Friday, December 23, 2011

AGU 2011

I want to write about all the people I met at AGU to share my experience, as well as help me remember some of the great ideas and details I came across at AGU.

I am posting all my photos to my flickr page:

I met a lot of people so I will create a list below. I know the list is incomplete, but I hope I have included enough to spark my memories in the future!

Of course I met with my Korean Colleagues:
Sang-Mook Lee, Changyeol Lee, Byung-Dal So

Then I met with people I know from the University of Minnesota:
David Yuen, David Kohlstedt, Evan Bollig (now at FSU and NCAR), Shunichiro Karato (now at Yale), Saswata Heir-Majumder (now at Maryland), Matt Brotten, Gretchen Beebe

Then there are people I have never worked with but met at AGU (some I knew before others I met for the first time at the conference).
Klaus Regenauer-Lieb, David George, Donald Turcotte (for a brief hello), Paul Tackley,  Yoshi JBD Kaneko, Yichen "Jack" Zhou, Liang "Larry" Zheng, Thomas Geenan, Geraldine Robbins, Yoshio Okamoto, Chris Atchinson, Gina Applebee, and many others I can't recall at the moment.

I had some fantastic conversations with a lot of people at AGU.

Gina Applebee is hands down one of the coolest new people I met at AGU. She is a graduate student in geosciences, but what is really cool is the way she is working to help create educational experiences for the blind. I am unsure of her complete story, but I know that she used to be able to see but has lost her vision, and we had a talk about the tools she uses to help her study. I have a lot of interest in teaching the blind because I want to know more about how to create resources to help the blind learn learn mathematics and computer programming. She is a very cool person, and my description does her little justice. I plan to be in touch with her more in the future.

Yoshio Okamoto, is a high school teacher in Japan who is using  spectral 3D technology to visualize seismic data using POV-Ray. I thought he was a real cool guy doing something I wish I had done years ago! POV-Ray is some fantastic software especially for visualizing simple objects. It uses a syntax similar to C++/Java and allows users to create 3D graphics using basic geometric primitives.

Saswata Majumder was a graduate student when I first met him at the University of Minnesota, and now he is all grown up and a professor at the University of Maryland! It was so good to get caught up with him at AGU; I would often find myself wondering what Sash was up to these days. Now I know and I am very happy to be back in touch with him. It is also really cool that he has come to the dark side of computation and spends a lot of time working on computational geosciences!

I spent about 2 days discussing various computational ideas with Evan Bollig. Back at the U of MN he was an undergraduate at the U of MN with basic math and general computer science skills, and now he almost has a Ph.D. in Computational Science and he has a thing or two to teach me about mathematics! We have a lot of common interests, we both bought "Computational Geodynamics" by Taras Gerya, and the last one to work through all the examples in C++ and Matlab has buy a pitcher of beer.

David George was at AGU for a few days and we had a good chance to talk and I am really hoping to continue working with him in the future. He is a mathematician who works for the USGS developing software solutions to mathematical problems that relate to geophysics. He has written the best software to solve the shallow water equations I have seen, as well as applying the software to work on debris flows and other situations that normally aren't accessible to programs solving the shallow water equations.

So that is a brief recount of people I met and some of the topics I discussed at AGU. It is only the tip of the iceberg, but I don't want this post to go on forever so the rest will have to live in my memories!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kim Jong Il is dead

I just learned of the passing of Kim Jong Il, the former leader of North Korea. He is often viewed by many as the last ruler of the last dictatorship on the globe.  I'm sure that many people will celebrate at his demise, yet I have never felt right celebrating the death of another human, no matter how evil I think they are. People die every day, some are evil others are great.

I hope that this opens a door for reform and change in North Korea, and hopefully the nation will be able to begin healing and growing. South Korea has achieved some fame for growing out of poverty and third world status in record speed, and I really hope that North Korea will have the same luck.

I have decided to put together a few links to articles about his death to link to more information about what is going on. I still know very little so please share with me if you know more about how this will affect North Korea, South Korea, and the rest of the world.



Minneapolis StarTribune:

The Japan Times:

The Korea Times:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving in Korea!

Dinner at a Korean restaurant
on black friday.
So Thanksgiving came and went in Korea with little acknowledgment. It was a little bit odd for me because I am used to America where it is one of the largest holidays we have. It is like the prequel to Christmas.

So for Thanksgiving Evening Aly, Imcheol, and myself were planning on going to go to Johnny Rockets for an American style dinner. But they were closed by the time we got there. Then we tried a few other places that were all closed. So we ended up going to an izakaya above Johnny Rockets. The izakaya was nice, but the menu was all in Korean so we were glad that Imcheol was there to translate for us. We ended up getting some chicken katsu and cheese katsu. Good stuff.

