Statisfaction -79

PhD Life

Here we are another week closer to heat death of the universe. I didn’t really know how to start this piece so I just wrote down the first thing that came to my head that wasn’t complete blogger cliché.

I have spent a lot of time this morning reading blogs about statistics and furiously making notes. You know you’re a geek when you like star-wars, even though 90% of it is garbage, but the true nerd spends their weekends learning the intricacies of some obscure realm of mathematics.

The motivation for pre-occupation with statistics this weekend is because of a course I attended on Thursday. At my university, students on the PhD program have to attended a certain amount of ‘development courses’. In the 1st year I had to attend five courses – I actually attended ten because who doesn’t like free education. In the second year, which I am now in, you have to attend four. I tend to gravitate to anything technical when it comes to these courses, rather than courses such as ‘improve your communication skills.

The course I was on was about using the R-language to produce graphics; it was a full-day course, which is unusual. It was one of those times where the passion for the subject from the statistician running the course forced itself upon you. I was certainly inspired; hence my morning, and most of Friday, learning more about the subject.

Statistics, at least for me, is one of those topics where the information does not stick around in the brain very easily, so each time I come to analyse some data I have to spend a decent amount of time re-learning some of the concepts. I have produced a large document for myself of the main principles, so that I don’t have to start from square one each time. I imagine that this document will be close to my final thesis in terms of usefulness!

I had a bit of a transport related drama this week. My bike broke. I was given the bike so I did not have much concern for the bike itself; my bigger concern was how I was going to get to the university. I got a quote of £75 pounds to repair the bike, and they said that they couldn’t do it for two weeks – this would be very inconvenient. I decided to buy a new bike rather than fixing up, what I can only describe as the, worst bike I have ever owned.

After days of looking at reviews of bikes online I could not decide how much I should spend for what is essentially my commuting vehicle. Ideally I would find something dirt cheap online, but to my surprise I couldn’t find anything. “Where is a stolen bike when you need one” is what I thought to myself.

Luckily, after a long and sweaty walk to campus a serendipitous moment occurred. A cycling charity happened to be on campus offering free services of peoples bikes. They also had bikes for sale that they had refurbished. After £45 had been handed over I now am in possession of an equally terrible, but functional new bike. The utilitarian wins again!

Author: Louis

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

9 thoughts on “Statisfaction -79”

  1. Your first line is the best intro to a blog post I’ve ever read. “Here we are another week closer to heat death of the universe.” Perfect.

    Like

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