Poll Thing

Aug. 4th, 2006 01:14 pm
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
So, my chemistry lecture class is almost done. Had the last regular test this morning. Not knowing what I got on that, yet, but knowing it went fairly well, [EDIT: 95 out of 100 on the multiple choice portion, just posted. Show-work problems (30 points) unknown, but they seemed fairly easy again.] Before that test I have a perfect score in the class (missing no points). The total points for the class after the final is done will be 1000. The final is 200. In order not to kill myself studying, even though the final is an ACS standardized test over both semesters of general chemistry (the first semester of which I had in the fall of 1984), and since I don't really need to do anything with the grade I am getting (I have been shooting for the 'A' to vanquish past demons and prove something to myself) I am tempted not to study at all this weekend and just see how I do walking into the final cold. If I did as well as I think I did on today's test, I should only need 50% (100 points) to get an uncurved 'A' in the class (although I don't think the instructor is curving the lecture much if at all).

[Poll #785727]
quasigeostrophy: (cut that out)
...of a chemistry textbook author to use the concept of making ice cream sundaes with chocolate syrup as an analogy to explain limiting reagents when we have no ice cream in the house. ;-)

I guess it's really a limited reaction when all the reagents are absent.

[Edit: I just realized in the icon I used on this post, Opus is sitting with a spilled ice cream cone. Didn't even think of that when I chose the icon. Heh.]


Jun. 24th, 2006 12:10 pm
quasigeostrophy: (go me-smug)
Course             Title                         Official Grade              Units Earned
MATH 262     LINEAR ALGEBRA & DIFF EQUATNS                A+                        4.00

After failing the accelerated equivalent 21 years ago, this is an accomplishment. :-)
quasigeostrophy: (Dru needs Geek)
2nd DiffEQs test tonight.

For my own benefit. Don't click with a headache or math phobia. )

The procedures for this test seem much easier than for the first one, but this test also involves some memorization, which I despise. Not that I can't do it, but memorization in many circumstances seems like wasted effort. I'm much better at remembering algorithms/procedures. Going to go through each section and do one more problem from each before I head down to campus.
quasigeostrophy: (Dru needs Geek)
All grades are officially in for Spring. Don't know what I got on the calculus final exam, yet (I'm going to stop by the department before my class this evening to see), but it must have been pretty good, as the final grade for the course has been posted in the system. Another 'A+'!

So, in summary:

CSCI N305 C Language Programming - 3 credits: A
MATH 261 Multivariate Calculus - 4 credits: A+
PHYS 251 Heat, Electricity, & Optics - 5 credits: A+
STAT 301 Elementary Statistical Methods - 3 credits: A

Funny how I did better in the 2 courses with the heavier credit loads. Actually, I think the differences reflect the balance in the effort I put into each course, except maybe for statistics, which I'd never had before and felt I busted my butt more there to pull out the 'A'. (Never had C programming, either, but I've had other programming classes in other languages, and, other than the final project, I really didn't spend a lot of effort on that class - it's just a different syntax.)

[ETA: Of course, now that I actually have official grades to send to my advisor at Purdue, she's at the NCAR this week at a committee meeting and not checking e-mail. Oh well, I'll have to touch base with her later. Haven't had any communication with her since Spring Break, when she was swamped trying to get proposals turned in.]
quasigeostrophy: (Default)

Finished my last final exam, FWIW, for calculus, at about 9:15 this morning. Don't want to count any chickens, but I think I kicked butt. If there are any mistakes, they're my usual arithmetic errors that I still didn't find after going over the test twice before turning it in. And so, the long spring semester has drawn to a close.

Two final grades are in: In statistics, I don't know what I got on the final exam yet, but I must have done well enough to break over the line, because I ended up with an 'A'. In physics, the final exam (I got 266 out of 300) and final grades were just posted moments ago: A+. For C programming, I got a 95/100 on the final exam, but the instructor hasn't finished the grades, because I don't see a grade for the final project yet (although without the project I have a 98%). And for calculus, the prof said this morning he'll have our exams posted by Tuesday afternoon. I figured I needed a 75% or better on this morning's final to get an uncurved 'A', and I'm fairly confident I beat that. We shall see. :-)

I've tried not to brag all semester about how well I've been doing - I'm just very pleased, especially considering how I did the last time I tried to take a couple of these classes. Maturity, foreseeable goals, and just plain busting my butt and having no life have helped (and Toni has been there all the way, even when I've not been able to spend as much time doing things with her. I don't know if I could have done it without that emotional support). To classmates I've expressed that I haven't felt that I'm all that much smarter than they are; I've just had the time to devote to doing well. Admittedly, getting 'A's wasn't as big of a deal in the overall plan once I got the acceptance to Purdue, but I still felt a need to understand the material well and a bit of a desire to prove to myself I can get this stuff.