On Friday some people from work went out to a Korean restaurant were we had a lot of food. It was very good, and they even had sweet potatoes! We decided to call it our Thanksgiving dinner, and it was a lot of fun. There was a large crowd and we ate a lot of food and had good conversation, which are the most important aspects of Thanksgiving.

Can you guess who plays Murder Ball?
After dinner we went across the street to have a beer and continue the good times. In Korean bars it is typical to order food when you go to the bar, so even though everyone was stuffed, we ordered more food and stuffed ourselves even more. This really was a lot like an American Thanksgiving, just more people talking Korean and less turkey. We didn't have a turkey so we did the next best thing and ordered some good fried chicken. It is strange that in Korea they aren't known for fried chicken, but they do a fantastic job of cooking it up!

It was a good night, and I met a few new people, even one guy who used to play Murder Ball. Well they don't call it Murder Ball anymore, now it goes by Wheelchair Rugby. I prefer the name MurderBall.

Sang Mook and members of QoLT
The Bird
After a night of too much food and drinks, and a little more food, I returned home to spend the evening just completely stuffed with Aly. She was not able to join us for dinner because she was working. But we enjoyed our evening together sitting around watching episodes of Star Trek.

Aly had to work Saturday, apparently her job wants to torture Americans for the holidays. Her coworkers were discussing going to Gangnam, which is near our apartment. So that evening we all met in Gangnam where we went to Johnny Rockets and had our fill of good American Burgers, Patty Melts, and Philly Cheese Steaks. After dinner we went to a Board Game Cafe, where we spent a couple hours playing Settlers of Catan. I forgot how much fun that game is, and I think we should get a copy to play in our apartment.

So after our game we decided we needed some ice cream so we headed to "favorite D", they sell Baskin Robins ice cream as well as gelato and a few other specialty dishes, where we had some fantastic ice cream. There we got a giant bucket of ice cream for us all to share. We choose three flavors of ice cream and then they just crammed it so it was overflowing and we got tiny spoons to dig into it. At the end of the night we were proud we made it through the whole thing!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

CFL Condition - A snippet of Science

It is been a long time with no post. So I will post an almost meaningless post! I have been working on a poster for AGU, and I am trying to break down a lot of science related content that is prerequisite for the topic of my poster.

So I have posted a figure that I will slap on my poster. The figure to the right shows something called the CFL condition. Courant, Friedrichs and Lewy showed that a spatial grid will not be accurate if the distance something travels is greater than the size of a grid node. So the moving thing is not allowed to move into the next grid cell.

The data I am working with is special because if you have some data that results in traveling too far, like the red and purple arrows, then you need to recompute those regions of the grid using a smaller grid space AND a smaller time step. The traditional model is to recreate the entire grid using a smaller grid and time step. But this approach allows us to focus computation on areas that require more detailed analysis. This changing the grid only where necessary is called Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR). Mesh is just a fancier word for grid, for those who haven't heard it before.

I wish I could post about more of the adventures and things I am doing in Korea. But to be fair, I have been spending a lot of time in Korea recently doing all sorts of computer, math, and science related activities. I'm actually looking forward to finishing this poster so I can get back to playing with my little computer programs and playing with scientific results.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Burger King in Korea

Cross section view into a Whopper

The Whopper Set
Yesterday I went to a Burger King in Gangnam. Gangnam is just one station from me, and I thought it would be nice to get a burger. For some reason I enjoy grabbing US fast food when I visit other countries. Sometimes it tastes completely different, and other times it fills the craving I have for some good ol' American junk food.

I was happy to find that the BK Whopper in Korea tastes just like the Whopper back home. I did notice one difference from Burger Kings back in the US, the fries are different. I actually like the Korean fries better. In America they use a larger cut of fries and they are less crispy. The fries I had were thinner than American Burger King fries, and were similar to McDonald fries.

As I sat eating my Burger King Whopper I also thought about how in America we like to blame fast food and all sorts of things for people being overweight. As I reflected I thought about how many fast food places are in Korea and Japan and I really don't think that fast food is the problem. I think that there is a deer issue that is the root of so many people are overweight in the US. Not sure what it is, but I do know that if I eat better and exercise more I lose weight. So maybe people int he US just don't exercise or move around much, as well as eating too much junk food.

If fast food was what made people overweight, then Japan would probably be the heaviest nation out there! Below are two of my favorite Burger King add campaigns I have heard of to date. I look forward to taking part in one of these events sometime!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Steve Jobs -- A Ding in the Universe

Steve Jobs passed away today. 

