quasigeostrophy: (Default)
I PASSED MY QUALS!!!
quasigeostrophy: (Dexter Science!)
Met with my adviser today. Last week, she had given me the task of going back to my research and finding "just a couple of specifics" to punch up the conclusion of our AMS paper with better examples. This after I had rewritten the entire draft from a different perspective when we had decided the previous week that we needed to take the paper in a new direction, a draft which she loved.

This morning, she liked my new examples. I need to do a few small calculations and tweak the figures in Photoshop and such, and wait for her revisions (which she always classifies as "minor" to my papers despite visibly large amounts of red text), but we're down to the wire and may just make our latest self-imposed submission deadline of Labor Day.

We were about to wrap up the meeting when she said, "And I've been thinking,..."

I cut her off with "Uh-oh."

"No. I think you'll like this thinking," she responded, and, turning her monitor toward me, showed me the title page of the paper on which she had switched the order of our names.

Big fat hairy deal? I know a few of my classmates and other people in other fields and other schools have gotten first-authorship on their first papers from Master's degrees. My advisor, despite being a few years younger than me, is pretty old-fashioned when it comes to a lot of science politics and the student caste system (undergrad, M.S. student, Ph.D. student, post-doc), though, and is pretty stingy about granting first-authorship for a paper based on M.S. work. With my M.S., I was going along with it, too, because I was led much of the way since I was still learning cloud physics.

She said that with the new direction of the paper (selling the visualization application since the cloud physics results aren't particularly earth-shattering and submitting it to the Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology rather than the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology as was our original plan), I know a lot more about the bulk of it than she does, and it's the right thing to do.

To some it might not be a big deal to get first authorship on a first scientific paper, so pardon me while I crow a bit. :-) Of course, it also means I'm corresponding author, and will be the first one to deal with the AMS and the reviewers during the submission/review/publication process.
quasigeostrophy: (medical)
Toni and I got back from vacation in Massachusetts over a week ago. It was nice. Hung out with B and M and their kids. B and I ran around a couple of days - to Gloucester and Rockport, down to Cambridge. Otherwise, didn't do much. Decided after driving out there in one day, especially considering we stop a lot more these days, we're getting too old to make that drive in one day, so we left for home a day early and stopped overnight in Buffalo, NY.

Last Thursday, the first morning we were home, I awoke with a sore throat, serious PND, and very stuffy sinuses and nasal passages. Worked both Thursday and Friday mornings in the lab (and was annoyed that meetings I had scheduled were postponed by the other attendees - I could have stayed home and rested). By Saturday afternoon I had a very persistent and productive cough. I'd had an allergist follow-up in Indy on Friday and the nurse practitioner thought it may have been a severe allergy attack, a "Welcome home to Indiana". Monday afternoon, our new local doc decided it could have been that in part, but was definitely also an infectious strain of bronchitis, so he put me on a carpet bomber antibiotic. I went in on Tuesday for my rescheduled meetings with other students. Wednesday I stayed home and planned to rest, and took Toni to the doctor because she had caught it from me and gone from nothing to bronchitis in less than 48 hours. Met with my advisor yesterday morning (who told me her husband caught something similar in between trips out to the Great Plains for work on VORTEX2), but I'm not planning on going back in until I feel better. Not before Monday, anyway. I've made an appointment with a local allergist as well. Not that I don't like the one I have in Indy, but if I like this local guy, it means I won't have to drive all the way down there anymore, and even if I don't switch to him, I'm frustrated to the point where I want another brain working on WTF is up with my allergies, sinuses, and in particular, my Eustachian tubes.

I have to do some calculations and literature review for work by next Thursday, but otherwise I just need to get a draft of my AMS journal article to my advisor before I leave for WRF training in mid-July. I've made all those travel arrangements. My office mate C and I are arriving late in the afternoon on Saturday, July 11. Free day on Sunday the 12th, during which I think I may head down to the Colorado Irish Festival, at least late in the afternoon to see Eileen Ivers. The WRF class at NCAR is Monday through Friday, and then I have another free day Saturday the 18th before flying home the next morning. I'll be away for Toni's and my 17th wedding anniversary on Friday, July 17, so we'll celebrate sometime ASAP after I get home. We've already talked about it, and we move holidays all the time. The specific date is not a huge deal for us.

It looks like I may take one class in the fall, along with my TA and research duties. There is a proposal writing class on Monday afternoons, and since my advisor is having a hard time fitting my project into her current proposal, she thinks whether or not I end up being covered by her proposal, submitting one of my own will be a good experience. I agree with this comment.