Within minutes of leaving my calculus final, I could feel the headache begin. It's definitely one of my usual post-stress-release headaches. No amount of painkillers or caffeine will make it go away completely. It's my brain's usual way of decompressing. Wednesday evening, a new routine begins: the next math class in the sequence I'm squeezing in (Linear Algebra and Differential Equations), four evenings a week for the next six weeks. Until then, no school stuff for me, TYVM. :-)

Ninja animation

Break Time

Mar. 25th, 2006 04:59 pm
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
Finished my C programs. And, yes, [livejournal.com profile] elmegil, you can smack me as you threatened because I did take more than an hour. Primarily because, in finishing the first one I had to finish, I ended up needing to put in a bunch of break points to print all the variables at various stages to see where one of them was getting munged. Turned out I was making an error in precedence and needed parentheses around a pointer variable I was decrementing. Oops. The last one, providing solutions to a quadratic equation, went much more smoothly - cranked it out in about 20 minutes.

Since Toni is leaving around 11:00 or 11:30 or so tomorrow morning, I'm putting off starting studying for my calculus test until after she leaves. I'll have all afternoon tomorrow as well as Monday and Tuesday evenings - I'm done with everything else homework-wise I have to do this week before Wednesday.

Have a mild headache, too - stupid head still acting somewhat like a barometer. Too bad I can't take advantage of that and, based on how I'm feeling at a particular time, be able to say the current pressure is 1002 hPa or something. :-)

Just put The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - Extended Edition in the DVD player as background and am just vegetating while waiting for dinner in a while.

LotR reminds me - the WMO should add the name Sauron to the hurricane name rotation. Then we could see the Eye of Sauron. *ducks* ;-)
quasigeostrophy: (EAS)
I'm in! Via e-mail a few minutes ago from the Purdue Earth & Atmospheric Sciences department graduate secretary:

Congratulations! I am pleased to inform you that the Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Graduate Committee will recommend your admission to Graduate School at Purdue University for the Fall 2006 Semester for advanced study towards a M.S. degree. Formal notification will come directly to you from the Graduate School, from whom you should hear in a few weeks. Prof. L-T has indicated enthusiasm to act as your initial advisor. As such, she will assist you in formulating an initial (first semester) program of coursework and thesis research leading to the M.S. degree. Prof. L-T is pleased to offer you an appointment as a one-half time (20 hours per week) Research Assistant (RA) through the auspices of her NSF visualization grant.


I know it says "M.S." but when I was at the admissions expo a couple of weekends ago, I talked with Dr. L-T about a Ph.D. She said it should be no problem after a semester or so to petition the graduate school to change my status. This gets me in! And I have to pay about $600 per semester in "graduate staff fees" but otherwise, tuition is waived and I'll be getting a stipend. Enough to pay for gas, food, and possible lodging if ever I'm there so late I don't want to drive all the way home.


Now, the real work begins...
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
Thanks for the school supplies! *snicker* I will put them to use. :-)
quasigeostrophy: (Dru needs Geek)
Today, I was stalked.

I left my physics lab at around 2:10, in the latter half of class members leaving once they were done (no big deal, the lab period isn't over until 2:50). Sitting at a study table in the hall outside the lab were the two women who kept asking me for homework help last Wednesday. The closest one gets my attention quickly with a "Hey!" and, before asking more specific questions on homework #4 (due tomorrow by 11:00am, two assignments behind where I actually am, so I had to dig mine out and think back, but I digress), says with a wry smile, "We're stalking you. A" (the other woman) "was just asking me 'has he come out yet?'"

So I helped them for a while today, before grabbing some lunch and working on my calculus. We actually exchanged names, finally, after a week+. And, true to form, I'm making friends more quickly with women.

Now, if only they could help me figure out the calculus homework problems that have me stymied (finding the distance between two parallel planes in 3-space and the like). :-) Fortunately, the calculus homework isn't collected for a grade, and the professor is actually a lecture behind the homework, so if he doesn't go over what I'm forgetting tomorrow, I'll bug him after class and/or consult all my other resources when I get home.

[Edit: I did find what I needed for calculus in one of my Schaum's Outlines. Figured I would. I've noticed on occasion our calculus textbook leaves something to be desired.]
quasigeostrophy: (EAS)

I was hoping to get ahead and do my first physics homework today, before the first class. I did the reading - a basic review of vector math. I can't safely do the homework problems, though - I downloaded a PDF of the assignment from the class web site and another from the UT homework server indicated in the syllabus. The problems are all identical except for the numbers used.

I guess I'll wait until tomorrow. When I'm sure I'll also have calculus homework that will probably be the same sorts of problems.
quasigeostrophy: (Dru needs Geek)

How many years has it been?

While taking Toni back to work after lunch today, I mentioned that I had another mail account at IUPUI on the CS department server I'll be using for my C class projects, and I should create a .forward file for that account.


It just came out of my mouth without hesitation. How the hell did I remember that?

