ellipsix informatics
 
2016
Aug
13

Coming up: a week as @realscientists

I'm back, with a big announcement: next week I'll be curating the @realscientists Twitter account!

@realscientists is a rotating-curator account, which means that every week, a different person takes over the account to post about their work and life and anything else of interest to Twitter. Some weeks they have a traditional academic scientist posting. Other times it's a journalist, author, policy maker, an industry scientist, or anyone else who is involved with science.

Tweeting for @realscientists is kind of a big deal: the account has more than 35 thousand followers! I've wanted to do this for a couple years, though I didn't apply until just recently... for reasons that seem kind of silly now. As luck would have it, the original curator for next week had to cancel, so I get to step in at the last minute. Props to the Real Scientists mods for getting everything ready in about 3 days.

I'm really glad I got the chance to do this before leaving China. As far as I can tell, there's never been a Real Scientists curator from China before — probably not surprising, since Twitter is blocked by the national firewall. It'll be a chance to share a sector of science (and life) that most people don't get to see. So go follow @realscientists and join me on Twitter this coming week!

2015
Oct
20

Technical problems this summer

It's been a while since I updated the blog — I've been busy, but there have also been some technical problems with the site, so I couldn't put up blog posts until I fixed them. I've got a lot to report about my adventures traveling over the summer, though! More to come soon.

2015
Jul
23

Checking in after a busy semester

Greetings, readers!

I've been absent from the blog for a while for a few different reasons — between some issues to deal with in my personal life and a bunch of projects for work, I haven't been able to focus on a blog post for about six months. But I thought that streak has gone on long enough. Here's a quick status update:

  • My group has put out a paper, which was just accepted for publication into Physical Review D! This paper is a generalization of the same calculation I did for my PhD thesis, which I'm 2/3 of the way into a series of posts explaining. The third post is coming at some point, I promise.

  • I'll be traveling to two conferences to talk about this paper. First, the Rencontres du Vietnam workshop on heavy ion physics, held at the brand new International Center for Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (PDF), which is taking place next week. This is the first time I've been invited to present at a real conference! The venue also looks amazing.

    ICISE aerial view

    (image from the Rencontres 2014 website, all rights reserved)

    When the official schedule includes time for "Beach and informal discussions" you know it's going to be good!

    The week after that, I head back to the US for the APS Division of Particles and Fields meeting in Ann Arbor. The DPF meeting is not a major conference in my field — in fact, I fully expect that there won't be any other specialists in saturation physics there — but that's okay, since it gives me a chance to talk about my work at a less technical level.

  • On the "life in China" front, I've spent the past semester (March to July) taking a class in Chinese through CCNU. It's very intense: four hours a day, five days a week! And even after all that time, I'm barely able to hold conversations with Chinese people. But "barely able" is a lot better than "unable", so even that minimal level of Chinese is a huge help! That's one of the things you come to miss most about living in a foreign country where you don't speak the language: just the potential to talk to random people, even if you usually don't (like me), is comforting.

  • I hope to be posting a lot more about life in China, if not while traveling, at least later on this year. It's been five months since my last trip, and there are definitely parts of the expatriate experience that don't show up until you've been away from home for months, not just weeks.

  • And of course, there's some cool science that has been happening recently! The discovery of pentaquarks by LHCb (or so they think), the production of Weyl fermions, New Horizons passing Pluto, and those are just the headlines. Maybe I can get some posts up about these discoveries, if I have time.

But work has to come first. I'll be tweeting updates on the conferences I go to, so watch that feed for more!

2015
Jan
01

A look back at 2014 on the blog

Every New Year's Eve I do a review of my favorite blog posts from the past year. And normally I have too many good physics posts to make a top 10 list like so many other sites seem to do. But not this year. It's been a pretty quiet year for blogging, especially for physics blogging (unless you count that one really big blog post they call a dissertation).

Therefore, New Year's resolution #1: write more blog posts about interesting physics. This is one I actually think I can keep.

For now, here is a short list of my favorites out of the 32 blog posts I wrote this year.

2014
Dec
09

Website back up

Hooray, it works again! It took about 3 days of frantic hacking in the free time I had left over from research, but my website is back up and working properly (so it seems) on the new server. More blog posts to come, when I have time. Soon, I promise.

That is all.

2014
Dec
02

Switching servers

The (virtual) computer this site runs on is showing its age, so I'm switching over to a newer one within the next day or so. Just so you know in case you have any trouble accessing the site.

While I'm on the subject, kudos to Linode for having a very solid migration plan and for making continual upgrades to their hardware while lowering prices. The new server costs about a third as much as the one I'm using now.

2014
Oct
03

A return to blogging

It's been three months since my last blog update. Writing a dissertation really doesn't leave time for anything else! Thankfully, it's now done, so I can get back to posting cool physics stuff any day now.

In other news, this fall is the 10th anniversary of ellipsix.net! I started this site a decade ago, just after starting college, because I wanted a little project to tinker with building dynamic websites. Hopefully I'll have time to put some special content up to commemorate the occasion.

For now, I'll be at the meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Section of the American Physical Society this weekend. I'll be posting updates on Twitter if you want to follow.

2014
Mar
12

Ellipsix Informatics is on Facebook!

I finally broke down and made a Facebook page for this site. There probably won't be anything there other than blog posts, at least not for a while, but if that's how you want to find out when I post new things, have at it!

2014
Feb
25

Working on a new look

Later this year is going to be the tenth anniversary of Ellipsix Informatics. In celebration of that, I've been working on a brand new, brighter, theme for the site! And with the Science Online conference coming up this week, I've decided to roll out the first batch of changes: a new colorful header, more prominent featuring of the blog posts on the home page, and some playful changes to the color scheme.

This is just a rough draft to shake things up, so expect to see more changes that refine the site's style as the year goes on. Suggestions and feedback are welcome!

2013
Dec
31

A look back at 2013 on the blog

Well, it's that time of year again. The end, that is. That is the time of year that it is.

Everyone else is doing top 10 lists to reflect on their output this year, but I'm not convinced there's anything so special about the number 10. Why stop there? With that in mind, here are all my favorite posts from the past year, representing a broad spectrum of topics: particle physics, thermodynamics, optics, fluid dynamics, rocket science, percolation theory, statistics, technology, law, and a few things just for fun.

Here's hoping for more of the same to come next year! Happy new year everyone!

(if you liked these, you might also like my top hits from the previous year)