Entering grad school can be one of the most daunting steps. It’s almost like discovering that you are a Jedi but you don’t know how to become a Jedi master and you need to be trained for it. There are a lot of common questions and there is a lot of shared understanding of what goes on but it’s not well articulated. This is where I find the following blog to be invaluable
If you are a computer science enthusiast (undergraduate,postgraduate or in grad school), you might find his writings extremely invaluable. Even if you are not a computer science enthusiast but belong to an academic setting, the articles can be invaluable.
Invaluable advice your way
The department of computer science has been long under the pressure of moving their email systems from diku.dk to di.ku.dk . A couple of weeks ago SCIENCE-IT finally did the migration. So the old postfix email servers were discarded for new shiny Microsoft Exchange solution. As a result I found out last week, that old solution of automatically forwarding / re-directing emails were discontinued on “legal” reasons (which as a user I have no clue of). This means my earlier solution of using another email address mailbox as a backup mailbox to archive incoming emails by forwarding all incoming emails does not work unless I use POP on another server with my passwords (which I would never dream of doing). The old solution was a mind boggling simple and flexible one. What we have currently achieved is to give up the simpler and logical solution for an inflexible and legal solution. All this just begs the question, what is the purpose of the migration ? Make the system easier for users or easier to administrate for admins ignoring the users ?
And thats what its all about
Yesterday was really a windy day !! With wind speeds recorded upto 190 kph, things were really blowing outside the windows. It was the left-over storm which was headed towards the Danish coast from UK. I was not aware that a storm was going to hit Copenhagen. I had left for work at the University without knowing that the storm clouds were already on their way. I came to know about the storm when it actually hit. Everything was swirling outside the windows and the wind was howling with rage. It was 5 in the evening. It was a bit scary to see the windows clatter. The intensity reduced around 7 and I decided to make a run for it. I took my bike and went to Svanemollen station at 7. With announcements only in Danish about cancelled trains and hardly anyone around, I hung around there for 30 mins (and rejseplanen claimed there would be a S train at 7-30) and finally I left to make my way back to the University to put back my bike and look for buses to come back home. The bike journeys were exciting and scary at the same time. The wind was blowing in gusts and there were uprooted trees and and other objects. I was biking looking all around hoping to not land up in a hospital bed. I made my way back to the University, put my bike back and then made it to the bus stop. I waited at the bus stop for an hour before the bus 184 turned up. And then after a 45 minute bus ride, I was finally home at 10. It was an experience which was exciting, stressful and tiring at the same time. It blows into focus the fact how are lives are completely at the whims and fancies of nature.
And the storm winds were here
I was looking for a way to host private git repositories which I could share around with other collaborators really easily. One option is to use a local git repository and then share it using Dropbox but that makes one lose some of the cool features of github. Another option is to request Github to upgrade your account for free if you are a student or an educational institution. I did that at the Github request page and got my account immediately upgraded to a micro account for free. It helps in the processing if you add an educational email and verify it before applying for the educational upgrade. Yay to Github 🙂
Github goes educational
A week ago, I finished a week long course PhD course, “Introduction to University Pedagogy”. It’s a course which gives you a feeling well done and that you have learned something from it. What impressed me most about the course were:
- Introspective nature of the course
The course is not about transferring knowledge, its about building knowledge. It involves the participants into analyzing situations and discussing possible solutions.
- Hands on learning
The course comprised of teaching modules of 20 minutes where participants had to teach a topic/s so that the audience could comprehend the learning goals. Since the audience were from diverse backgrounds, that ensured the topics were quite randomized and interesting. Post the teaching session, a 40 minute feedback/discussion session was held which made the “teacher” realize the pros and cons of the teaching from the students. It was a model done right and what stood out for the course.
- See yourself
The teaching sessions were also video recorded which the participants could later access and then realize their strengths and weaknesses. It helped me particularly to understand the feedback better and look for critical hints in the feedback based on the teaching video.
I would definitely recommend this course to the plethora of students hoping to fill their ECTS PhD points anytime and the sooner you do it in your PhD timeline the better it is. At least it will save the pain in the picture.
Teaching not done right haunts the teacher more!
So, now the Department of Computer Science is going for organized craziness. A new PhD club is starting up. And here I am looking forward to loads of socializing and free food and beer.
And I am back after completing my Master’s studies. I have just started as a P.hD. student at DIKU in the APL group. Thanks to the KU Blogs admin for letting me restart my old blog which I had completely stopped updating during my Master’s. More to follow here.
And back to grad school (courtesy phdcomics.com)