Sunday, July 18, 2010

Well....it was kinda soon.

What a crazy last few months its been. And naturally, I've failed to keep track of it.

Where to begin? Well, let me first go over what has happened in WoW. I ended up leaving my previous guild and joining Tabula Rasa on Dragonblight. Amazing people, really fun to hang around and play with. A few months after I joined, the officer responsible for handing out healing assignments had to take a break from the game to focus on his family (I think him and his wife just had a baby at the time....not sure on that though). I stepped up, and filled the roll of assigning healers. A few weeks later I had a discussion with the administration and was made an officer.

Fast forward to May. I'm starting to get really tired of raiding. I was so busy with other stuff that staying up late was killing me. But I stuck with it because I committed to it. At the end of May, I went to a physics conference (which I will talk about later), and ended up receiving an amazing job offer to start right after the conference finished. It was such a good opportunity, that I had to step down from officership to ensure that I got enough sleep, and still managed to get other things done in my life. With that decision I also decided to completely stop playing WoW.

On the academic front, I really put my butt into gear this year. I almost managed to get an 80% average this past term (I was juuuuuuust short). My goal for this upcoming fall term (which will be the start of my 4th year) is to hit that 80% average.

So this past year, I have taken a number of courses. Last fall term I took Quantum 2, Mathematical Physics 1, Intermediate Classical Mechanics, and a lab. In the winter term I took Condensed Matter, Mathematical Physics 2, Statistical Mechanics, Scientific Computation 2, and a lab.

So what's this conference I mentioned? Well, the stars aligned and I was chosen to attend the Institute for Quantum Computing's USEQIP conference. This stands for undergraduate student experimental quantum information processing. It was a 2 week conference consisting of about 14 students from all around the world. I was taught by some of the world leading experts in the field. It was such an amazing experience, and it has really helped push me in the right direction for getting into grad school.

During the conference, I was offered a job in one of the labs. Naturally, I took it. I am currently working for Dr David Cory, a very famous scientist who just received the CERC prize (google it for more info). As part of his prize, he's been given a huge amount of lab space; 10k square feet I am told. Its the entire first floor of this new building on campus. I spend a lot of my time helping set the labs up. One of the big projects I am working on right now is helping setup the low temperature lab. Its absolutely amazing getting to see just what goes into setting up the equipment. The postdoc that I'm working with is a great guy, and answers every question that I have.

I don't just do labour though. I work with a very simple nuclear quadrapole resonance (NQR) setup. Due to its (comparative to other setups) simplicity, its perfect for me to get hands on experience with the basics.

So some of you might have heard that Dr Stephen Hawking was in Waterloo last month. Well, I'll let the following picture speak for itself....


YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Aww. Yeahh.


All of these events in the past year have been really exciting. None of them compare to me meeting my girlfriend. We started dating in Sept 09 and have been happy ever since. She's really nerdy like me (she's a math major, that's right up there with physics on the nerdy scale). She's a really awesome person. There have been times during my academic terms where the homework load was putting too much stress on me. To help me out, she would come visit the physics study lounge to keep me smiling while working away. Heck, she even brought me pizza when I was working all night on a take home final. I know she's going to read this at some point, so Carolyn: RAWRRRRRRR!!!!

Anyways, that's the key things that have happened. Maybe later I'll go into some more detail about how stupid my housemates are.

3 comments:

Carolyn said...

RAWRRRRR

Ricardo Camões said...

Lucky guy! But poor Stephen Hawking, his health just keeps deteriorating (well, he's already lived so much longer than the average for his disease). Must be so hard to live in that body.

Btw I'm doing the PSI MSc in physics at the Perimeter Institute this year so I might get to meet him too! As well as some other famous people. I've already met Lee Smolin, one of the creators of Loop Quantum Gravity! Life is good. :)

Steven Casagrande said...

Just noticed your comment! Yes, its very clear that his health is in very poor shape. It was one of the first things that came to mind when I met him.

Good luck with the PSI program!