Sunday, December 18, 2011

the napper

i had a vision last week that i wanted to paint a sleeping fox napping in the fall leaves. this was the end result. i messed up quite a few times on him >< so perhaps there will have to be a fox2 in the future.

Friday, December 16, 2011

i had some downtime today, so I drew a picture of david while he was playing with his iphone. i'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out. he liked the big ear hehe.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

finding people like myself was the highlight of this week/month. it felt really good to talk to other aspies, even if it wasn't irl. reminded me a lot of junior high/high school just the stupid goofy sillyness, and certain groups i've hung out with in the past full of smart, eccentric types. a part of me identifies so much with them. uber nerds. i remember i used to get offended when people labeled themselves as a nerd based on getting good grades, or being an engineer. as if a profession or academic achievement would automatically make you a nerd. while there's not one definition, nerd has always had a more cultural/social definition for me. then again, everyone's def is different. my mom says nerd is just someone who is really good at something, or knows everything about one topic....

my operating definition is if you have done two or more of the following you are a nerd: know about or have participated in any kind of online or live action fantasy role playing game like D&D, WOW, or any other RPGs or MMORPGs, read or have read somethingawful, communicate or communicated with someone in l33t sp34k, and or attended one or more comic-con/anime-con/or star-trek cons.

i've certainly done some nerdy things in the past. but i have a lot of normal hobbies too. wherever i am on the spectrum, there will always be a soft place in my heart for nerds <3

Friday, December 9, 2011

it's a gloomy friday night. it's cold outside, and even colder inside. condensation is building up on my window from the steam of the hot shower. papers are strewn all over the room, bottles, packages, books, things to be returned and things still in their packaging. basically everything is a mess. the recycle hasn't been taken out in a month. boxes stacked atop boxes, perched ever so precariously so they are on the brink of falling but not quite.

the outside reflects the inside. is it possible to be overly sympathetic? to be overwhelmed by a sense of empathy for someone or something that you feel like it sucks the air right out of you. i've been reading dating blogs for two years now. it's become an addictive habit, like chewing the inside of my cheeks or mindlessly scratching my scalp or face while i'm trying to focus on some bit of math. i'm so convinced these people are real, that they would be my friends in real life, that they should find love, deserve to find love. most of them don't have the happy endings i want for them though. it's real life, and things don't seem to change much for them. but i keep hoping.

Friday, September 30, 2011

write something

Got my new Illamasqua nail polish in Purity, Stagnate, and Baptiste. I keep on gazing at my nails. Purity and Stagnate are from the Toxic Spring/Summer 2011 collection. They are the light peach color and the brownish taupe color.

I also got my first homework assignment of the quarter. Yea I know super nerdy. It's mostly on measure theory. I actually felt a small flash of excitement to see it, like I was now a real grad student because my homework just got that much harder.

The same challenges remain. But I feel like being positive will help me keep above it. Trying to avoid ruminating. Watching Eat Pray Love made me realize how much I'm like the Julia Roberts character. At one point she's supposed to be meditating at an ashram and all she can think about is the flies swirling around her, what she's going to do in the next year after she leaves India, and how she's going to get by and ... and how she's so jealous of the other woman in the room who looks like freakin' mother theresa because she's not having problems meditating. Then she gives up and clunks her head to the floor. This is me.

The Richard from Texas character in the movie tells Julia Robert's character "If you could clear you all that space in your mind, you would have a doorway. And you know what the universe would do? Rush in." :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Well to make myself feel better I think I will list all the concepts I've learned in the last two years and the stuff I need to learn hopefully over the summer.  This is just a partial list.  I will add to it as I think of things.

