CRA-Wx DMP Program
Katie Coons - The University of Texas at Austin
Distributed Mentor Program Summer 2004

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Week 4

First thing Monday morning I finally got everything working and ready to start seriously programming with Scale.  It was a huge relief to finally be at a place where I could code for real.  Through the course of the week I got the compiler to output the correct prolog and began working on setting up argument passing and return values from functions, which I imagine will be one of the more difficult parts of the process.  On Friday morning, Mike Bond (who, coincidentally, went to my high school) told Julia and I that he had a possible idea for our senior thesis projects if either of us was interested.  His idea involved determing the improvement gained from doing a trip-count analysis in addition to edge-profiling for the loop unrolling optimization of the TRIPS project.  The impression I got was that this would involve running many test cases and determining how many times a loop is actually run, then using that information to help determine how many times to unroll the loop. I intend to do a bit of research on the topic to see if it will interest me, and I told him I was definitely interested in finding out more about the idea.  From the readings I have done so far I find the TRIPS project extremely interesting and I would very much like to get involved with it if possible while I'm here.

On Friday afternoon I had my first lunch with Kathyrn.  I asked her a lot of questions about graduate school and whether I should be thinking more of a PHD program, a master's program, or even applying to graduate school at all.  I was somewhat surprised to hear that her suggestion was that I should probably go ahead and apply to a PHD program if I was considering it at all, and that many people find they need a few years in the program before they can have any idea whether it's right for them or not.  The lunch was very good for me as I got a lot of good advice from Kathryn, and I learned a lot more about her and her experiences in the CS world.  In addition, the food was awesome!  She took me to the campus club and there was a buffet with gooood ribs, vegetables, fruits, potatoes, rice, desserts - it was amazing to have a real meal for once!  I'm so used to eating a slice of pizza for dinner here :)

On Monday and Wednesday I played racquetball with Kartik again.  On Monday we played cut throat with his roommate, and on Wednesday two random guys named Sam and Jackson appeared and asked us to play doubles with them.  They were really, really good.  It was really good for me to play with them though, I play better when I play with better people, and I was happy to hear that they wanted to meet us to play some more doubles on Monday!  I went to all nine hours of ballroom this week and loved it.  On Thursday night I went to the Austin Swing Syndicate's dance, and then I went to this place called Miguel's downtown for some salsa dancing.  Everyone I know here who dances has told me that I have GOT to go to Miguel's because it is THE place to go for salsa dancing and they are closing at the end of June.  Thursday night I finally went with some of the ballroom club members and I found out what they were talking about - I saw tons of people I knew there as well as some really great dancers I didn't know.  It was a bit too crowded, but otherwise totally awesome.  Saturday morning Raj, Serita, Bob, and Alison went to the Luling Watermelon Thump 5K run.  I considered going, but I decided that I would rather go run 7 miles around Town Lake for free than pay $20 to run 3.1 miles an hour away in Luling :) Living like a poor grad student is having quite an effect on me, I suppose.  Saturday afternoon I went to the Sapphire Ballroom competition at the Marriott downtown because Javier, the UTBDC quickstep/tango instructor's assistant, was competing and I wanted to see just how good his Latin was (I didn't end up getting to see him compete, but his Latin is definitely very good).  Saturday night I went to the Austin Ballroom Dancer's weekly dance which was a ton of fun.  I met a lot of really good dancers, and my friend got me in for free which made it even better.  Also, he told his instructor about me and his instructor invited me to be his guest at his advanced class this Monday night.  Free ballroom lessons, yaaay! :)  Sunday evening we saw the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which was a weeeeird movie and gave me a definite brain freeze.  Then we grabbed dinner at Chile's, and went over to Matt's to watch Moulin Rouge because Julia had never seen it.  Overall it was a great week!  I'm having a blast, and really looking forward to this Thursday when Andy arrives!!  I'm renting a car and taking him to all the places I've loved the most.  Can't wait!

Here's a few random pictures because I didn't take any pictures this weekend, and I really like pictures.  They make things more interesting:

Walter's desk is constantly surrounded by an abundance of food.  Note the absurd stack of peanuts and the candy jars looming ominously in the Cadbury Creme Egg box.

Week:  All |  1 |  2 |  3 |  4 |  5 |  6 |  7 |  8 |  9 |  10
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The University of Texas at Austin