Writing operating systems kernel code and clubbing.  Pipelining CPUs and pool parties.  Building predictive algorithms and Mario Kart.

Do all of these sentences sound contradictory? I would have thought so, but apparently all these can be done in the same day! My summer has been a unique blend of geeky and awesome, strenuous and relaxing.  And I love it.

I won’t spend too much time discussing my classes again (you can read my previous blog post for all those exciting details!) but that’s where much of my time has gone.  I can happily report that I’m in the final week of class, with only five days to go until freedom!  By now, I feel pretty well versed in operating system and CPU design.  And, fun fact: you can tell all your friends you understand everything from the Social Network classroom scene! This is important stuff, people.


Where I've been spending too much time this summer: in the computer lab with my awesome Operating Systems group!

Where I’ve been spending too much time this summer: in the computer lab with my awesome Operating Systems group!

One general remark about the classes I’ve taken this summer: It is REALLY important to think about what you are supposed to be learning in classes, and how that might be useful in your career.  I’ve spent many hours this summer just working on projects, and sometimes it feels like too much work just to learn how virtual memory or page tables work.  However, there’s so much more knowledge to be gleaned: how to interact with partners, set work schedules, divide labor, use tools, and so much more! I feel more like an engineer having now had these project-intensive classes than I did at the beginning of the summer.

As my previous blog mentioned, I’ve been working on research this summer as well.  While there’s no point reproducing what exactly it entails (again, previous blog post), I do want to express how cool it is to develop a rapport with a professor, and to be treated as a colleague.  Whether through visiting office hours or working on one of their projects, you should always get know your professors!

Now for the “I do have a life section”: I consider myself SO lucky to be living in my fraternity’s house this summer.  Fraternity houses are great in that they are almost a dorm setting: everyone’s private space is just their bedroom (possibly with multiple roommates), so in order to access the TV, kitchen, or just bigger hang out space, people cluster in the main living room of the house.  What results is spur-of-the-moment funtimes: Halo, N64, excursions to awesome restaurants, midnight movie trips, and more!  Having such a great social setting is crucial to both having the most fun you can and also for keeping stress levels at bay.

What’s up next: As mentioned, classes wrap up on Tuesday.  After that, I keep on working on my research, and look forward to seeing my friends back in LA for the fall!