June 15 - June 21 Monday was my first day at the PARASOL lab. On Tuesday I met my mentor, Nancy Amato. Together we decided that I will be joining the STAPL project. I'll be working closely with Ann, one of the grad students invlolved in the parallel group. I spent most of Wednesday working on a programming assignment Nancy gives the graduate students in her parallel class and spent the rest of the week reading about STAPL. On Friday, the specific part of the project I'll be working on was selected. I will implement a pArray - a parallel version of an array, and it will become one of the containers available through STAPL. On Saturday Bonnie (my roommate and a DMP student too) and I visited the George Bush Library.
June 22 - June 28 This week was quite intense. I learned more about STAPL code, and how the library is organized.
A great part of working in a lab where both system and application projects develop is the cooperation between the two. Ann and I met with the groups that are going to use the pArray container and learned about their needs and requirements.
I started working on the code for the pArray. Three classes are needed as parts of the pArray and my code is highly dependent on the already existent code. Once again, Ann's help in figuring it out is invaluable.
June 29 - July 5 After hours of debugging, the first version of the pArray is finally working!! It still needs a lot of work, but it was nice to finally see some results. I worked on some basic functions for the pArray and looked into things to do next, which will be implementing some major algorithms. On Friday Mary, her boyfriend, Bonnie, and I went to Austin for the 4th of July celebration.
July 6 - July 12 At the beginning of this week I finally felt comfortable with what I was doing, but then I started working on something relatively new. This is the amazing thing about research - there's new things to learn and think about all the time. On Friday I for the first time attended a thesis defence of one of the students at the lab; the amount of information involved was overwhelming, no wonder it takes years to prepare. Bonnie and I spent Saturday in Houston; the Vatican exhibit at the Natural Sciences museum was quite amusing.
July 13 - July 19 This week I was able to start working on the algorithms for the pArray. My first algorithm is prefix sums. I learned that various bugs show up when running a parallel algorithm on different number of processors and different number of inputs. That makes parallel programming even harder; the code has to be flawless. Both of my roomates and I are spending Saturday in San Antonio.
July 20 - July 26 The week started out as a lot of fun - a bunch of friends and I went tubing. But come Monday I realized how many tasks I needed to do this week. Between debugging, integrating changes other project members made to the library, testing the performance, and writing the paper, the week just flew by me.
July 27 - August 2 This week I was able to look at the performance results of the pArray as a data structure and Prefix Sums as a parallel algorithm. The rest of the time was spent writing a paper and getting ready for the presentation.
August 3 - August 9 I did my practice presentation on Monday in front of the Parasol lab people. They had some great suggestions in terms of the improvements I could make. My final presentation took place on Wednesday, and I was pleasantly surprised once again by the entire Parasol lab group showing up to listen to me. It really helps a lot to be in a group that is so so supportive of each other! After at least a million revisions, I finally turned in my paper on Friday. It will be posted on my website as soon as I do a tech report. Visiting Astro World (Houston) on Saturday helped me unwind after this stressful week.
August 10 - August 16 Time to tie up loose ends. Test programs for the correctness of my code are finished up, tech report is submitted. I cannot believe the summer is over!! I have definitely learned a lot and grown both personally and professionally. It has been a great experience that without a doubt will have a positive impact on my future.

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