Still don't understand/have yet to try:
Markov Chains
Priors and posteriors
Conjugate priors
Bayesian statistics
Network construction
Measure theory
Lebesgue integration
Ridge regression

LDU + SVD + Spectral + Cholesky Decompositions
Riemann sums/integrals
closed open sets
proof by induction/contradiction/contraposition
introductory topology
field axioms
metric spaces
what a ring is
convergence of series
convergence of sets
uniform convergence
delta method
taylor series expansion and the remainder term
finding eigenvalues/eigenvectors
affine transformations
positive definite/negative definite
lagrange multipliers
delta-epsilon proof method
lipschitz continuity

simple linear regression
ordinal logistic regression
hazard functions 
survival function
dealing with left and right censored data
types of distributions
method of moments
characteristic functions
sufficient statistic
exponential family 
consistent estimators
oracle estimator

correlation structures
autoregressive correlation
longitudinal analysis
weighted least squares
iterative weighted least squares
fisher scoring
principle components analysis
dose dependence curves
maximum likelihood
likelihood ratio

fisher information
score equations
dose response 
link function
cross validation
mixture models
asymptotic convergence
log parallel assays
cubic splines
kernel smoothing
local polynomial regression
wald test

non-parametric inference
semi-parametric inference
wilcoxon-rank sum test
factor analysis
mahalanobis distance
person, deviance, standardized, studentized residuals
deviance table
stepwise forward/backward/both model selection
hotelling's t2

I didn't pass. Well I didn't fail either, but I still feel pretty bad. I worked as hard as I could have worked, but it didn't make much of a difference.

It was the first time I latexed a whole paper, I really used the stepwise regression in R which apparently I still didn't understand well enough, the first time I did PCA in R I think, and the first time I used leverage values and cook's distances in a report or understood them.

I guess some of those things are pretty basic to undergraduate level statistics. I know for a fact though when I took regression 108 in the summer we did not learn about leverage points or cook's distances, AND we used minitab. We didn't even do a stepwise regression except on paper...

And then over the summer when I worked with Sandy I remember she helped me with the model selection and ran the stepwise regression for me in SAS. The problem with the exam was that a lot of the questions that Burman asked me were not ones I ever learned in class, or they were ones I should have learned in his class I should say. Except he didn't teach it. Maybe it's because I took it with him over the summer and it covered less content or maybe it's just something you pick up later on on your own, but it's definitely not something explicitly taught to me.

I tend to retain things better when I'm actually taught them. I feel sad about being the only one who didn't pass my oral, but I can't really blame myself that much. The description for the exam said to write a publishable data analysis and do an oral defense. As far as I'm concerned, there were no problems with the quality of my data analysis, all the problems were conceptual. If I had known that was the kind of questions I was going to get, I would have studied and reviewed my 108 materials instead of spending so much time doing the data analysis and trying new methods.....

I still feel bad though. No matter how much I learn, people always seem to expect more from me. I just don't think I can assimilate material that fast. I can make a list of every new thing I've learned in the last two years that would be pages long... I just think there's only so much I can cram into my brain at a time. And it's not all that fair because almost everyone has had 4 extra years to cram into their brain this stuff, so naturally they know more. What I'm really getting is a masters and bachelors degree in statistics in 2 years, without having taken a single math class in college. At times when people are frustrated with me, I just want them to realize that, I wouldn't expect them to be a math major and get a masters degree in cell and developmental biology in two years.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The paper I co-authored last summer is already published.

Looks like this summer will be another busy one. I meant to leave time to prepare for my classes/exams next year, but I will be GSRing at 100% again.

My MS oral exam is tomorrow. After about 30+ hours latexing. I am really exhausted. I think I can finally sleep after it's over. I just haven't really slept at all it seems, either cause my brain wont shut down, or I've been working late at night... I'm really nervous too. Hopefully it will go well.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Some thoughts

Sometimes being yourself is hard if yourself, is not within 1 standard deviation of normal... Actually there is no such thing as normal.  If there is even a bell curve, it's distribution is most likely multi-modal, not to mention multivariate.  The idea is though, that it's easier for people who are close to those medians to be themselves.  Just like it's easier for someone with a normal looking face to go into public than someone with a deformed looking face.  It just makes sense.  There's less to criticize.

So being yourself for different people can take different levels of courage I think.  Which is sometimes why it seems easier to try to blend in.  But there's always that secret fear that if they knew who/what you were like on the inside, then they wouldn't want to hang out with you anymore.  So it's easier, but in some ways, it's not, because you're never at ease.

