First Year/First Month

Hey Everyone!

If you haven’t noticed from the lack of Papers of the Week, the first month of my PhD has been extremely busy. I wanted to take a moment to recap the first month of my first year, with all of the ups and downs that have been going on behind the scenes.

 Crans-Montana, Switzerland!

Crans-Montana, Switzerland!

I moved to Cambridge at the end of August, and hit the ground running pretty much immediately. There were meetings to be had with potential advisors, furniture to be bought, orientations to attend, and much more. Overall, it was a lot of fun! My class became pretty close pretty quickly, which I think has helped us in the later weeks. The only real low of the first couple weeks was the realization that I was not going to get paid until about a month after I had moved, which forced me to front a lot of the moving/living expenses and live frugally.

Fortunately, I would go on to spend almost every weekend from late August to today out of town.

PhD Tip #1 - Don’t schedule trips out of town every weekend for the first six weeks of your PhD if you can help it.
— me, seven weeks into my PhD

Some of those trips were fun, such as our department retreat, a free trip to Zurich, Switzerland (!!!), a hiking trip to Acadia, Maine with my classmates, and a trip to MIT’s North Court to live in a glass cube for four days (see here for explanations). Others were less fun, such as returning home for a funeral. All of them were somewhat stressful, both academically and socially - I would see my classmates going out to dinner or to explore Boston on the weekends while I was away, and spent many late nights finishing work early to avoid having to do it while away.

 HST Class Trip to Maine!

HST Class Trip to Maine!

Things have settled down now, and I’m starting to find my rhythm. Its fellowship season, so most of my free time has been spent redrafting personal statements and research proposals. My YouTube channel is going fairly well, although I want to get the quality of my content back up to where it was over the summer. I’m involved in a couple new science policy projects that should be public in the coming weeks and months, so I’ll post when those are live. I’m also doing my first rotation, working on machine learning encryption for HIPAA-protected medical data, so that’s fun. For anyone in the BME world, I’ll be at the BMES Annual Meeting in Atlanta next week, so ping me on Twitter if you want to meet up! I’ll also be at Cornell the following weekend for the Ivy+ Summit so Cornell friends can find me there.

Til the next PhD update!

 Spelling out HST - I’m the T :)

Spelling out HST - I’m the T :)