Saturday, August 21, 2010

Summer Success Stories

All my students have now left.  The last one's final day was yesterday.

I think it was a very productive summer for all three of them.  My high school student had some amazing opportunities that most high schoolers don't get.  She learned a lot about nuclear physics, visualization, and working at a science lab.  She was very appreciative of the opportunity and I hope she'll be able to come back next summer.

My undergraduate student learned Unix, Fortran, and how to use a supercomputer.  He was a very bright young man and the work that he did was top notch.  I think it was a good experience for him, and he may be here again next summer.

My best success was with my graduate student.  She worked for me last summer, and came back again this summer.  My goal this summer was to get her a job, and I succeeded!  She'll be starting next month in a sibling division at my workplace.  I am really excited for her!

The summer was fairly stressful, though, and I realized that three students were too many for me to really be able to handle.  Just mentoring them was a full-time job unto itself.  Also, two of them were sitting in my office, and that meant I didn't have much of a chance to be alone.  And then, I was starting to get stressed out but did not feel like I could take a vacation because I had three students depending on me.  And unfortunately, because of my big project, I can't take vacation for another six weeks at the earliest.  So my stress levels are pretty high and will remain so for the near future.

I'm having another student come for 10 weeks beginning in October.  I worked with him last summer.  But he is a senior grad student and just coming to work with me on developing a new algorithm for his code.  My role will be to brainstorm with him about developing a more scalable parallel algorithm, which he will then implement.  So I think this will be fun rather than stressful.  He's going to be in and out, so I'll plan my time off around him.

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