Life at Hopkins - Part II

Written on 3:19 PM by Tushar Thole

Time is surely flying and I am two semesters old at Hopkins.

During the early January I was on 'mass apply' spree for a suitable job during the summer as I was kinda apprehensive about getting interview calls. It worked out really well and I was overwhelmed by the response.The feeling that everyone wants you is really nice for anyone and I am no exception. Learnt to deal with aggressive managers, talked to people who thought that they deserved a standing appalause as they were working for a specific company, dealt with people who tried all tactics to get me to work for them. Work experience does teach you people management skills, helps you figure out what you want to do and what it will take to achieve your goals.

All spring courses had only programming assignments and lots of projects which I feel is the best way to learn a concept.Worked on projects dealing with kernel space / user space C programming, perl/bash scripting, functional programming in OCaml, SQL queries and stored procedures. Started exploring wonderful world of Virtualization for the independent study and fortunately got VMware to guide me in it. It was the first time I took a course in Information retrieval and I am fascinated by it.I would have liked to explore it even more but really good systems courses are being offered next sem which I would like to take such as Storage systems, Microkernel architecture, Network embedded systems and sensor networks.

Hopkins offers so many facilities to students but I didn't get time to explore any during the spring sem. I guess that is the price you pay for being a grad student especially in computer science.

Wish list for the next sem is
- join a salsa class
- learn to do kayaking
- master fooseball / table tennis
- go on at least one outing arranged by outdoor pursuits club
- watch a lacrosse game in the Homewood field
...

F as in Freedom!

Written on 7:32 PM by Tushar Thole

It's officially over! I am just one sem away from graduating and I still cannot believe it!
We hosted a potluck dinner on Friday to celebrate our 'freedom' and quite a few people turned up. Me and my roomies cooked food for almost 20 people and got a few compliments too.

I was bored like hell on Saturday as I didn't understand what to do!
Sometimes I feel that the grad school is turning us into robots turning in one assignment after the other, we eat when we are told to (at the happy hour), all our timetables are governed by homeworks and projects.It's like having an external force driving your life and treating you like a slave.The month of April and first couple of weeks of May seem to have vanished into a blackhole and I don't remember doing anything else but work. Though the past experience(Fall semester) did teach me to have fun whenever you get a chance and I tried to pamper myself after every homework by watching a movie at the expense of less sleep. I still remember it was sometime during the first week of May when me and Wyatt were working on our IR project and we got bored with spending every minute of our lousy boring life in the lab. So we thought of hanging out for half an hour doing something else. It turned out to be a bigger problem! We could not figure out what to do with half an hour of free time so we went to Barnes and Nobles bookstore and ended up reading books! It's like if you set a bird free which has lived in a cage for all its life it doesn't know what to do! During past couple of weeks I learnt to play fooseball though. It's fun and as Swaroop says it counts towards the masters degree requirements:)

Coming back to the point, I was dead bored on Saturday so got a LOT of movies from Sandeep to have a movie marathon.On the weekend I did not even leave my bed and watched 7 movies one after the other such as Before sunrise(good one),Dude where's my car? (average),Deja vu(Didn't get it!),Kabul Express(The director of this movie must be a sadist!),Khosla ka Ghosla(Hilarious),The girl next door(average),Little miss sunshine(too good!). The next on the list are 8 mile,Before sunset,The good shephard, Runaway bride and Happy feet. Had some catching up to do for Lost:) Started watching Scrubs too.It's good but 'Friends' still rules!

Climate is extremely nice and am thinking of clicking the pictures of the campus. It's becoming a ritual to click the pictures of the univ campus every season and it does look entirely different.
Got Interpreter of Maladies (Follow the link to read it online) and have started reading it but it is too early to comment. Planning to watch The namesake some time this week. Apart from all this 'important' stuff will also code for food at JHSPH:) Have to talk to Randal too about the plan of action for the independent study before I leave for the Bay area.

That's my plan for this week. What about you?

CPT

Written on 4:30 PM by Tushar Thole

Got the approval for CPT (Curriculum Practicum Training)!

Due the cautious approach of JHU regarding Intellectual Property rights of the work that students will do during the course of the summer internship it is turning out to be harder to get a CPT approval than getting the actual job!

International office which issues the new i20 for students wants to see a clause on the offer letter that the rights of the work done by the student belongs to the student. That also means that the student should not sign the Non Disclosure Agreement with the company as it means they cannot use the results of the 'research' that they will do during the internship while writing their thesis.

This has forced almost everybody to get a new letter from their employer clarifying the company's stand on IP issues.

I did not face any such problems as I am already working with VMware on my independent study and thanks to my dad who taught me that you not only need to be intelligent but also smart to get things done:)

Care package!

Written on 10:59 AM by Tushar Thole

Today morning I was surprised to receive a package. It was from VMware.

It contained brownie,Easy Mac original cheese sauce mix,pretzel poppers,peanut butter,instant breakfast,Oatmeal to go,famous amos cookies with a little note inside which read _
"We thought it might help you get through finals and finish the semester - or at least give you some extra energy."

:)

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