Perhaps it's because I've been so busy, but this week seems to have flown by. Overall, things have gone pretty well for me.
Yesterday I went to a luncheon sponsored by the Women in Engineering Program, with a guest speaker from IBM. I would really like to work at IBM, so I talked to this woman afterwards, and she told me that she knew some people in the area I was interested in, and would be willing to forward my resume to them. So it seems good that I went to that luncheon, because I got more than just free food out of it.
And today I figured out some more about the performance modeling I have been doing. Specifically, I figured out, thanks to modeling, that something I had considered doing was actually a bad idea. I had thought of adding a fourth level of parallelization to my program, and it turns out to be a bad idea, at least if I try to do it the way that I thought of doing it.
Speaking of parallelization, there's something that has been bothering me for a while about the jargon in my field. In parallel computing, you have one processor that's in charge, and it's called the master, while the other processors are called slaves. While I know we are talking about inanimate objects here, it still offends and possibly alienates people who were historically enslaved.
Computer Science was obviously developed by white men, because there are plenty of examples of jargon that could be offensive to women. The trick is to understand that Computer Science was developed by white men with no social skills, who weren't setting out to be offensive to traditionally under-represented groups.
But still, in my work, I don't want to use that terminology. My parallelism is actually a three-level model, so I need another word for the "middle management" processors anyhow.
I think I have figured out what to do. I plan to rename the master as "Alpha." The middle ones will be "Beta," and the lowest-level ones will be "Gamma." This way, there is a hierarchy, but it doesn't invoke the legacy of hurt and hate that master/slave does.