Looking back on 2020

2020 was an interesting year to say the least. You’ve probably heard it phrased a dozen different ways from a gross number of people. So I won’t try to describe it more, except that I’ll use it as an excuse for being 3 months late. It’s also an excuse for why I won’t do the usual by the numbers format I did the last two years.

This time, I’ll just list the highlights (ups and downs) of the past year, and the things I’m looking forward to this year.

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Identifying the Why

The why is one of the most difficult introspective questions to answer. There are different why’s in life. Why is my current life this way? Why is my ideal life that way? Why is there a difference between the two? These are difficult questions to answer because they are broad, abstract, and often have no one right answer. After spending a good amount of time thinking, in this article, I try to develop a framework for approaching these questions.

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Why more time?

Almost everyone at some point in their life has the thought, “I wish I had more time” or something along those lines. Often, we miss the larger question lurking behind this thought – “Why do I want more time?” This question aims to isolate the real life from the ideal life. The real life is the present – the one we are in right now. The ideal life is the life that we wish we were living.

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On Stoicism

Stoicism refers to a philosophy of life, and a Stoic is someone who lives by this philosophy. This is not to be confused with stoicism (with a lowercase ‘s’), which means “suppressing happiness, pain, and emotions in general” in the modern sense. I like to think of myself as an aspiring Stoic. I try to embody this philosophy, but currently do so imperfectly. In this post, I share my understanding of Stoicism and thoughts about about how it has been helpful to me.

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Reflecting on Fouriers at CU

For the uninitiated, the title is a pun on Fourier. Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier was a French mathematician who, through Fourier Series, laid the foundation for Fourier Analysis, an important topic in physics, image compression, signal processing and so many other fields, and the title of a required course in the Applied Math department at CU.

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HackCU Over the Years

HackCU is a student organization at the University of Colorado at Boulder. HackCU was started by two students who wanted to give other students the space to work on their side projects and ideas that they would otherwise would not have the opportunity to. This space was a hackathon. A hackathon can best be described as an invention marathon where people work, either alone or in teams, to create something over the course of 24 hours.

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Thoughts on research opportunities

Recently, a friend asked me a few questions on finding research positions. My answers to her questions summarized my newfound philosophy on finding the “right” question to work on.

Disclaimer: These are just like my opinions man. Not anyone else’s. As with all things, you should take it with a grain of salt.

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