making a table and chart that got into the publication, which I thought was pretty neat! Though, it did take me longer than necessary to make the chart because I hadn’t made customized plots in R yet. With Google by my side, any plot seems to be feasible! You can find the article here as a PDF.
On a non-academic note, the house is basically torn apart after the boyfriend spent a winter within. Many weeks I’d come back to some piece of the house in the driveway, most recently the several layers of flooring in the kitchen. Below you can see progress chipping away at the huge half-bath that ate up all the prime kitchen area. Bye-bye bouquet stencil!
With a recent vacation, this is about where we stopped in the demo process. Soon, we will need to start putting things back together. It’s been pretty fun planning out the new layout and considering colors and designs with the boyfriend. He’s been the muscles throughout these projects, thankfully! Also, the inspiration to jump on these improvements.
Well, enough for today. It’s about time I stop talking about what I plan to work on and just do it!