Posts tagged with “summer”


Sat 22 Aug

So long JPL

In a few hours I'm boarding my plane back to Chapel Hill after a truly wonderful summer working at JPL. While I'll be posting more information about what I did later after my reports are cleared for release, here are some brief highlights:

  • Worked in the coolest software development house ever, OPS Lab people know their shit
  • Wrote a sizable piece of software that I'm proud of
  • Looked at pictures from Spirit and Opportunity on a regular basis
  • Saw the first mock-up of TRI-ATHLETE, a gargantuan robot for the moon
  • Saw MSL being built
  • Saw the efforts to Free Spirit
  • Talked to a scientist who builds balloons for planetary exploration
  • Spent hours geeking out about space, robots, and computers
  • Worked with and got to know really great people throughout JPL
  • Fulfilled my childhood dream of working for NASA (thanks Dr. Pausch, and family and friends that supported this decision)

And that doesn't even begin to cover the great experience I had outside of work at Caltech, in the LA bike scene, and around the region. I thought I would be itching to leave LA as soon as I got here, but surprisingly enough I've come to really appreciate it. I'm sad to be leaving, in fact. LA does live down to a lot of the negative stereotypes about it I've heard, but there are good people here. Wish I had more time to interact with them.

But, all that said, there is a season for everything, and this season is winding down to a close. I am fortunate to have had a summer like this, and now it's time to head back to Chapel Hill for one last lap. I'm really looking forward to making it the most intense lap ever. Hopefully there will plenty of pictures, projects, and progress to report on.

And finally, Ramadan Kareem to all.

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Sun 2 Aug

LA Day on the Metro

The goal: See as much of LA as humanly possible in one day using only our feet and LA Metro.

I can confidently say "Mission Accomplished".

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We started at 8.30am from Pasadena and hit up Hollywood, Downtown, West LA, and Santa Monica. Got home at midnight.

Our complete list:

  • Hollywood
  • Downtown
  • West LA
    • La Brea Tar Pits/Page Museum
    • LA County Museum of Art (just outside)
    • LA Farmer's Market
    • Rodeo Dr. (driving by)
  • Santa Monica
    • Getty Center
    • Santa Monica Pier (and funnel cake!)

Click to see the list of Metro buses and trains we took.

  • Metro Gold Line
    • Lake
    • Del Mar
    • Union
  • Metro Red Line
    • Union
    • Hollywood/Vine
    • Hollywood/Western
    • Civic Center
  • Metro Purple Line
    • Wilshire/Vermont
    • Wilshire/Western
  • Metro Rapid 720
    • Wilshire/Vermont
    • Wilshire/Western
    • La Brea
    • Wilshire/Westwood
    • 5th/Colorado
  • Metro Rapid 761
    • Wilshire/Westwood
    • Getty Center
  • Metro Local 4
    • 3rd/North Broadway
    • Sunset/Innes
  • Metro Local 2
    • Sunset/Marion
    • Civic Center
  • Metro Local 217
    • Fairfax/6th
    • Fairfax/3rd

Total Cost for transportation: $5. Try that in a car.

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Sat 25 Jul

That took long enough...

Looks like I've finally gotten around to moving to this new domain. I've imported my old blog over here and I'm going to be working on updating the rest of the site this weekend, focusing on unifying everything into one system rather than maintaining static HTML files alongside my blog.

You may notice I'm using a new blog platform, Chyrp. Now, I still love Wordpress, but I came to realize that it's just a bit much for the way I use my website. So I've opted for something lighter to reduce overhead, simplify my updating process, and just learn something new. I'm going to try this out for a few weeks and decide if it's right for me. If not, I'll probably give Blosxom a shot or just write a small thing myself.

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Mon 29 Jun

What I'm up to this summer

I'm in Pasadena, CA (and the surrounding area) this summer working for NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (who brought you hits such as Sprit and Opportunity, the Mars Exploration Rovers). I'm spending my time working with an awesome group in the OPSLab, which develops ground software for mission management of a variety of JPL and NASA projects. My task is to figure out how multitouch can be used to create awesome mission software. I'll be sure to update as I get some stuff to show.

But really, what am I doing this summer? Here's a short list.

  • Exploring Southern California. So far I've ridden the train around Los Angeles (Shaddi <3 Metro), explored the desert around California City and Edwards AFB, and spent some time at Point Dume near Malibu. Hopefully pictures sometime soonish.
  • Riding my bike. I like bikes but I'm starting to like them more and more. I have a sweet summer bike, a single speed Fuji. I ride it to and from Caltech (where I'm living) and JPL, and around town.
  • Hacking for fun and profit. Mostly just coding for fun outside of work, I'd like to learn more web programming and become facile with JQuery.
  • Mandolin. An awesome instrument that I'm finally fulfilling my dream of learning to play.
  • Staying active in mind, body, and spirit.

I may update this list as things come onto it or go away.

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