I am one happy man right now.
I had my first Skype meeting with my external supervisor at King Abdulaziz University on Tuesday (10th) and then my first ever supervisory board review the next day.
I’m not going to lie, on the Monday I was a nervous wreck (on the inside… mostly). My meeting with Abdullah went absolutely fine; he was happy with the work I’ve done so far, offered some good advice for my board and we parted ways. I got kind of lucky in that the connection wasn’t very good so we had a text chat instead. This allowed me those few moments extra to really consider my responses.
Along came my board review, I locked myself in my office from 10am til 2pm to really practice my presentation, prepare answers to questions and so forth. Again, I got lucky in that we ended up conducting the board review in my supervisor’s office. This meant a slightly more informal setting, but at the same WAY more intimidating as they were only a few feet away from me. I was nervy to begin with, but I did eventually settle in and say what I had to say. I did have a few curve ball questions thrown at me; I had approached my research with a developers mindset and that was evident in the work I’ve done so far. My research also has a big theoretical side to it (in the form of formal methods). When pressed on this, I was quite honest and simply said “I’ve come from a developers background, and I had planned on spending the next quarter bringing myself up to speed with the formal methods”. All in all, they seemed happy with my progress and the direction I’m heading in.
I had a post meeting with James (my co-supervisor) and we planned out the next 3 months or so and I tell you what, I’m so excited to get stuck in. If all goes to plan (i.e. my papers get accepted) then I’ll have 3 publications in the first six months of my PhD. Now if that isn’t a bloody strong start, I don’t know what is.
I also joined a new photography website: 500px. I quite like it there, everyone is so nice! I posted some of my better pictures from my flickr and they got quite a bit of attention. I even had one photo pop up on the “upcoming” page, which was pretty awesome! It’s definitely one of my favourite photos. It’s of my friend Jenny at the beach. While the others were sunbathing, we went underneath the pier to look for crabs and other wildlife; naturally I took my camera and took this photo (not posed for) while Jenny was searching.