The Plan

May. 18th, 2009 01:16 pm
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
Adviser and I settled on submitting one journal article based on my M.S. thesis, with the cloud physics results the major focus. The current plan is to submit it to the AMS Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. We're going to save the visualization software focus for later in the summer when she can incorporate some of the visualization stuff used by one of my labmates and submit that to the more general Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. I'll be second author on the cloud physics paper, which apparently is tradition for an M.S. grad, and I'm fine with that. I'll likely be a coauthor somewhere on the later viz paper too, considering how much input into development I had.

After Toni and I get back from vacation, I'll start working on a draft, with a goal of submitting it for my adviser to review by the time I go to Boulder for WRF training in mid-July so we can hopefully submit to the AMS and start the official review process by mid-August and the start of Fall semester.

I originally thought I'd load up on classes for Fall to get some of my additional course requirements for my Ph.D. out of the way ASAP, but since pickings are slim, my adviser will be gone on sabbatical starting the following semester, and I may be TA-ing for the first time, we're thinking of having me not take any classes in the Fall. Instead, I could concentrate on learning to use WRF proficiently while she is around, and then take classes when she's gone in Spring. I may also take my quals in December before she leaves. She's thinking of having me TA the undergrad atmospheric thermodynamics class (that she used to teach and that I took my first semester in the program) and the accompanying lab. When I pointed out I never actually took the lab part, she said I could probably still teach it in my sleep.

*snort*

May. 6th, 2009 11:57 am
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
"Welcome to the Purdue University Graduate School."

Ha Ha. Department grad secretary obviously completed summer registrations today, which includes the research hours I'm taking so I can get paid to turn my M.S. thesis into one or two journal articles. Since I'm officially starting as a new Ph.D. student now, I suppose it kicked out a bunch of automated welcome stuff. Still funny, though, considering I've been here three years. :-)
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
Final exam in Aerosols, Clouds, and Climate this morning. Wasn't too bad. I'm sure I didn't get everything, but I should have enough to come out of there with the 'B' I need to graduate. Won't know my grade until a week from Wednesday. Commencement is the following weekend. I'm not going (already have one M.S. and advisors don't get to hood M.S. grads anyway, so I'm holding off until the Ph.D. to go through commencement again), which means my diploma won't show up for another two months.

After the exam this morning, my advisor gave me a graduation present - a really nice engraved "executive" laser pointer. The point can be changed to be the shape of an arrow. I really wasn't expecting that. :-)

Went to Best Buy after class to see what our options are for getting an iPod adapter installed before we drive out to Massachusetts. Came home and ordered one online that I'm going to have Best Buy put in after it arrives. Unfortunately, since we don't have the higher model trimline/radio from Honda, we'll have to control the iPod from itself rather than from the car radio, but that's okay.

Tonight Toni and I are heading down to Indy to have my celebration dinner at Kona Jack's and we're going to browse Border's and hit Costco.
quasigeostrophy: (Dexter Science!)
My M.S. thesis, Radar and Aircraft Observations of Precipitation Evolution in Trade Wind Cumuli has been accepted by the Purdue Univ. Grad. School and forwarded to ProQuest/UMI for online publication. :-)

After my deposit appointment, I dropped off 6 printouts for binding for my committee, the department library, and a nicely bound one for me.

Monday morning at 8:00am is my final exam in Aerosols, Clouds and Climate. Studying for that Sunday, but if I make a valiant effort, I should get at least the 'B' I need.

It's finally starting to sink in as the final details of finishing and turning in my thesis have been wrapped up, both the fact that I've accomplished something here (even though it isn't the final goal) for which I'm a bit bouncy, and the exhaustion from doing so.
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
I finished all my post-defense edits to my thesis mere moments ago and sent the draft off to my advisor. Once she approves it and I get the rest of my committee to sign off, I can print the department copies on good cotton paper, get them bound, and submit the thing. Online submission is due Wednesday afternoon at 2:30pm, in person appointment is 24 hours later.

Doesn't seem like much left, but it could still take all that remaining time.

My advisor was still talking about giving out a homework for class as late as last Friday. It would have to be due this coming Friday, the last day of classes. I'm hoping she doesn't get around to it, but I have a feeling she still will.

Tomorrow morning I need to go to Parking Services to reserve a garage tag for next school year.

Final exam for class is a week from tomorrow at 8:00am. Once that's done and I'm confident I have a 'B' in the class (which shouldn't be too hard to pull off at this point, I hope), then I'll say I've got two Master of Science degrees. :-)
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
Thank you to everyone who left me congratulations, etc. since Tuesday. I hope to respond to each of you when I've got the bandwidth.

After a day and a half of recovery, I'm back in the lab this morning. I have class, a Ph.D. defense presentation by a friend to attend, and some other administrative stuff to take care of this morning before starting work on thesis revisions at home this afternoon.

