Monthly Archives: January 2006


I’ve moved from my bright-orange double in the basement to the lime-green single on the top floor. Whereas before I had the most convenient location to the kitchen, back door, bike room, and laundry, I now have quick access to the men’s showers and the best view in the house.

I really need to repaint the room, which is lime-green on three walls and primed but unpainted white on the fourth, but I’m not sure it’s going to happen. I don’t really have anywhere to move all my stuff while painting. In fact, due to my painting indecision, I also haven’t moved enough furniture into my room to store my clothes, so I should probably decide soon.

The most exciting aspect of the move, other than lugging all of my personal possessions up four flights of stairs, was probably a box I discovered under the ugly ancient set of drawers. Inside, under the eroding foam cover, were 37 8-digit 7-element LED displays, the kind you might use if you were building digital clocks. I haven’t come up with anything to do with them just yet. If you have any suggestions, write me a comment.


Singing at the ringtone gig was fun. It looks like recordings should be coming my way, which is cool. I spent about an hour yesterday writing down the percussion for one of the ringtones so I could mimic it precisely for the performance. I had to come up with my own notation, and it worked.

I think I’m going to go in to work tomorrow, even though it’s a Saturday, because I have so little time left and I feel like I just made something of a mathematical breakthrough. Probably not, but it feels like it.

Also, I just got my new passport in the mail. I’m not really sure how to safeguard it best.


Today did not mark the first step toward a working prototype, as the only group member who actually knows how to make it work (not I) fell ill. It’s supposed to happen tomorrow.

I’ve been extremely thirsty for days, and I have no idea why. I’ve been drinking lots of water, which, unsurprisingly, seems to help.

After work today I went to campus and watched the annual MIT Grand Integration Bee. Contestants compete in a tournament where they have 4 minutes to integrate an expression. Whoever integrates first wins. The integrators range in skill from worse than me to demigods. All but one of the contestants were Asian or Indian and male. It was campy, ridiculous fun. I think I may watch it again when the video is released, with one of my friends playing the role of sports commentator.


Today I fought through a mountain of paperwork, including my graduation form, CI-M petition, HASS concentration proposal and completion forms, and Harvard cross-registration. I got partway through all of them but not very far through any of them. I ate lunch in Kendall Square and, as it was snowing, took the T as close as possible to BI where I work. I ended up so engrossed in my calculus of variations problem that I barely remembered to leave before 7 PM.

Tomorrow should mark the start of work toward the first working prototype.

GRE score

I got my GRE physics score back. I’m guessing Harvard did too, by the time they accepted me, but I can’t be sure. I know that Stanford hasn’t received it, which is pretty frustrating. I did well enough, it would seem, though since the score range is 200-990 I don’t have an intuitive sense for its significance. I know my percentile score as well, but I don’t know who else takes the test, so that’s not so informative either.


Paul came up to visit for the weekend. We hung out with Graham and did lots of fun stuff, including Mystery Hunt (at Erik’s) and eating (Graham is an awesome chef). Not an easy weekend to summarize, but a lot of fun.

Today at work I made the first rough attempt on my final project. With everything working, I found that I had hit something of a snag, as I had approximately 1000 times more noise than data. So I have some work to do.

Chores and More

I spent Thursday doing chores, by which I mean paperwork. I talked to a whole bunch of people in the math department in an effort to resolve a conflict between two courses. Two of the classes required for my degrees are scheduled at the same time, and I was searching for a solution. In the end I decided to cross-register at Harvard for one of those courses, since the Harvard lectures are at a different time. I also signed up for appropriate classes to fulfill my CI-M requirement for Math (CI-M stands for Extremely Inflexible Bureaucracy). My GRE scores are all being sent to the right places.

I’m getting further on data analysis for my thesis, though the enormous size of my datasets makes them difficult to handle on anything resembling a normal computer. More on that when there’s more to say.

I’ve also been working on a fun pet project within Student House. We’re trying out Xen, a new technology that should allow us to run many different virtual computers on a single box. I also have many fun social engagements planned for the day.

So basically, everything’s going well.