While Baltimore has been suffering from a heat wave and widespread power outages, I can finally say I am happy to be away from school. California weather is amazing! 75 and sunny everyday, with no humidity!! Tomorrow is a federal holiday, so UCLA will be closed, and I am not required to sit in my office at the Institute of Pure and Applied Math from 9-5.
My first week and a half here has been amazing. I am working with a group of four on a seemingly impossible task to write a new algorithm that recreates a 3D model from 2D image without the use of reference-like points in imagery. The people here are surprisingly outgoing and normal, even for math majors. Every night we go out on adventures around LA. Tomorrow, being the 4th of July, we are all headed to Santa Monica/Venice Beach to spend the day lounging in the sand, and then watching the fireworks over the ocean at night.
As stressful and intense the project work is, the program has been a lot of fun so far. I have met people from all over the world, from Italy to Kenya. My roommate, Ana, is a Romanian native, but studies at Cambridge. My office mate on the other hand, studies at Rutgers but is originally from Greece. It’s such a great experience to meet so many intelligent and outgoing people from literally all over the world.
I had completely different expectations of the program and its participants before I arrived, but I have been pleasantly surprised. I know this summer will be fruitful, and I will learn a lot. Even if I didn’t learn anything, it’s at least exciting to meet new people. The only downside is waking up at 7 am daily, being exhausted by 3 pm. I guess I can always shut my office door and put my head down. There is also the fact that I am living in the dorms and dining at dining halls. It brings me back to my freshmen year at Hopkins in Building A. I must say I forgot how much I appreciated my double bed in my apartment. Either way, so far this program has been a fantastic experience, and I know that it will only get better as time goes on!