Week One: May 17 - May 21

"I hopped off the plane at LAX with a dream and my cardigan. Welcome to the land of fame excess. Am I gonna fit in?" - Party in the U.S.A., Miley Cyrus

This song popped in my head as I, actually, hopped off the plane at LAX and headed to my summer housing. I was very excited to spend my summer here at Los Angeles. As I have never been to the West Coast before, I couldn't wait to go explore the city, chill out in the summer air, and try all delicious food!

L.A. was quite gloomy in the first week of my presence. I experienced a little rain while I was biking to the bus stop for the first three days. My mentor, Professor Kristina Lerman, works at ISI which locates at a seaside Marina Del Ray, so I have to bike to USC and take the USC tram to the office every day. My first day at ISI was going very well. Professor Lerman and her graduate students made me feel very welcome. I was informed that I will be working with Rumi Ghosh. She is a PhD student under the guidance of Professor Lerman as well. She's really smart and cool.

I spent my first week reading papers and learning about network theory and measures of centrality. For my project, I will be focusing on studying dynamic networks and the measure of its centrality in order to identify the influential nodes. The subject is very new to me. It's interesting yet challenging. I have a feeling that this summer is going to be so much fun!

Lessons Learned:
1) It is a good idea to take a raincoat with you even though your friends confirm that it NEVER rains in Southern California.
2) Never say never.

I went to Thai town this weekend and was stunned by the number of Thai restaurants gathering in the area. The food is so authentic that I want to live here forever. I also went to Hollywood and had a picture of me and my future boyfriend, Keanu Reeves, taken. (I'm kidding. He's my favorite actor from the Matrix Trilogy.)