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Week 2

As typing these day-by-day entries is taking too much time, I will, from now on,  summarize what I did each week in one entry. If I have more time, I will go into more detail. This week, I focused on a couple of things.  The first and foremost was getting this website up and running. I originally intended to create this from scratch by learning HTML, so I began to do so; but then Lenore and I decided it was best if I focused my efforts elsewhere (namely learning Python). In the meantime, I was finishing up my exercises on graph isomorphisms. I was also assigned a local machine in Halligan Hall which ran on Linux, so on the side, I began to learn how to navigate the novel system while installing and beginning to familiarize myself with Python. I did not know how to code in terminal, so I was looking for a nice user friendly platform to do so (later on I realized that the term I was looking for was IDE). A fellow student tried to help me out by downloading something called PyCharm for me. However, he did not instruct me on how to use it (or even how to open a file in it), so I struggled figuring out what to do with it. Another student gave me a mini lesson on Terminal commands which helped me finally figure out where (and with which application) to write my Python programs. After navigating this jumble of confusion, I finally figured it out. I began by writing simple programs to make sure Python was working (on hindsight, this sounds silly). Lenore also gave me another assignment aligned with the graph isomorphism work I was learning. Basically, I was to write a program which would take the matrices outputted from the DSD program and arrange the elements lexicographically. The claim is that if two such arranged matrices are the same, their corresponding graphs are isomorphic. My goal is to work with that and see if that can lead me to any new findings.

By the end of the week, I had gotten part of this program done. I could read in a text file with string entries, delete the first row and column (as they had letters which corresponded to node labels instead of numerical values, convert the entries into floats, and arrange the rows in ascending order. The method for arranging the columns was a bit more difficult, so I did not yet have that figured out. I was having some further issues with the machine assigned to me (for instance, every time I opened a web browser, the entire machine would freeze and have to be restarted), so I decided to do everything on my laptop.

On the weekend, I did two things.  I went to a festival in Boston (well technically Cambridge) which Lenore recommended to me called Dance for World Community. They had various stages set up near Harvard where different dance groups came and gave little performances and taught mini classes. It was cool to see so many types of people passionate about  various dance forms from around the world. On Sunday, I went to a mall to buy a pair of exercise pants, so that I could begin to use the Tufts gym (Note: I am not a health-fanatic, but I'm trying to turn over a new leaf and be just slightly healthier than usual).