Friday, September 10, 2010

Year 1 Week 3 Recap

It was a short week, due to Labor Day I didn't teach or have anything much going on Monday. It was a rather typical week otherwise, nothing too much going on with school. I had a meeting with my adviser, I'll be starting a project soon looking at plants and pollen in some fossilized pack rat middens. Something new and completely different from what I am used to doing, but hey, if it gets me going, I'll take it. This particular project already has some funding, which means I don't need to go searching for research money yet.

None of my students sought me out for help, which meant I got a lot of grading done during my office hours. There was also free food and people for me to chat with, so it was fairly enjoyable. The free food was during an open house type thing for graduate students. I'm a believer that if you put out a table with piles of sandwiches, I need to eat them (at least one). Particularly if it is lunch time. The thing is, I actually brought lunch, and forgot to eat it. I'm reluctant to eat that sandwich now, because it was in my backpack all day. I also spent some time talking to some new grad students who seem nice, Virginia and Julian. I hope our office hours overlap more in the future.

I need to get some applications in fairly soon in an attempt to get some travel money to go to a meeting in October. One is due at the end of this week, but I need to get a version finished for Felisa to look at early in the week so she can write me a letter of recommendation. The other is due the following week. This means my weekend will be full of busy business to get this and other things taken care of. A lot of people don't realize this, but not all researchers just automatically get paid to go out and present their research. The funds have to come from somewhere, and often times they are competitive. So, that's what I'll be up to over the next few days.

One of the accomplishments of the week is that a few of us grad students have put together a group to learn how to use R more effectively. R is an open source environment for statistcal analysis and graphics. The nice thing about it is it is free to download off of the internet, which makes it a powerful tool for sharing data and analyses for research. It also has really nice graphics, which once you figure out how to use them, makes nice figures for publication. It'll be great to get a larger group of people on board with it in our department.

And of course, last night was the Burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe. I talked all about it in last night's posting.

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