Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's August 12th, and a week from today we'll be on the road, headed north and homewards. Working at LANL has been wonderful. My mentors were really good; they provided good feedback and new ideas for our project and invested a lot of their own time in our success. Carter and Aaron, the other two interns I worked with, left for home yesterday (North Carolina and California, respectively). Carter and I worked on graph theoretical measures on city road networks. Carter came up with code that efficiently found how to decide where to put up checkpoints if you want to protect a given area of the city. I'm working on organizing our research so that we can publish. Leticia, my mentor, is working closely with me on it, and we'll be collaborating by email over the next semester.
Feng Pan, me, Carter Kozak, and Leticia Cuella. Picture by Deborah Kubicek

We got to participate in a poster session at the LANL Student Symposium, and our poster won the mathematics section! Now, I'm trying to organize the data and see what else we should focus on.

Leticia's name should be on the sign above us too; she was my mentor. Feng was Carter's mentor.
We got a lot of good feedback at the conference, and got to meet some cool people.

Yes, she went all the way down! Also, thanks Ryan for the photo!
We've been able to visit my relatives in Edgewood (near Albequerque) a lot of times. It's been great, because normally we are too far away to visit them and we hardly ever see them. One of the times we went down, we got to go rappelling. It was Suzanne's first time, and she handled it like a champion!
Mission impossible style!
 It's especially been good to get to be with them outside of a major family reunion. This way, we got to focus on them instead of dividing attention between all the families that you want to visit.

The end of the summer is going to be very busy. As soon as we get back to Rexburg, we're going to head for the hills and do some backpacking with my dad and my sisters. Then we've got a week before our marathon (for which I still have some training to do...), and then it's off to Portland for a week visiting Suzanne's family. It's going to be so much fun! I love backpacking, for one thing. And for another, the northwest is a wonderful place to be! With any luck, we'll be able to swing over to Cannon Beach one day, and to Seattle another (where we can visit Suzanne's brother and his wonderful family!), along with spending quality time with Suzanne's parents.

The coming semester will be a busy one, but it will be really good. Really important for our futures, too. We're taking the GRE in October, and we'll be applying for graduate school, as well as taking some great classes. Suzanne's schedule is loaded with interesting health classes and orchestra, and I'll be diving into some intense math classes that should be really fun -- real analysis, abstract algebra, bayesian stats, and scientific computing. Somewhere in there, I hope to find the time to have some concerts -- I've got some new material that I want to perform!

This summer has been wonderful so far and we still have some great adventures coming!

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