Three more classes, and some suspense.

Since my last post, I've encountered three more classes: Software Engineering, Simulation and Modeling, and Directed Study. Okay, so Directed Study is pretty much an extension of the research I was doing over the summer. The other two classes will definitely be interesting. I took the undergraduate level of Software Engineering about two years ago. For all intents and purposes, it's the same class. The only exception is that Graduate Students have to answer an additional question on tests. I already know the core material. The only interesting challenge will be forming a group for the group project. With respect to Simulation and Modeling, this class will definitely benefit my contributions to the ScalaTion Research Group. The only thing that's suspenseful is the fact that the assignment for my Teaching Assistantship hasn't been assigned yet. I'm hoping that the Graduate Coordinator has the assignments in the next couple of days because I'm having to delay scheduling some of my research meetings until I know my full schedule. I'm sure it will all work out in the end.

Graduate Teaching Assistantship

Going to Grad School and getting paid for it at the same time sounds like a deal, right? Pretty much is. I do have to work 13 hours a week (on top of classes and research) helping grade papers or teaching a lab, but that seems manageable at the moment. I've even gone so far as to lighten my weekend loads by reducing the number of hours I manage at Jason's Deli from 24 to 12. This should free up my Saturdays just in case I need more time to get things done. Also, I have to take GRSC 7770: Graduate Teaching Assistant Seminar once a week. So far, the class seems like it will be pretty interesting. We'll discuss various teaching topics and scenarios, and I'll get to hear the opinions of my fellow peers. I'm sure the instructor will throw in UGA policy when applicable. Our first real assignment seems pretty easy: make a syllabus. It's not like I haven't seen lots of those before. Some of the more interesting assignments I noticed include: by the end of the semester, we will each have to present a 40-minute lecture on some topic in Computer Science; and, we will be working on an online teaching portfolio. Sounds good so far. I'll keep you guys posted as I learn more.

Position on Research

Shakespeare's "Hamlet" sums up my feelings quite well.

“What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god—the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!” (Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” II.ii.293–297)

This soliloquy is based on the works of Pico della Mirandola, an Italian humanists. Humanists proposed that the purpose of cultivating reason was to lead to a better understanding of how to act. Their hope was that the coordination of action and understanding would lead to great benefits for society as a whole. (Sparknotes)

Research, in my humble opinion, is the coordination of action through which these great benefits will come. It is necessary to facilitate growth not just in the scientific community, but in society as well.