The Summer that was…

If you’re wondering what I was doing during the Australian 2008/2009 summer, I’m happy to report that I was hanging around at the Melbourne branch of CSIRO’s Mathematical and Information Sciences division. I met new people and had the chance to play with one of CSIRO’s compute cluster (woo hoo!). During that summer, over one hundred students worked as CSIRO vacation scholars on projects across CSIRO’s many divisions. Here’s a sneak peek of the work space of yours truly:



Here are more photos taken during my time hanging out at CSIRO.

It was not all about hacking away at my work space. I also played a game of cricket at a nearby park with some of the vacation students and CSIRO research scientists. And yes, some of us were not cricket experts, but we just tagged along to pick up a smattering of cricket. Aside from cricket, I also played the part of a tour guide for a number of vacation students who were from Sydney and Adelaide. During one tour, we visited a Christmas window show in the Melbourne central business district. As always, my lighter side was with me and I noticed the following scene:



At the end of my summer project, I flew to Sydney to attend the “Big Day In” vacation scholar seminar, 12-13 February 2009, at Macquarie University. Some of the photos I took during my 2 days at Macquarie University can be found here. All vacation students gave talks on their projects. Indeed, I was pleasantly surprised by Tim Wraight’s project and talk, who is now an Honours student in mathematics at RMIT, Melbourne, Australia. OK, I admit that I had no ideas what Tim was talking about, but I can say that he used Sage during his summer project sponsored by the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI). Following his talk, I had a conversation with Tim and discovered that a former student from RMIT told him about Sage and how it could be used for his project. Of course this is hearsay and not admissible as evidence in a court of law 🙂 But hey, it’s good to know that another person finds Sage useful.

I gave a talk on my project to an audience of fellow CSIRO vacation students, AMSI vacation students, and CSIRO research scientists. Here’s a picture of yours truly in action:



Just in case the curiosity cat has bitten you, my talk slides and project report can be found at my virtual home. Oh, did I mention that I used NetworkX, Python, R and Sage when I was hanging out at CSIRO?

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