What does this have to do with anything?  It doesn't really.  They are mostly some brain rambles.  Leftovers of thoughts from events that have impacted me recently.  Recently, a question was brought up about whether or not killing Osama Bin Laden was a Christian thing to do.  The group decided that it was not.  But it made me think how in various different groups people might come to entirely different conclusions.  There's no such thing as a Christian stance on something.  Sure, there is a conservative stance, a conservative Christian stance, a liberal stance, a progressive Christian stance, and many other stances.  And most likely people who have these stances hang out mostly with other people who share their views.  Again, people tend to feel more comfortable around other people like themselves.  But if the price of fitting in is adherence to a idea or creed, I don't think anyone is truly at ease.  

What I mean to say is, I think the best kind of organizations are the ones in which people share different opinions.  And on any one topic there is no one correct answer.  Life is, and always will be complicated.  It shouldn't be about being right, but merely thinking.  Having a view and defending it should be just as valuable as getting an A.  Which is why I feel so often like I'm failing at school as I'm rushing to turn in something that I know is the right answer, but the only reason I know it's the right answer is because I went to office hours and had it explained to me, not because that's the solution I came up with using my own logic and thought process.  

That's my two cents for today.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sometimes I just can't help blogging because I see something so neat it must be re-posted!

For example:

A giant wooden Xylophone in the woods. As the ball rolls over the long downhill track, it plays Bach’s Cantata 147: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. *Woah*

And these Dinner Party Puzzleboards. The hole holds a wine glass!

The xylophone is the idea of Kenjiro Matsuo of Invisible Designs Lab, created for a Japanese cell phone commercial. :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Modular Houses and Home In a Barn

I've been thinking a lot lately about green, eco-friendly living spaces. I have always wanted to buy a piece of land, and build my own house, from the ground up. It appeals to my free spirit and sense of wanting to live apart from other people. Living in a big city has never appealed to me. But I think suburbia is almost worse in a way. It seems so ... lifeless with the same cookie cutter houses and boring yards.

Recently I've been attending stat 13 lectures... forced to do so by my professor now that I'm working double time as a TA. It's insanely boring, as I've already TA'd this same class 5 times... I obviously don't need to be there, but I always bring along some good reading materials.

Someone somewhere somehow subscribed me to this magazine Dwell which is about architecture and interior spaces. I never had the time to read it until now, and I'm glad I finally did, because I think I've found the affordable alternative - a prefabricated green home. My favorite of the bunch from Blu homes was the Solaire house because of its two story loft-like design.

The solaire house

But the cheapest of the bunch was the Element house starting at only $160,000. That's not including land and foundation... but I think it's still a steal.

The element house

It's nice that these homes use eco-friendly building materials like steel walls, and bamboo floors. They come with solar panels and skylights, and are much more energy efficient than normal homes.

Aside from buying a pre-fabricated green home, I also really like the idea of living in a converted barn. It's kind of nostalgically romantic, a la Little house on the Prairie. Apparently this project was done by Shed Architects who only used wood from the original barn and kept the entire existing shell. It's an amazing renovation and I'm totally jealous that I don't have a barn!

The barn house

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fish condo

It's been SO long since I blogged that I just wanted to write something...It's almost 1:30, but I'm not tired at all... and no I didn't have any caffeine. I guess I'm just on a natural high lol....

I've been thinking about how much I need to get in shape and loose some extra pounds. Midnight snacking, snacking at all times of day, ginormous meals, and this sudden craving for oatmeal cookies, chocolate, and pie has added to said state of unfitness...

In a totally unrelated way, if I were a fish, I would totally want to live in this fish condo- what I imagine to be the rolls-royce of fish real estate...then again, if I were a fish, my brain probably would not be big enough to comprehend the awesomeness of my dwellings. Ah... yummy!...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

❤ Some simple resolutions ❤

New year, new beginnings ❤ Dyed my hair back to black and am enjoying it. 11 is my favorite number. I Hope 2011 is just as awesome!