I was feeling less than satisfied about my performance on Tuesday. Yes, I passed, and all three of my examiners gave me excellent marks on the metrics on which they had to rank me as compared to the general M.S. grad pool from the department, but I'm my own worst critic. I thought I could have been more polished during the public presentation, but I think the format of allowing questions to interrupt me rather than being saved for the end threw me. It did let me relax about my time limit, however. :-)

During the closed-door session, even though it felt less like a defense and more like a discussion of my thesis and where it could be improved, in response to some of the questions I felt a bit led. My advisor even admitted previously that she knew I knew this stuff but they may have to "tease it out of me". I've lived and died by my usually excellent mental recall ability, and Tuesday it failed me a bit. I got where each of my committee members wanted me to go, even if it was something they didn't know either, but I felt like they led me more than I should have been. I was thinking there was no way I could perform like that during a Ph.D. defense.

So, despite my advisor telling Toni to make sure I enjoy this, the last day and a half were spent more in recovery than celebration. Then I talked to my advisor for a few minutes this morning. She had talked to the other members of my committee and since they know my goal is to get a Ph.D., they tried to structure their questions in the defense to give me exactly what I took from it. They hoped I would see (and apparently I did) exactly what I need to work on for a Ph.D. defense down the road. They all thought I performed excellently for an M.S. student and were very proud of me, and that no matter what happens in the future regarding my road to a Ph.D. or whatever, I can now call myself an atmospheric scientist.

I feel better, and I'm saving celebration mode for once the final approved version of my thesis is safely turned in to the university. :-)
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
Passed my thesis defense this morning/afternoon.

Public presentation went okay. I still stumbled a bit, but got through it. The defense itself was rough, but appropriate. It felt like less of a 'defense' and more of a discussion of my thesis and what things could be tweaked and/or explanations for why I did things a certain way.

Got really nervous during the few minutes the committee decided my fate, but that didn't take too long, and they each came out and shook my hand.

Then I went to lunch with my labmates to blow off steam. About to turn in my paperwork and head home to collapse. I'll have plenty of edits to do before I turn in my final thesis next week, but I've been told by my advisor not to worry about them until Thursday. :-)
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
Turned in my M.S. thesis to my committee this evening. It's 145 pages in its current state. My defense is scheduled for 10:30am Tuesday. I need to make my presentation and rehearse it before then, so heads-down mode isn't quite over yet.

quasigeostrophy: (Default)
Turned in the form that schedules my thesis defense to the grad school today. It's a pretty tight schedule, and I'll probably be (more) insane by the end of it (and I want to go through all this again for my Ph.D. in about three years? ;-)).

- Monday, April 13: Give reading copies of my thesis to my committee members.

- Tuesday, April 21, 10:30am-12:30pm: M.S. Thesis Defense. A 45-minute presentation open to the public, with time for questions, followed by up to an hour private oral exam.

- Wednesday, April 29: Need to have any revisions suggested at my defense completed. Electronically submit thesis to ProQuest before 2:30pm.

- Thursday, April 30, 2:30pm: Thesis deposit appointment, Purdue Grad School Thesis Office. Need to have nice, bound copies ready to give to the grad school by this time.

I think I can make this. I didn't get any writing done today, thanks to tracking down three faculty members to get a free time for my defense. And I technically still don't have a room. It will be one of two - one downstairs in my building, the other all the way across campus in the management school. Obviously, I'm hoping for the former. I need to write a fairly brief conclusion chapter, rework one of my chapters into an appendix, and write an intro (and make any revisions suggested by my advisor). Tomorrow I'm going into the lab to get some figures made before I meet with my advisor, and from Thursday through Sunday will be writing and revising.
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
Before I head off to bed...

- Got the rest of my so-far-drafted thesis chapters back from my advisor, still with little markup. One of them needs to be chopped up and the bulk turned into an appendix, but that's not a huge undertaken. She said "They're written so beautifully." *preens* :-)

- I went into today's meeting with the intent of pushing my advisor about delaying my defense until sometime in May, since I only have a little over a week before I really should get reading copies of my thesis to my committee members, but she doesn't want to do that. She convinced me I'm not as far away as I thought, and tomorrow I need to reserve a room and schedule my M.S. defense. We're thinking of 10:30am, Thursday, April 23.

- Went with Toni to see STOMP tonight. Third time we've seen it, and it was just as cool as ever.

- Still coughing from the stupid bronchitis of last week. The antibiotics worked, but my body produces/produced so much crud it will take months to clear out. I just hope it's calmed down some by the time I'm rehearsing my defense presentation.

- Not going to Boulder over the summer like I was hoping. Was hoping my advisor would send me to the two-week WRF tutorial meeting at NCAR in July, but I won't be ready to run the model for my Ph.D. project in the fall semester, anyway, and I'll be turning my M.S. thesis into a journal article for submission. They have them twice a year, though, so she'll probably send me to the one in January. Too bad I don't know how to ski. :-) Maybe I'll see if my friend T wants to go snowshoeing again.

