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: (science-fun)
"What the heck is in our water supply that creates a rainbow effect in a sprinkler? ... We as a nation have got to ask ourselves 'What is going on?'"

Beware the stupidity. It burns.

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)
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. :-)

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: (stupid show)
From CNN.com: What got cut from the stimulus bill

Excerpts

Partially cut:

  • $3.5 billion for energy-efficient federal buildings (original bill $7 billion)
  • $100 million from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (original bill $427 million)
  • $300 million from federal fleet of hybrid vehicles (original bill $600 million)

Fully eliminated:

  • $100 million for National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • $50 million for NASA
  • $50 million for aeronautics
  • $50 million for exploration
  • $200 million for National Science Foundation
  • $100 million for science
  • $165 million for Forest Service capital improvement
  • $90 million for State and Private Wildlife Fire Management
  • $2 billion for Health Information Technology Grants
  • $16 billion for school construction
  • $3.5 billion for higher education construction
quasigeostrophy: (weather book)
Low-Temperature Scanning Electron Microscopy of Snow Crystals

I particularly like the rime and graupel images, the magnification series, and the crystal classification illustrations.

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: (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. :-\
quasigeostrophy: (Linus-research)
This isn't a meme, but neither is it homework. It is related peripherally to my forthcoming Ph.D. work.

What about winter precipitation (freezing rain, sleet, snow), especially but not necessarily related to climate change, do you wish we (or even just you) knew more?

Eep!

Nov. 7th, 2008 04:32 pm
quasigeostrophy: (Dexter Science!)
Earlier this week I thought I found something in my data, looking at it in the 3D app. Decided I was certain enough to bring it up with my advisor this afternoon.

We discussed it in-depth, and she seems to think that what I found is correct, and was impressed enough that she asked if she could use some of my findings in her talk at the AMS conference in January! With appropriate credit of course.

Eep.
quasigeostrophy: (Linus-research)
The importance of stupidity in scientific research

I have to admit it's been an adjustment for me. There are two things that are (and should be, IMHO) very difficult to say in science:

- "I know _____."
- "I'm finished with _____."

I'm in a position right now where I'm very frustrated with my research progress. It's uncomfortable. I don't know what I'm doing, whether or not I'm asking the right questions, etc. And that is what should keep me going.

All the coursework in which I've done extremely well scares me when I think about it in this context. It's all made sense, so I don't feel like I've learned all that much, actually. Sure, my current math class is frustrating and annoying me, but I can point straight to faults in the professor's methods and the text in that case. When I find an example on my own that works, I still get that material.

It's easy to fall into a comfort trap and stick with what I know. I get very easily the larger-scale meteorology stuff I've studied since I've been here. Storm dynamics, tornadogenesis, fronts and cyclones. The cloud physics stuff I'm studying is tougher. Much of it is counter-intuitive. And that's one reason I'm sticking with that as a focus area: I'm motivated by a need to know something I encounter that I don't get. But I have to admit that feeling unsure and uncomfortable is the right way to feel to get the answers I seek.
quasigeostrophy: (Dexter Science!)
...just maybe... I've found something in my data that is not a null result.
quasigeostrophy: (Linus-research)
How does a minimum value of -15.58 dBZ and a maximum value of -5.38 dBZ result in an average of -1.19 dBZ?

This program is going to lead to the end of my sanity, whatever there is left, especially since I'm not the one writing it.
quasigeostrophy: (Linus-research)
Looking back through my research notebook for something else, I stumbled upon a list of items I wrote about which I must have changed my mind later, because around them I had drawn a big bracket pointing to one word:

Meh.

;-)
quasigeostrophy: (Dexter Science!)
There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!

Large Hadron Collider test a success

[Edit: From [livejournal.com profile] ihasatardis - End of the World?]
quasigeostrophy: (Bender Fart)
You might think an internal plug for a special guest seminar in my department from a senior climate scientist at NCAR would be free of pop science sensationalist language.

You'd be wrong. To wit:

Global warming is, therefore, not just a threat for the future. It is already happening, endangering the health and welfare of the planet. (Emphasis mine.)

Last time I checked, the projected temperature rise, even from the dramatic hockey-stick model graphs, is a handful of degrees Celsius. Pretty extreme, yes, but the planet has been warmer in epochs long before we were here. Sure, the effects of global warming in the long term may endanger the health and welfare of humans and other species on the planet, but I think the planet itself will be fine.

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