I know less than I would like to know about him and his life. I do know that I use products that he pioneered on a daily bases. I have great respect for innovation and creativity, and Steve Jobs was the greatest innovator I know of durring my lifetime. He has probably had one of the greatest impacts on the lives of people around the world.

This morning I woke up and started playing games on my iPad, and when I went to surf the web I saw an image on the Apple home page.

"The world has lost a visionary. And there may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented." -- President Obama

As I have been reading articles on Steve Jobs this morning, I am inspired to work harder. I'm not an "80 hours a week and loving it" kind of guy, but his innovation inspires me to go out and do something.

So today I have compiled a list of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs, and one or two about him. I will share them here, I typed most of them in by hand so please be understanding of typos.

Quotes about Steve Jobs:
"[Steve Jobs] was able to take something that was very boring, very cold, very mysterious, that nobody understood, and nobody really cared about and turn it into the single sexiest object in the market place today." -- Professor Aram Sinnreich

Short Quotes: (Some of these are taken from long quotes)
"Creativity is just connecting things." -- Steve Jobs
"I want to put a ding in the universe." -- Steve Jobs
"Things don't have to change the world to be important." -- Steve Jobs
"We make the buttons on the screen look so good you'll want to lick them." -- Steve Jobs
"It's more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy." -- Steve Jobs

Long Quotes:

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle." -- Steve Jobs

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice." -- Steve Jobs

"Innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we've been thinking about a problem. It's ad hoc meetings of six people called by someone who things he has figured out the coolest new thing ever and who wants to know what other people think of his idea." -- Steve Jobs

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure -- these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason to not follow your heart." -- Steve Jobs

"These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs. These things can profoundly influence life. I'm not downplaying that. But it's a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light -- that it's going to change everything. Things don't have to change the world to be important." -- Steve Jobs

"Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations." -- Steve Jobs
"The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay." -- Steve Jobs

"When you're a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you're not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You'll know it's there, so you're going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through." -- Steve Jobs

"Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it's really how it works. The design of a Mac wasn't what it looked like, although that was part of it. Primarily, it was how it worked. To design something really well, you have to get it. You have to really grok what it's all about. It takes a passionate commitment to really thoroughly understand something, chew it up, and not just quickly swallow it. Most people don't take the time to do that." -- Steve Jobs

"Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they often feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they've had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people." -- Steve Jobs

"This is not a one-man show. What’s reinvigorating this company is two things: One, there’s a lot of really talented people in this company who listened to the world tell them they were losers for a couple of years, and some of them were on the verge of starting to believe it themselves. But they’re not losers. What they didn’t have was a good set of coaches, a good plan. A good senior management team. But they have that now." -- Steve Jobs

"I’m an optimist in the sense that I believe humans are noble and honorable, and some of them are really smart. I have a very optimistic view of individuals. As individuals, people are inherently good. I have a somewhat more pessimistic view of people in groups. And I remain extremely concerned when I see what’s happening in our country, which is in many ways the luckiest place in the world. We don’t seem to be excited about making our country a better place for our kids" -- Steve Jobs

"You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life" -- Steve Jobs

Stanford University: Commencement Address 2005
The Wall Street Journal: Steve Jobs's Best Quotes
Wired: Steve Jobs: The Next Insanely Great Thing
Los Angeles Times: Steve Jobs, dead at 56, had a rare form of pancreatic cancer

Go out and do something creative!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Visit to Sendai and Morioka

I had to spend a couple days in Sendai for my work Visa, and I took the opportunity to visit my friends living in Morioka over the weekend.

Wednesday I flew to Sendai, it took a while because of connecting flights through Fukuoka, but I arrived and found my hostel with very little problems. In Sendai I stayed at Miyagi Guest House and it was fantastic. I had a great time and found it to be very friendly. I spent Thursday exploring Sendai and doing a little shopping. Then on Friday I decided to stay in the hostel main room and do some work from my laptop; the owner was really nice and made me lunch and a few people hung out all day.

During my first couple days in Japan I was very thankful that I knew Japanese. While the Japanese don't speak as much English as the Koreans do, I was still able to communicate with people without many problems. I spent a lot of time in the area of Sendai station. I was originally hoping to spend time with my friend J.B. Kido, he is a geophysics researcher at Touhoku University, unfortunately he was out to sea doing research related activities when I visited. I hope his research went well, I had to drink on my own while he was out. But I had a good time. I went to a neat little bar, Teddy's Bar just off of the main strip. It was a nice place, the owner spoke some English, but we talked mostly in Japanese. I was interested how Sendai was doing since the Tsunami, I was glad to hear that the tsunami didn't do physical damage to the city, but there has been substantial financial damage. Currently commerce is down and many businesses are struggling in Sendai at the moment. I found that this shock to the economy stretches as far as Morioka, where many people have families displaced by the tsunami.

