Oct. 9th, 2009 11:51 pm
shirou: (setsuna)
I've been spending a lot of time lately looking at apartments online. We'll be moving to Arlington in the first week of December. It's tough to choose a place just from the websites. In a couple of weeks we will be driving up to look at places in person, but we still have to narrow things down before we go. I've made appointments for us at the apartment complexes that look best. Here are the three that I think look most promising:
  1. The Palatine Apartments
  2. The Madison at Ballston Station
  3. Liberty Tower Apartments
I'm still suffering somewhat from sticker shock. In Durham, we pay $1050/mo for a townhouse with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a large kitchen and a very large, open living room. In Arlington, we will pay at least twice that for an apartment with 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, a small den, a small kitchen and a medium sized living room. Plus, we'll have to pay extra fees for our cats, and an extra fee for parking! There are cheaper apartments, but we want something that is conveniently located and not ghetto.

The price is a downside, but I'm going to be pulling a good salary, so we will be able to afford it. There are also many upsides: primarily, we will be close to everything. We will be able to walk to the metro, to nice grocery stores and other good places to shop, and to lots of restaurants, bars and coffee shops. We'll be a short train ride from a wealth of museums, theaters, concert halls and the like. I'm really looking forward to living in the middle of a bustling city.

The current plan is that we stay in Durham through the beginning of December. Our health insurance will last through the end of the month in which Laura leaves her job, so if she leaves on 29 Nov it will terminate on 30 Nov; if she leaves on 1 Dec it will terminate on 31 Dec. So we'll probably move around 5 Dec, and we'll have a couple of weeks in the DC area to acquaint ourselves with the neighborhood. We'll probably go to New York for Christmas, and I'll start my new job on 4 Jan.

So if you're familiar with the DC area, suggest to me wonderful places that we should go!

ps. If you're still following me on livejournal, please consider looking at my dreamwidth page and commenting there. I am intentionally leaving this entry public (on dw, not on lj), so you should be able to see it.
shirou: (Default)
I have written 112 pages of actual content for my dissertation. So far I have:
  • Half an introduction. I started writing this, but then I decided that it would be better to write the body of the paper and return to the introduction, as the body is what I need to introduce. Theoretically I knew from the beginning what the body of the thesis would contain, but the actual writing of it makes much more concrete in my mind what I need to motivate. In addition to writing the latter half of the introduction, I will now need to revise heavily the former half.
  • A chapter on the mathematics needed to understand my work. I assume that the reader has already learned multivariate calculus and differential equations; I'm not going to spend my time reviewing undergrad mathematics. Instead I focus on the problems of nonlinear dynamics and high-dimensional systems. This chapter will require only minor revisions.
  • A chapter that follows my first publication. Between 1/3 and 1/2 of this is copied directly from the paper. The paper was short, though, and I felt that significant expansion was necessary. This chapter will require only minor revision.
  • A chapter that follows my second publication. This publication is recent and I am quite happy with it as is, so this chapter is about 90% copied. Yeah, it's a cheat, I know. But hey: my words are my words, and I'm free to use them. I did add a page on distribution functions that we cut from the paper because, while it puts the work on firmer foundation, it doesn't add a lot of insight. This chapter will require only minor revisions.
  • A chapter on the background of a biological process that I have modeled. My ability to describe biology sucks terribly. Dammit, Josh, I'm a doctor physicist, not a biologist! (Josh, btw, is my promoting professor.) This chapter will need heavy revisions, but fortunately I have collaborators in biology who can help me with that.

Still to come:
  • Revisions.
  • The latter half of the introduction.
  • A chapter on the mathematical modeling I did for the aforementioned biological process. In truth this is partly written already, as I am working on writing the paper that we will submit for publication, and once I have that, I will pretty much just copy it into my dissertation. :p
  • A conclusions chapter. I am excited about writing this because some experimentalists upstairs have found that one of the features I identified is necessary for explaining their results. That's right: my theory has helped explain an experimental result, and the theory preceded the experiment. Fuckin' sweet. It's not a complicated theory, but if it's useful, I count that as a win.

A couple of people asked for my chocolate mousse recipe, so here it is. The measurements are in English/American units, so I apologize to my international readers. The recipe comes from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Délicieux!

Mousseline au chocolat )

Finally, I feel compelled to pimp Dreamwidth one more time. If you are reading this on Livejournal, I strongly encourage you to check it out. My Dreamwidth page is here. I have several Dreamwidth invitation codes, so please let me know if you (or somebody you know) wants one.

life update

May. 7th, 2009 02:50 pm
shirou: (Default)
I've been very busy lately. I'm spending a lot of time writing my thesis, but I'm making real progress. I have ~80 pages and am probably about 50% finished, maybe a little less. I defend on 21 July, so I've still got another couple of months to get it done.

Yesterday I got word that the second paper I've written as a grad student has been accepted for publication. The referee comments were very positive this time, which is nice, because I got a lot of criticisms on the submission of an earlier draft. I recognize that this is par for the course and that referees will almost always ask for significant revision, but it is still a little hard not to take it personally.

Now I'm working on my third paper, which hopefully we'll be able to get out of the door this month. It largely depends on some of my collaborators, though, so I'll just have to wait and see. Since I'm working with experimentalists, this paper is kind of an anomaly for a theorist like me insomuch as it actually contains data. My advisor insisted that I have at least one publication with real physical data since I'm getting my PhD in physics, not applied math, so this is it. At this exact moment I'm running some simulations to confirm and expand on a couple of my results, hence the time to post an entry.

By the way, I now have Dreamwidth invite codes, so let me know if you want one.


shirou: (Default)

November 2011



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