Well, I haven't blogged for a while, since I don't have much hacking to report on, but I suppose I can check in if only to somewhat interrupt the stream of the intense
Enter vs. Ctrl-Enter Google Search Bar debates (although let me point out that there is a GUI for configuring what plugins to load in HEAD, done by this plugin's author).
As most of you know, I started grad school @ Cornell a few weeks ago. Thus far, I am mostly taking things gently: trying to prepare for the qualifying exams and to generally get adjusted. Hence, I am only taking 2 "real" courses, both targetting the exams, and only one of them is at the graduate level (formal PL semantics and type theory); the other is a senior-level course on numerical analysis. In the "imaginary" courses component, I also attend a couple of seminars, and sit in for an AI class as a way of pacing my review for yet-another qualifying exam (there are 5).
Probably the most stressful part is my TA role. The class is an intermediate Java/intro to datastructures thing, so it's quite huge, with about 200 students, and around 20 staff members. Needless to say, w/that many students, one quickly finds out just how differently people can read a supposedly clear and unambiguous assignment (which gets particularly muddled when two staff members give contradictory answers!). The most difficult part for me is teaching sections -- i.e. trying to go over parts of the material with smaller (20-30 people) groups of people, because:
As usual, I there are TaeKwonDo classes to keep me sane, though. The workouts are quite intense, although I suppose they would feel a bit easier if my feet weren't all banged up from climbing a portion of Ithaca's East Hill on my way to the campus every morning. My shoes simply aren't made for ~35 degree inclines. I am sort of enjoying the wide range of techniques covered here, too, since it really hits on my weak spots; but that also makes it more difficult to get "integrated", because, well, it is sort of hard to reshape your reflexes after so many years. Seems like a great bunch of people, too, although probably a bit more "instense" than what I am used to due to so much focus on competitions.