Teddy's bar was a fantastic visit. I was happy to be drinking some great Japanese beer, but I also ordered a hamburger and was very surprised at how fantastic the burger was. While Japanese food is fantastic, it is a rare find when you find a Japanese restaurant serving good burgers. The burger at Teddy's is one of my favorite burgers I have had to date. I had a good time and will definitely return to have a beer and burger the next time I am in Sendai!

After a day of working on Friday I picked up my visa and headed to Morioka by bus. It was a nice ride, I got to sit back and enjoy the scenery, I also took a nap in anticipation of all the fun to come in the evening. I'm glad I did because I was up until around 5am. The main problem with my weekend in Morioka was that I forgot my camera on the bus, so I took very few pictures. But that is fine because I had a lot of fun and caught up with a lot of friends.

Friday night I met with Morita, Yuko, Regain, Kintaro, and a new friend Haruka. Then a little later into the evening a party came into the Bike Cafe for a few last drinks and I met some really nice guys! Unfortunately I don't remember all their names; I know I was calling one of them "Dan" and another guy "Peter". There as also a cool guy named "Yukku". It was Yakku's birthday, and they were having a great night. They were pretty cool guys and we went out again on Sunday for Korean food at the restaurant where Haruka works. Too bad I didn't have my camera because I would have loved to have more pictures from the korean restaurant, and the Japanese boys Dan, Peter, and Yuk.

One of my favorite things in Morioka was the visits to the public baths. Sure it wasn't an onsen, but it was a bath that has some minerals in the water. We went to the bath on Saturday - Monday, we would go into the hot bath, the jet bath, the sauna, and the cold-water bath. I really enjoyed the cold water bath after a long stint in the sauna or hot baths. I must say I felt very rejuvenated after the baths.

Monday was my final day in Morioka. Kenji came to pick me up at the Bike Cafe, and we hung out for a little bit before I headed out. King had come by to bring us something to drink. It was a Korean drink, but I forgot the name of the drink. It was soju, but it was white and creamy. Kenji lives about a 1 hour drive from the Bike Cafe so we drove from Morioka to his home. We had a nice long car ride and a chance to talk for a while. Kenji is trying to study English so we practiced English a bit, and we spoke in Japanese when things were too complex. 

It was fun going to his place because I got to do a mini homestay with Kenji, we had a few drinks before going to bed, then in the morning we had breakfast and watched TV. It was good to just relax and chat with a friend. In the morning he drove me to the Sendai Airport were we talked for a couple hours then as we neared the airport I got to  see all the damage done to Sendai. Because I arrived in the evening I didn't notice all the damage to the area, but in full daylight I saw that there was a lot of damage near the airport. I was thrown for a bit of a shock when I saw a boat in the middle of a farm. Near the airport there were many places that just had piles of debris, and farms were full of bags that must have been full of garbage moved around by the water.

I must say that I am still in awe as to all the damage done by the tsunami. I only saw a small glimpse of the damage caused, and I know that it has just ruined so much. So much property, but more importantly so many lives have been impacted by the event. The Japanese people are working through the tsunami, and I know my friends will be fine; but I still wonder if there is some way I can help. I think that something as simple as visiting Japan can help. After hearing about how local stores are hurting I think that visiting and paying business to local shops does a world of help. While in Japan I got a lot out of talking to people and just listening to their stories.

Despite the depressing overtone of the tsunami I had a lot of fun in Japan. It was a great visit. Some of my friends had a personal connection to the tsunami, but people are doing well. I'm already starting to think about when I will  have my next opportunity to go visit!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Finally Furnished Apartment

While our furnishings are not finalized we have finally reached a critical point where our apartment looks and feels like an apartment, and not a big open room. I used a very interesting app called Photosynth from Microsoft to take a panorama. The only downfall was that I was unable to capture the refrigerator in my panorama image!

Some of the highlights are the kitchen table, which is a nice wooden table. Behind it you can see the kitchen area with a sink and some cupboards and storage. Then there is a glimpse of the bathroom and some shelves we have assembled to store things.

Next you can peek into the bedroom, and next to the bedroom door is our couch. The couch is very nice, and we have a shelf next to it as an end-table as well as a nice coffee table we can use to rest our feet. I also like to sit on the floor and use the coffee table as a desk. Behind the coffee table you can see the veranda. Out on the veranda we dry laundry and there is a small room to the right that houses the washing machine.

