a New Series. And lots of Second Chances.

I finished the original Foundation trilogy about a month ago.  After my glowing review of the first book, I decided not to post about the next two.  There were things I really liked about the remaining story.  There were things I didn’t like.  That’s what happens when it comes to series… right?  I don’t know.  There are very few series I’ve read where the author maintains the awesomeness for every single minute.  I do think it is worth the read though!

So what have I been doing for the last month?!  Who knows.  Time flies by so fast.  

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riiiiiiiiight.

I have a new series to share.  Apparently it has a cult following… a whole forum dedicated to fans… a failed tv series.  I got turned on to the Dresden Files by a friend.. who has been literally BUGGING me to read it.  So, I’m now reading it… two years after the pestering began.

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I’ve read the first two books already.  The first book left me with the taste of cheese in my mouth.  Because the humor was SO BAD.  And things that happened made me roll my eyes over and over again.  It left me wondering, WHY are so many people crazy about this story.  I mean… the story wasn’t too bad.  But… it wasn’t just any cheese in my mouth.  It was a super sharp cheese.  The kind of after taste that doesn’t go away until you brush your teeth.  

My friend insisted to give it another try.  My reaction

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But there are like a zillion of these books… so maybe they aren’t all this bad.  I read the second one.  The story becomes more complex, the humor becomes more subtle and better… and I decided that I would listen to Harry talk like a real detective from a noire movie.  It’s SO much better.  And now I can understand why half the people who read it might.  

So yes.  I am going to give it a third try and read the next book in the series.  If you are as forgiving as I am, you should also try the series.  It’s filled with vampires and werewolves and demons and wizards and fairies… and I’m told eventually there will be a zombie T-Rex… which I am also told is amazing… I feel like there might be a lot of cheese.  Maybe that’s okay?  *shrug*

 

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Graduate School is really liiiiike

So many posts, but not one about my research.  In the About Me section, I claim to be a graduate student of Mathematics.  WHERE is the proof? (pun completely intended)

I’m done with classes.  The struggle of learning and the feeling of incompetence isn’t as prevalent as it once was.. WHY NOT?  I feel like graduate school should always be a struggle.  I feel like research should be so much harder than classes.. because I’m delving into worlds unknown, paths unexplored, mathematics not yet discovered.

This is what research is really like:

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This is why I watch so much television and read so many books.  Someone else’s life is so much more exciting than mine.. because they may be accomplishing so much more.

It also doesn’t help that my advisor is the stereotypically crazy Japanese teacher, like from Karate Kid.

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They have their ways I guess.  Except, mathematics isn’t karate.. there are different types of learning and different styles of solving a problem.  None of mine are acceptable.  My advisor is also a bit more on the harassing side.. unlike Mr. Miyagi.. or maybe they are just alike behind the screen:

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But seriously, I enjoy my research because of all the applications I get to explore.  I know some Mathematicians who don’t even know how to, if they could, apply their stuff.  I’m super excited that I can apply mine to SO MUCH.  Summary:

I am currently studying the Nonnegative Matrix Factorization.  I see those wtf-faces.  I know what they look like.  My face looked the same way only one year and a half ago.  It’s not hard to understand.  Wikipedia does a good job of giving a general overview.  We’ve done more beyond the scope of Wikipedia, but if you are interested, that’s a good place to start 🙂  There are applications like gene pattern analysis, text mining, sparse coding, image processing, and so many others.  Maybe you’ll enjoy that part as much as I do.

So this is muh post about muh research.  And now you know why my posts are about other stuffs instead of this stuffs.  When you don’t make significant progress for months on end… well, why inform others that you are at a stand still?

Hashtag GradLife.