Got Hooded

Dec. 8th, 2011 11:51 pm
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So not only do I have my diploma, but by the power invested in Chancellor Cheek by the State of Tennessee, I now get to wear the full academic regalia and can go forth and... Doct.

Here lies the school tag. RIP 1985-2011


Oct. 26th, 2011 05:51 pm
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It took them quite a bit longer than it should have, but my doctoral dissertation is finally live on the internet. Be sure to grab your limited-time only special edition before the downloads expire! (there is no special edition, I'm just trying to gin up downloads to make whatever internal stats they have look impressive to someone :p)


Apr. 25th, 2011 12:16 pm
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I may feel like I'm the walking dead, but I've survived my defense. Still got a lot of work left to go, but with that hurdle out of the way I feel that nothing can stop me now.
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Just got done giving my committee their annual required update. I think it went well enough.


Jan. 30th, 2009 10:57 am
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From an e-mail sent by the University of Tennessee President to everyone and their mother today:

Many of you probably know that the Tennessee Board of Regents, which
oversees public universities outside the UT System, is pursuing removing
the tuition cap, meaning full-time students would be charged per credit
hour. After some initial consideration, UT has decided to not take this
step now. Full-time UT students will continue to be charged a flat
tuition fee.

Man, I'm not even an undergrad student (and my tuition is paid for by other people anyway...), but man, that hurts me to read it. That's just... gouging. I hope that they don't let greed prevail. (But I know it's futile: they charge you the processing fee if you pay your fees with a credit card, instead of eating like a decent organization would.)
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School administrators have over the past several decades increasingly clamped down on the freedom of speech, thought, and association of students - and even faculty - at their universities in a clearly unconstitutional manner. It is ironic that those people who in the 60's protested and demonstrated nonstop during their academic years have turned around and done their best to squash those among their students who would do the same thing.

Here's a case of a man reading a book about Notre Dame students fending off the KKK, and being branded with a racial harassment charge which will mar his academic record for the rest of his life. He sat down and read a book during his break time: A book about how brave students stood up to evil thugs for freedom and equality. But Mr. Sampson is branded a racist for reading it by the enlightened sovereigns of Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). This is not right, and it is certainly not legal.

Did you know that a university student doesn't even have the freedom of speech to post a picture of himself on myspace to share with his friends? It's true. One woman was denied her teaching certificate and the degree she earned for a picture of her wearing a pirate hat and drinking out of a cup. To be sure, the picture's caption said "drunken pirate" but this hardly seems to be the sort of thing that would mark an individual as being unworthy of teaching middle school. Administrators have abused their power in similar ways in my other cases, but fortunately seem to be getting the idea that people like to be goofy and have fun in their lives sometimes - and maybe, just maybe, they like to share pictures of it with their friends. The situation is ridiculous; publicly funded institutions like the vast majority of colleges and universities cannot infringe on constitutionally protected speech, even if that speech happens to be on Myspace.

The worst cases though, are those administrators that believe that going to college isn't about learning and getting a diploma to represent that. No sir. These administrators believe that college is about forming the correct (i.e. their) opinions on things. You don't have free speech, or even freedom of conscience. You have only the freedom to conform. Amusingly, the administrators pushing this are so-called "Liberals" who preach freedom by day and do everything in their power to destroy it by night. See a recent conference sponsored by University of Delaware's Residence Life directors for proof. Dictators that hold "liberal" positions are hardly liberal - and being liberal, believing in freedom of thought, freedom of conscience, freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and all those other wonderful freedoms we take for granted in our society is generally a good thing - despite what they may claim. Totalitarians are still totalitarians, whatever guise they hide themselves in.

And that is my rant for Academia today.

Thank you FIRE and other organizations for doing what you do.


Jun. 27th, 2007 11:52 am
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  • Get a phpbb setup and running so I can recover the contents of that one database backup I made for something I can't talk about.
  • Run XNet some more.
  • Meet with Jay and Victor at 3:30.
  • Implement a thing to include EVA in Status Reels and Attack Reels.
  • Combine various scripts together into a new Gambler Script file to reduce number of files that Sugar needs to load and make distribution simpler.
  • Finish changing the galaxy generation script over to use Sugar's dice roller.
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Yes, you see that correctly. I passed that bad boy. I now only have one final hurdle to getting my doctorate: My thesis itself. Hallelujah!

We started 15 or so minutes late, because Dr. Guidry was late. >.> My talk ended up going about an hour and fifteen minutes, full of questions, and the committee arguing among themselves. After they got done with me, I went out into the hallway and waited for them to finish deliberating. It was about 11, maybe a little past. Thirty-fourty minutes later Dr. Guidry comes out and congratulates me. I win!

I think the little arrangements my Dad did for the seating arrangement helped: Starbucks Frappacino, St. Pellecrino sparkling water, Fiji artesian well water, and a can of honey roasted Macadamia nuts. They had little nametag things set up in front of their chairs, and a binder with a copy of my paper, my slides, and an inkpen. Totally awesome.

Dr. Alexiades made me take a picture of it with them all sitting there with my cell phone. lol
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[17:27] < KING_BBQ> I just spent all day at ORNL, waiting.
[17:27] * Icecylee patpats.
[17:27] < WorkWeazel> that sucks, yo. :(
[17:27] < WorkWeazel> Did you get your presentation done?
[17:27] < KING_BBQ> I had a beta of it, yes.
[17:28] < KING_BBQ> I thought we were going to go over my talk at 1 PM. Nooooo. That got rolled back to 3 PM.
[17:28] < WorkWeazel> Sucks. How'd it go?
[17:28] < KING_BBQ> Somewhere in the nebulous period between 1 and 2, I slept on a table in the conference room.
[17:28] < KING_BBQ> And it went okay enough. I wasn't prepared or coherent, but I got a lot of good feedback I won't remember.
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Been working on the power point presentation for it all afternoon. It's going well.
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Well, I just sent out an e-mail to (in alphabetical order) Dr. Alexiades, Dr. Cardall, Dr. Guidry, Dr. Hix, Dr. Jones, and Dr. Messer. So far it's looking like Friday the 18th will be when my comprehensive exam is scheduled.
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Sent a new revision of it to Dr. Guidry this morning. Hope he gets back to me soon so I can send it out to my committee...
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I finished it yesterday morning, handed it in to Dr. Guidry, and now he's given me back a marked up copy with some substantial edits in places. I think it's going to make this paper go from good to awesome when I get it done.
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More and more typing, reading, typing, making graphics... It never ends.
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haet it, I say, haet!
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So, the title of my thesis proposal is "Evaluating a Stochastic Method for Solving Large Physical Problems." Which is an unwieldy way to say that my proposal is all about testing a new algorithm that has applications to a wide variety of disciplines and problems.

So the cool thing about this method is that it's equivalent to (blanked out for publication concerns). This makes the Stochastic Method easy to implement. The method is stable like an implicit method, and potentially saves a lot of time because it's explicit, so you're not inverting huge matrices to solve the equations.

So, it sounds great, right?

Well, there are issues. First, is it really equivalent to (blanked out)? Second are there issues in certain cases of interest that have small populations of highly reactive populations (alphas in supernovae for example) that need examination. And then third is running it through a test suite of problems and comparing accuracy and speed against an implicit code.


Apr. 19th, 2007 01:15 pm
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Got Soren's signature. Took the paperwork to the registrar...

And my committee is formed! Huzzah!


Apr. 18th, 2007 08:14 pm
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Got the last of the signatures I needed from my committee members, now to figure out what I need to do with this form next to form my committee. :p


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