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A Pivotal Month

April 19th, 2003

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 University of California at Berkeley - Cal BearsThe 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 2003CHI 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.

Stanford UniversityThe 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.

4 Responses to “A Pivotal Month”

  1. comment number 1 by: Chad

    Hey, congrats on your decision for grad school! I recently met another incoming SIMS student, and he’s a bright guy too - looks like there’s gonna be a great group at SIMS next year.

    When you get there, you’re gonna have to do better job documenting your grad program than my pitiful attempts with my own…

  2. comment number 2 by: jessica

    i dont’ think i realized that you lived in california. mmmm. i just got back from vacation in san fran. ^_^ good luck at berkeley! :)

  3. comment number 3 by: Anonymous

    YHIS IS A VERY NICE PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. comment number 4 by: Jamie

    Hi, first time surfing a blog and wanted to say hello

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