It is hard to believe that I am already in my eighth and final semester as a Williams College student. I have learned so much over the past few years, including what I want to do after Williams and possibly even after graduate school.
Speaking of graduate school, I’ve heard back from most of the institutions to which I applied. So far, five have offered me admission. Thus, I’ll definitely have some tough decision-making to do over the next two months, and final choices for graduate school have to be made on April 15. I’m going to be traveling to at least four of the “student visit-days” at those schools to assist me in making my final decision, and I’ll probably post some details about the events on this blog. My first trip will be to The University of Texas at Austin, as their computer science department is hosting visit days next weekend. By the way, schools will generally pay up to $500 for airfare and provide you with free lodging, either in a hotel or with graduate students, so it’s a great deal.
In the meantime, I’m also doing some more research and taking some classes. Here are the lecture courses I’m taking:
- Distributed Systems. This is a computer science course that teaches the design and implementation of systems that involve multiple, connected computers, hence the name “distributed.” I will also learn about networking and operating systems, which are two areas that I don’t know much about, so I am definitely going to learn a ton from this course. (Just now, I can finally discern the differences between a process and a thread.)
- Tiling Theory. This is a mathematics course dealing with the theory behind tilings, which are essentially patterns formed by some simply connected pieces that we can fit together to fill up a plane without gaps and without tiles overlapping. In my opinion, it has a lot of similarities to graph theory in that it’s a course that heavily depends on visualization, proof by pictures, and clever doodling.
That’s it! Just two courses. Of course, I do have a thesis. I’m badly behind on it, so I’ll have to focus super-hard on it during the rest of February, March, and the beginning of April. I’m also taking an independent study course in Operations Research, where I’ll be part of a team of roughly ten students who will review and utilize concepts relating to — in addition to operations research — advanced linear algebra, linear programming, sabermetrics, and so on.
This schedule seems easier than usual with the small number of lecture courses, but even after two weeks I can already tell that I’ll be overwhelmed as usual, especially when taking into account my heavy traveling this semester. (I expect to miss more classes this semester alone than I have during the past seven semesters combined!) Furthermore, I am going to be repeating as a Teaching Assistant for the Algorithm Design & Analysis course. In the second half of this semester, I am also thinking about signing up for a computer science course on Coursera.
Anyway, it’s time for me to stop blogging and get back to work.