Mein Gott, has it really been more than five weeks since my last entry?
It’s been a crazy, hectic, life-altering month. The top headlines:
The grad school decision: My quest for a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Master’s degree continues. I was accepted by four great Information Management & Systems schools: Berkeley, The University of Michigan, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and The University of Washington. For reasons I won’t go into, this was an unbelievably difficult decision, but after talking to and exchanging e-mails with more than 25 professors, students, and people in the industry, and after spending countless hours reading related Web sites, papers, etc., I chose Berkeley. I’m glad the agonizing decision’s over and I can’t wait to get started in the Fall.
CHI 2003: I gathered a lot of this knowledge during the CHI 2003 conference, which was held in my hometown of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (!). How strange it was to see all these brilliant people discussing HCI less than five miles from where I was born and raised, in a region where you normally never meet anyone remotely interested in product development or software development, much less in HCI. I was just a bit overwhelmed while trying to learn as much as I could about the schools I was considering, working as a student volunteer, showing people around town, taking in presentations, tutorials and demos, seeking out my heroes in the field, and just finding my way around my first academic conference. It was an exhilarating experience and a lot of fun.
The new gig: Last month I started my new full-time job at Stanford University’s Department of Dermatology. Among other duties, I’ll help to manage the input, cataloguing, storage, and retrieval the thousands of digital images that the department creates every month, as well as the associated medical records. It’s great fun so far; I’m the only computer person in the department, but the doctors and staff are super-smart and they seem much more open to change and to new technology than the users I worked with during two other medical gigs. I hope to pool efforts with people elsewhere on campus working on cool medical informatics projects like the Stanford MediaServer but there’s not much time until the Fall semester begins and I leave Stanford to start classes at Berkeley. I wish I had started this job a year ago…
Life should be a tad saner now, but now much. Among other things, I have to begin a Java class and possibly a data structures and algorithms class in preparation for Berkeley. These are busy days. But I’m lovin’ it all.