Wednesday, February 28, 2007

today came and went, but not like i planned

my whole refocusing attempt today failed miserably. i began running more tests this morning, and that's about where the productiveness stopped. i continued to run tests throughout the day, however, they took longer than i anticipated; so, i was unable to analyze them by day's end. i was supposed to have a chat about my research over lunch in hopes of sparking some motivation and progress, but that fell thru as well. i finished the rest of the day procrastinating and staring into space. hopefully, tomorrow will prove to be a better day for thought, ideas, breakthroughs, know,..................... all that stuff that you think about when you think of a phd student.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

all distractions aside, let's get to work

i have been a bit preoccupied the last week as i prepared for my presentation to another group today. the presentation went well, and it was my first time presenting to another group here in the lab. now that that's over, i need to refocus on making progress. i will probably need a brainstorming day tomorrow as i run some tests, but then the rubber needs to hit the road in the afternoon (and the rest of the week for that matter). i feel as if i am a bit behind right now simply because the presentation has consumed so much of my focus the past few days, but it was good to step back and start from ground zero and look at the big picture of what i want to do again. the exercise was good because i had to paint a picture for total strangers that knew nothing about what i am doing. this forced me to really make sure i (1) understood the story myself and (2) could tell the story in a way that strangers could understand.

Monday, February 26, 2007

hectic day

long weekend in london. busy day today preparing for a presentation tomorrow. looking forward to much of the same tomorrow. i hope the presentation goes well.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

issue resolved, now i'm back on track

my solution from yesterday afternoon worked, and after replacing components this morning, my tests were back up and running flawlessly. i'm back on track to keep making progress. motivation and morale are high once again, and i would like to keep it this way for as long as possible.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

success (potentially) in the heat of crunchtime

i guess i like waiting until time gets tight to figure things out. if i could only solve problems before things get stressful. anyway, i am pretty confident i have solved my issue from yesterday. it took me until the last 10 minutes of today to come up with a potential solution, but i am fairly sure that this is the problem. i will try it out and see first thing in the morning. keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

my head is pounding

as ambitious and motivated as i started the day, i am stumped at how i ended up with a headache. i had some really good ideas (both school-related and about life) on the walk to work today. on top of that, i had a promising email providing feedback on my thesis proposal waiting on me in my inbox. the feedback was much needed and VERY helpful. next, i volunteered to do a talk next week to the systems research group, and then, i was introduced to a contact at microsoft interested in similar research as myself. finally, i responded to an email that promises to point me to some links to relevant papers that i need to read. do i manage not to finish the day on a good note? easy!!! when it comes to research, ANYTHING is possible.

the problem.......

the graphs from my initial data collection were not matching my most recent graphs (additional hardware is being monitored now). i saw this yesterday, but i thought the problem may have been an anomaly. i re-ran the test today, making sure to calibrate as accurately as possible in hopes of curing my problem. obviously, this did not work, and i am stuck once again. on the bright least i finally concluded which graphs are correct. tomorrow's problem of the day is to figure out why there is a discrepancy and then fix it.

Monday, February 19, 2007

pretty boring day

back to grind this morning to gloomy skies. the excitement in my day, or lack there of, seemed to mimic the weather. maybe there will be more excitement tomorrow. hey........i should look on the bright didn't rain today. i better not say that too loud because i still have to walk home.

Friday, February 16, 2007

small steps but i'm headed in the right direction

i had a successful day today. nothing to write home about, but i am simply glad i am making progress. after being stuck for so long, it just feels good to be un-stuck. the fact that i am moving along the path of my research goals/aims is icing on the cake. my deliverable goals will be very ambitious over the next few months. between paper deadlines, my own progress goals, and preparation for my summer internship at ibm, i have a lot of work to do before the summer gets here. there is still a long road to tread, however, the weekend will be more relaxing after a day like today.

p.s. - for my faithful readers, here is proof that i am not making this stuff up

Thursday, February 15, 2007

dilemma solved

after about a week's worth of racking my brain, i was able to solve why my data collection was failing. it turns out, a special interface is enabled BY DEFAULT, and i had to go back and disable it in software. i am glad i went back and looked at the datasheet for the microcontroller. this problem would have continued to drive me crazy for many more weeks.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

happy valentine's day

i made it back to the uk this morning. the trip home was a blast. i'm really glad i got to make it back to our chapter's 25th anniversary. while i was home, i was able to secure an internship with ibm research in new york this summer. i don't think i could be more excited about that.

anyway, back in the office, i picked up where i was stuck when i left a couple weeks ago. i am still trying to troubleshoot an identify the problem. this is definitely taking longer than i would like, but there is not much i can do other than fix the issue. i will keep my fingers crossed and hope i can figure the problem out by week's end. i really need to get some more tests run, so i can continue with my progress. i am extremely tired and jet-lagged, so i cam calling it a night.

Friday, February 02, 2007

progress comes to a screeching halt

i thought the long hours the last few days would be due to productive work. instead, i have been troubleshooting a problem with my hardware. i have followed many red herrings and still have no idea what the problem is. i just hate to leave without figuring out the problem. hold on........wait......i 'm lying. i am GLAD to be going home for a week and a half. i'll just have to pick up the trail when i get back. hopefully, it won't take too long to get back on the progress train.

it's friday, it's late, i'm starving, and............................... i leave sunday. be back in couple weeks.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

everything seemed to go wrong

such a productive day yesterday could only have been followed up by a day full of mishaps and confusion. i don't know where to begin with today's story. i got maybe 2 hours worth of work done in about 10 hours of physically being in the lab. as much stuff as i need/want to get done before i leave, i needed a much more productive day today than what i got. it may be a long day/night tomorrow. top it all off, i have to do a presentation for monday before i leave sunday morning. i found out about this at 1 pm this afternoon.