- The above means we may actually make it out to Massachusetts again sometime over the summer for a week or so. Desperately want to see our friends out there again.

Hold me?

Mar. 31st, 2009 01:13 pm
quasigeostrophy: (Dexter Science!)
Why does this frighten me a little?

My advisor, who, even though she's been very complimentary toward my writing ability, still usually sends things back to me bleeding with markup. She's just that way, and she's emphasized that she's helping me transition to a scientific style. I've not taken any of it personally, and have come to expect loads of feedback and columns full of markup in MS Word when I get docs back.

I've sent first drafts of three chapters for my M.S. thesis, and bits of some others, to her over the last few months. Today I finally got one back.

It has virtually no markup.

My reaction does include satisfaction and accomplishment, but why is there also fear present?
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
I don't think I could have ever foreseen that in my M.S. thesis for cloud physics, I just wrote the term multiple penetrations.

*giggle* Context definitely is everything.

Hoping

Dec. 12th, 2008 08:36 am
quasigeostrophy: (Default)
If anyone wants to pray to the Grad School Funding Gods, cross fingers and/or toes, send vibes, or whatever, today it would be greatly appreciated.

The Purdue Homeland Security Institute is supposed to notify finalists today for the fellowship for which I applied. Given how well-received my proposal has been by the faculty on my committee, I'm hopeful, but they're not among the Institute's reviewers, save perhaps one of them.

Needed That

Dec. 4th, 2008 10:46 am
quasigeostrophy: (Linus-research)
Advisement committee meeting this morning went swimmingly.

I got a waiver on taking the written comprehensive exam for completing my M.S. The vote was unanimous (it had to be to count), so all I have to do is complete my thesis and oral defense.

Regarding my Ph.D. idea, whether I get funded by the DHS fellowship or otherwise, all of my committee members are fired up about it, so it's unlikely my committee will change members for my Ph.D. except possibly by adding the climatology prof. My advisor is interested in and will help with the cloud microphysics, her husband will help with the use and alteration of the larger-scale model, M will help me with parameterizing the microphysics into the model and with the precipitation forecasting, D will work with me on the visualization, and I'll add N to provide data from future climate model runs to use as initial conditions.

[Edit: Just to emphasize how fired up my committee seems to be, in the hall after my meeting, I was talking to M, the parameterizations and forecasting prof, about how my advisor and I decided that, if I don't get the DHS fellowship, we should write a proposal for direct NSF funding, and M said, "This is a cool idea. We'll figure out how to get it funded."]
quasigeostrophy: (Linus-research)
Oy.

I don't think it was the meetings through my normal lunch time, because it was starting to come on before that. After the meetings, I came home. Headache bad. Very bad.

Maybe it was aided by discovering each of the three remaining possible cases for my M.S. research has a different problem with the aircraft data.

Maybe it was annoyance at learning the fellowship for which I've applied has added an interview to select among finalists that will be named next Friday. And the day of the interview (if I get that far) is the same day as my math final exam.

I did learn from my advisor yesterday that she had "an interesting conversation with" her husband, who runs the severe weather lab and teaches a lot of the dynamics and modeling classes, over break, about my proposed Ph.D. research, and he "had some great ideas we can discuss when we next meet". We don't meet until Friday afternoon, and I want to know now. :-)
quasigeostrophy: (doommeter)
Math test score: 25 out of 66 (38%). Average was 50%.

Fortunately, the two exams together are 40% of the course grade. Homework is 30% and the final another 30%. My homework grade up to the assignment just turned in was close to 100% (and this latest assignment certainly won't be that), so it may all come down to the final.

Bleah.

If I don't get a 'B' (curved), I can't count the credit hours toward my M.S. I don't need the hours in the total, but I need six (two classes) outside EAS, and this was going to be three of them. And I don't want to take a second class next semester while trying to finish my thesis. Ah, well, I'll do what I have to do, I suppose.
quasigeostrophy: (Dexter Science!)
...Run Uncommented Code

Oy. Needed some numbers from a figure in my former office mate's dissertation. She didn't have them, and told me she got them through an NCL program she wrote that went straight to generating the figure. So she sent me the code so I can just have it print out the numbers I need.

Of course, it doesn't work right away. And it's uncommented. Completely.

Granted, I write lots of programs for quick calculations (even not-so-quick ones) and don't comment them, but if I'm asked by someone else to use that code, I throw some damn comments in! Might be faster at this point for me to write my own program from scratch to calculate what I need. Oy.

ION, my advisor thought my fellowship application essay and idea rocked. She told me to keep the tree I killed papers I gathered while researching my idea close by, because, if I don't get the DHS fellowship, she thinks we should write a proposal straight to the NSF. How cool is that?

Now, I'm about to go to my math class, where my current decent mood is likely to be squashed by finding out my score on last week's horrid exam. :-\

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