Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Simplest of Days

I cannot fathom that there are only nine days left in Summer Discovery. The days are going by faster and faster, and I become sadder and sadder the more I think about it. It seems as if it's already been a year since we moved into the dorms. 

In introspect, I have changed significantly. As a person, I've gotten a grasp about exactly who I am in society. Before the program, I expected myself to solely focus on studying and gaining knowledge as a lone figure. This was my original goal, to augment my skills as a researcher. This goal has not changed, but I have split my daily activities into two - socially and educationally. I originally thought that I would enter the physics class in a competitive atmosphere. But after meeting everyone (that I could) and learning about them, my thoughts have completely changed. I'm a competitive person, but I only support competition to a certain extent. It bolsters the intelligence of the students, but at times, it supports a mentality that is about " being the best". I believe that the best environment is one that does not judge on individuals but rather groups. My social life has been much more apparent than I had originally thought. I've spent most of my time socializing and learning about others, although it may not be as educational as I thought, I think it has been much more beneficial. Because of my interactions, my dreams of becoming a physicist have solidified. I have grasped the level of my peers and it has inspired me to spend much more time studying. Before the program, I casually studied off of Youtube videos and occasionally MIT Courseware, but I have really set a plan for learning physics without a class. I plan on setting a schedule for studying physics and practicing on questions from a book that Bill will later give me. 

In class, we had the opportunity to listen to two professors and their research. Dr. Rick Van Berg lectured us about the upcoming synoptic camera. With this technology, we will be able to obtain much more data and get a grasp on the universe. As of now, we only know of 4% of the universe, but with the camera, we will be able to expand out knowledge on it. It should be noted that this is not a regular camera, it is meters long. Also, Dr. Randy Kamien gave us an interesting lecture in topology. He described it as "counting" which was oddly funny, but after he explained it, things became much more abstract and interesting. Essentially, he used directions of curvatures and counted them, and with math, he was able to theorize "calculations". I'm unable to explain it because I was confused at the lecture. However, Dr. Kamien was very interesting and oddly spontaneous and so it made the lecture interesting. 

On other news, my friends and I celebrated my friend Julie's birthday! We took her out to Muzi, a sushi restaurant, and we paid for her share. She refused at first but we convinced her not to pay. We took her around University City and just conversed while walking. It was a very simple celebration, but I'm sure she liked it. Today was a simple day, and it's making the days pass by too quickly. It's very depressing, but I must move forward. 

1 comment:

  1. I’m not quite sure I understand this, Jun. Since we really don’t know the size of the universe, how do we know that we’ve mapped 4%? Sounds contradictory to me.

    I’m glad that you’re seeing your own social growth, Jun. We’re seeing it, too.

    As for your friend Julie, you have to make her understand about the rules governing birthday celebrations. I even think it’s a law in most states where friends are required to take out the birthday/gal/guy and pay for their meal. If it’s not a law in Pennsylvania it ought to be. I’m sure she wouldn’t want to get you in any trouble with the law.