And then a few minutes ago, while logged into said CS server, I perused my home directory with ls -la, looked at my .profile with a cat .profile | more command, and then used vi to make my .forward file. I did need my vi reference card a couple of times, but still...

I haven't touched Unix in at least six years.

I'm not trying to brag - these are all simple task, anyway. I'm astounded more than anything. I hope concepts related to my coursework all continue to come back so easily.


Nov. 8th, 2005 08:27 pm
quasigeostrophy: (Opus gazing)
Why I should go into science, in Booth's terms from Bones: It just occurred to me, I'm a squint (someone who very intently studies and pores over evidence/data/information). Always have been. I'm good with some of the arts, and well-rounded for the most part, but when something really interests me, I'm definitely a squint. Sure, it's a specialized term for geek, but I can see the difference as the character defines it, I think.

quasigeostrophy: (Default)
Done, done done!

Submitted my NSF Fellowship Application just a few minutes ago. Need to ping my reference letter writers, as none of them have submitted letters yet, but they have until 12/31 at least. IUPUI on the other hand, is, as usual, pissing me off. I submitted my transcript request to them (for my B.A. timeframe) at the same time as my requests for Purdue (my initial freshman year) and Ball State (my M.S.). The NSF shows receipt of Ball State's and Purdue's, but not IUPUI's. They don't need to receive them tomorrow, but they say they should be postmarked by tomorrow. So, I just frantically requested another one from IUPUI. They'd better process it on time. I can't call anyone - I just tried, and they said "All transcript requests must be made in person, by mail, or by fax. :-P Anyway, wish me luck on getting that moolah. I may not hear anything on final award status until as late as next April.

Weather PSA

Finally programmed our NOAA Weather Radio receiver upstairs for the local county codes for the Specific Area Message Encoding feature. Now I can leave it set to come on for weather alerts and it won't wake us up for every bloody alert in the state. I even stopped at Radio Shack this morning while running other errands and picked up a portable weather radio with the SAME alert features that I can use in the Baja when I'm (hopefully) commuting back and forth to Purdue next year across the open tundra flat open fields that are northern Indiana. After the tornadoes that hit southern Indiana in the wee hours of Sunday morning, I highly encourage everyone to get such a radio, at least for your home. Several survivors of Sunday's tornadoes claimed they "never heard the sirens". An Emergency Management Agency official confirmed in The Indianapolis Star this morning that those sirens are meant to be heard outdoors. They're not intended to be heard by people indoors, particularly sleeping ones.

You don't have tornadoes in your area? Don't bet against them. Ever. Anyway, what about hurricanes? What about flash floods? Mudslides? Forest fires? The SAME Emergency Alert System will carry messages over NOAA Weather Radio for all of those and more.</soapbox>

No voting here.

We don't have an election to deal with here this year. Thank dog. I've seen a few folks grumble a common sentiment that if you don't vote, you can't bitch. I strongly disagree. I have voted in elections for a long time (I missed some when I was in college the last time for several reasons), but the last time I checked, anyone can bitch about it, thanks to Freedom of Speech. IMHO, if you don't vote, you can bitch all you want, but it's pretty stupid of you to do so.</rant>

Coming up Next

Getting new tires on the wagon tomorrow. Timely, I got paid by the JDRF today for the walk shoot we did last month. The wagon needs new tires before next week when I need to take it to Buffalo - some stuff I'm taking to [livejournal.com profile] karenthecroccy won't fit in the Baja. Around that, I'm going to be working on calendars for the Café Press store, we have an alumni dinner at Ball State on Friday, and still hope to see the Lord of the Rings exhibit at the Indiana State Museum. No more specific grad school/fellowship application prep for me until after Thanksgiving, when I'll start studying for the GRE.
quasigeostrophy: (Dru needs Geek)
That is, unless anyone has a better suggestion.

I have this several-page application for another fellowship through the American Meteorological Society. It's an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) document. There are spaces for writing essay answers to a few questions, and the instructions indicate to use the space provided, not a separate sheet. I don't have access to a typewriter, and no Word doc or similar version is available. I have the full version of Acrobat, but adding large chunks of text to an existing document doesn't seem to work very well. Exporting from Acrobat to a Word doc version completely mucks up the formatting. I just had a brainstorm and tried to open the PDF in Adobe InDesign (the successor to PageMaker) - no go. Won't even read it.

So, I thought, just for the hell of it, to try to open it in PhotoShop CS. It worked! I have to throw a new layer of white underneath each page as the white of the paper is imported into PS as transparent, but that's easily done. One thing I don't like, though, is that, when I print from there, the existing text looks fuzzy. I tried importing at 72 dpi and 300 dpi and it didn't seem to make a difference - PS must import the text as rasterized rather than as vectors. If I have to do it this way, though, at least my own text that I add in PS will be sharp.

Anyone have any alternative suggestions?


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