Finally we come to the desk, where we are able to sit and work. It can get a little cold because the air conditioner is right above the desk. The desk is working really well so I will probably stop using the coffee table as a mini-desk now.

The one unseen element is the refrigerator. that would be located between the desk and the cupboards of the kitchen. It is just next to the coffee table, but the application for creating panoramas got a little confused and thought we had created a 360 degree picture when we only had about 270 degrees. For those curious about the refrigerator here is a link to some pictures on my Flickr page.

Now we have a complete apartment so hopefully things will begin to calm down a bit and we can start looking for some things to do on the weekend that don't involve furnishing our apartment!

Konjiam Resort

This week I went to Konjiam Resort for a conference on QoLT.

It was a beautiful resort east of Seoul were I was able to meet a lot of cool people and take a lot of pics. I posted my pics online, and hope you will enjoy them!

I'm sorry I haven't posted pics in the blog, but I am posting a link to many pictures that I have on my flickr account.

I would break the weekend into several parts.

First I had a chance to meet people at the conference, which was really nice. I was sharing a room with two Korean men, and what turned out to be interesting was they had both lived in the America; one lived in Canada, but that still counts, eh? But to make matters even more interesting they both spoke Japanese as well! It was a very interesting dinner we had.

That night I met with a couple math professors from Korea University and we all had a few drinks, sang some Karaoke and had a good time. We were out really late and I didn't realize my roommates were awake. I felt bad because I found out I had kept one guy up.

The next day the conference wrapped up, and I spent some time in the area with Gabriele and his family. We visited a small forest area with lots of sites to see. They created an interesting environment in the side of the mountain that was a lot of fun to look around. It was very fun, but difficult to push Marlen in her stroller. Please look at the photos and enjoy. I got some fantastic macro shots of dragon-flys as well as some fantastic pictures of flowers and other scenery.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Food in Seoul

I have been enjoying the food in Seoul a lot. I love Japanese food, something I learned living in Japan. Now that I am in Seoul I am realizing that I love Korean food! It is really good and filling. I can eat as much as I want and know I will be satisfied.

There area few customs I like in Korea. For one you can get as many of the side dishes that you want. Usually there is a spicy kimchee or two, and another pickled vegetable that is less spicy. If you are hungry you won't need to leave most restaurants hungry.

It is also easy to find non-korean food. I have been thinking I should create a list of non-korean food that is really good in Korea. I'm surprised at how good the fried chicken is here!

Aly and I have gone to some really nice restaurants. Here a picture from a fantastic traditional Koran place that was like walking into another world. The entire restaurant was just filled with fantastic scenery. There was a waterfall outside and live music. Everything was just great!

This restaurant was expensive, but well worth it for a great experience. We went there with Gabriele and his family. As is usually the case his daughter was the star of the evening.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Visit with Risa Rifkind

A young lady from John Hopkins University came to visit Sang-Mook today. She has been traveling the world to learn more about what it is like to have disabilities in various cities around the world. So far on this Journey she has been to London, Paris, Athens, Hong Kong, and now Seoul.

During this adventure a camera man has been following her documenting everything she does for a documentary on her quest to learn about disabilities in various cities around the world. She has also been keeping a record of her travels on her website

Risa arrived at Seoul National University around 3pm at Hoam Faculty House, so I went with Sang-Mook's assistant to meet her. We then picked her up with her camera man, and all their luggage as they had just come from the airport. We then met in Sang-Mook's office and had a chance to talk, she invited me to stay for the interview so I thought it would be nice to have front row seats for the show.

The interview was really interesting. While I have heard Sang-Mook speaking about people with disabilities in Korea many times I still find that I learn new things every time I hear him talk about his initiatives for people with disabilities and how they fit into society.

So the interview lasted about an hour, and after everything was finished she went on her way to explore the great city of Seoul. I'm looking forward to hearing about her experiences and reflections in South Korea. Her journey to look at disabilities around the world is coming to an end, but as I just heard about it so I am looking forward to reading about her experiences.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Visit from Dr. Dave Yuen

Dave Yuen came to visit Sang-Mook and the research group I am joining.
We had some good talks on the direction of computational science and computing in scientific research.
Of course we also had plenty to drink and some parties that will not be soon forgotten.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Move to Korea

I recently packed my bags and came to Korea. While here in Korea I will be a part of a research group working on diverse range of topics. I will be doing research in computational science. I will also be working with Quality of Life Technologies (QoLT).

My girlfriend was kind enough to pack her bags and follow me here as well. So here and now I will kick of my blog to catalogue some of my experiences and adventures in Korea. While doing that I am also hoping to share with people what I am doing for work and some of the impact my research group has on the community around us.