Wednesday, December 22, 2010


At this point, 3 of the 4 people I want as committee members are on board, but I'm still waiting for a response from #4. Sent an email on Friday (as I was advised that this can be a nice way of asking as it doesn't put profs on the spot), and had no response by mid-day today... Sent a super-polite reminder email to make sure email #1 hadn't gotten lost in this person's inbox. Still no word. It'd be so nice to put this to rest before I leave for Christmas! Oh well; I have a back-up plan just in case (but it would make my life more complicated, by potentially adding a committee member from a different institution/state).

All kinds of planning going on right now too, for traveling to a conference (in a warm place!) coming up in Feb, plus applying for a fellowship to spend some time in Scandinavia next year (where my advisors will be during a sabbatical). Busy busy busy!

R function currently blowing my mind: melt() and cast() in the reshape library (the built in use of aggregate is fabulous).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Taking another step (committee!)

Lots going on in real life that I'm not going to write about now (what else is new).

Big news for the moment is that after months of procrastinating/agonizing, I finally just sent an email to a former professor asking them to be the first member of my graduate committee. This is a big step for me; I've been writing and re-writing the email all week. I really really really hope that this person answers with a big YES, because I think that their knowledge and experience would be invaluable to me, and in a number of ways their work is closer to what I want to do than my own advisor's. In general, I'm still skeptical of the value of committees, but I can totally see how this person would fit in. Part of my anxiety about it is that if the answer is no, I can't think of anyone else even at this huge institution who would be able to fill a comparable role. Mostly I'm filling my committee because the rules say I have to, but I'd really love to work with this person more.

Anyways, that's where I'm at. Cross your fingers for me.

With the holidays coming up, maybe I'll post more, including the list of favorite R functions I've been accumulating.

Theo out.

UPDATE: Success!! Big weight off my shoulders. Now I can ask other people on my list.