Sunday, June 8, 2008

So many things, So little time.

My poor blog! I've been so busy I haven't had any time to here's a recap from the past week.

On Thursday I attended Burnaby Mountain College's "Dialogue with William Gibson". I had no idea that a Burnaby Mountain College even existed, let alone that they had dialogues with such cool guests. William Gibson is a slow and deliberate speaker; you hang off every word he says and know he's carefully chosen them. The ideas we discussed ranged from the Cold War, to Japan, to the privacy of the future, to the rapid development of Vancouver. Memorable ideas from the talk: "Japan is the windshield of humanity" (with reference to Japan's unique history from the rapid industrialization of Japan right up until the end of the Second World War); secrets may not exist in the future; politicians can use complete lack of secrets/total transparency such that they would be harder to attach than politicians with secrets; the main problem with Vancouver's development is that we are destroying cheap, ground-level retail rental space. I realized that I completely missed the release of his latest book, "Spook Country", which I should get around to reading sometime.

Apart from doing research and working on my internship, I've been busy with WICS as usual, helping students apply for funding within the school (Yes! Grad students can apply!), and for the Grace Hopper Conference Scholarship. We had a Technical Interview event last week that was really eye-opening for me at least; I've seen some of the problems before but learned a lot about how to approach them in an interview situation; a fun and valuable experience overall.

Speaking of WICS, a while back I met three other students on a Facebook forum where we were discussing our women's technical groups. We ended up making a proposal to GHC for a Birds of a Feather session, which was accepted! I'm just thrilled to be able to play a [slightly] larger role in GHC this year and show off the work we've been doing with WICS@SFU. :D

In other news: will be attending the SIGMOD conference next week, my first data mining conference. Should be great!

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