May/June Update

So it turns out doing 213 and 221 in the same summer term might have been a bit too much, but I did get through it okay. My 221 prof was excellent, and 213 was very interesting, at least until we got to concurrency and my brain exploded.

I had some very good news in June, when I got my co-op position! I'm going to work with the Berlinguette Group, a research team in UBC's Department of Chemistry. They're working on discovering new materials and technologies for clean energy applications, like electrolyzing carbon dioxide to make feedstock chemicals that can be used to make a wide variety of organic compounds (drugs, plastics, etc.). They're using a robotic experiment platform called Ada, which uses machine learning to find optimal combinations of materials for clean energy applications, like making a better solar cell. And I'm going to be doing Python programming as part of this robot's development! I only start in September, so I don't yet know exactly what I'll be doing, but based on my interview, it's likely to be a lot of interfacing with new sensors and actuators as they keep developing Ada for new applications.

I was focusing my applications mostly on the front end side, but I'm really excited about this position. I mean, I'll be working on a science robot with a group that's trying to make it cheap to turn air into stuff. I'm basically a tech wizard in training!

I also recently got a hammock as a good way to relax and enjoy the summer. It's good, but it's one of those things that has a deep well of gear. I've got to be careful that I don't just buy everything!

Things have also been reopening, so I've made a point of supporting my local businesses, like my little local grocery. I had a great time just this past Friday at the Vancouver Aquarium, who have done a great job of laying things out so people can enjoy things and still stay safe.

This was also the month where the tragic murders (call them what they are) of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor sparked worldwide protests against police brutality and for racial justice. I didn't attend our local protest, but I have been trying to learn what I can about Canada's own particular history of racism. To that end, I started making a regular donation to Canadian Roots Exchange, which works to build relationships and understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth. I never learned much about Canadian native life or history as a kid, which is a bit of a loss for me, so I'd like to give a bit to help it happen for this generation.

(Picture above from Parachute Expedition Hammock - Double, on Hammock Universe)

July 05, 2020
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