Year in Review (2013) – Grad School

Well, I actually pretty much took the entire time I’ve been home off. Which is amazing. But it was helped by the fact that there was lots to do, and so I just told myself to stay away from my laptop. I was generally only on to use it to watch Netflix a couple of times, or stream a couple of movies through Airplay to an AppleTV (which works super well).

Anyway, now that I’ve had a break it’s time to think about my year in review. Especially since I need to get my progress report finished.

So, what did I manage to do this year?

  1. I went to three conferences and a couple of workshops.
  2. I got one paper published (although it’s not on my research directly, just a project I’m involved in).
  3. I have a second paper under review right now (fingers crossed, as it was rejected earlier this year :().
  4. I gave one of my required seminars.
  5. I helped start a new student group for women in CS.
  6. I, again, supervised a high school student over the summer.
  7. I ran two experiments (more than 2 times), although the results weren’t great.
  8. I started a company with a few friends.
  9. I hit the (apparently) inevitable wall all PhD students hit (although my supervisor thought I’d be an exception and make it through).

Last year my goals for this year weren’t clear, but I said:

For the coming year, I’m not sure exactly what my goals should be. So far, I think they should include writing/submitting a paper on the second experiment I did last fall (in progress), run an experiment this winter and write/submit on that (close to being ready for ethics), and decide on the final part of my research (still unsure). I’m sort of hoping (but, based on history not counting on) being close to finished all my research by December. I’m hoping that by this time next year, I’m thinking about or writing up my final dissertation.

Looking at this, part of me wants to just say repeat that again. But that’s not quite right. I do know, that at least for January (and hopefully only that long) I’ll be once again trying to decide what my final stage is going to be (since our last idea didn’t pan out). I’m going to also work on catching up on the giant backlog of papers I have to read and maybe doing some work on my dissertation file (depending on how much start-up work I have).

Besides that, I’d love to be able to implement and run whatever experiment we decide to do within the first semester, with the goal of being able to submit to my “normal” conference in May. And my ultimate goal, would be that by next September, I’m either starting writing my final dissertation or I know I will be shortly (as in before the end of December).

I think once I know my plan for the next (and hopefully final) stage of my research, I’m going to need to set up a Beeminder again to keep up the momentum.

I just really really hope 2014 ends up being a much better year.



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