Friday, March 25, 2005

Busy B

I've been very busy lately; so busy, in fact, that I haven't found any time to update this blog since Monday.

Mostly I've been working on things for my upcoming interview at Sandia. I wrote my slides, and I thought that they were perfect and completely understandable. Then, I presented my interview talk to the weekly NA seminar, and discovered that there was a lot to improve! Another problem is that I actually went over my alloted time of 50 minutes, which is bad news. So I'm having to cut some material, in addition to revising what I've already written. So I've been spending a long time incorporating the professors' and my fellow grad students' feedback into my slides.

One thing that I've enjoyed doing is getting a chance to draw some diagrams. My mom is an outstanding visual artist, and being raised by her involved lots of fun art projects. From her, I learned a lot about graphic design and making clear diagrams. So I'd say that I make presentations that are more visually pleasing than average.

One diagram that I'm particularly impressed with myself for making describes pictorially the recursive nature of creating a finite difference matrix in arbitrarily high dimensions. It shows the development of the finite difference stencil, and relates that to the development of the matrix, using only color. It replaces five slides of words, and does a better job of explaining what's going on! Naturally, I'm going to use some words to explain it when I give the presentation, but I think that the pictures will provide a link to help my audience understand it much faster.

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