Week 3: Supercomputing

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Sunday, June 21, 2020


Anna Murphree

[All views are my own.]

I know everyone said that time would fly in this internship, but now I really believe them! Week 3 has come and gone and things are starting to get a lot busier.

I spent a lot of this week working on my analysis code, and I have some preliminary scatter plots to show for it. I’m working with some small subsets of the data, so they’re pretty sparse; they will definitely fill up when I start working with the years of precipitation events in these databases. My exciting news for this week: I received my laptop from NASA! Now I’ll be able to use Teams for meetings, access my very own NASA email (!!), and run my code on a supercomputer (!!!). I’m very excited to work with a whole bunch of data next week!

I’ve kept attending NASA’s various events, including their very helpful Python classes. I had never used Google’s Colab before and it is super convenient for coding lessons. On Friday, we had a Code 600 intern “meet ‘n’ greet,” where we got to learn about some of the other interns from all around the country. I also got to hear NASA’s LGBTAC talk from Dr. Martine Rothblatt, a businesswoman and advocate with a very impressive resume! It was inspiring to hear about her journey as a trans woman through the various fields she’s worked in, from satellite communications to biotechnology.

We also had some fun SPS events this week! Our first colloquium, from Dr. Toni Sauncy at TLU, reminded me that it’s important to keep the fun in your physics degree and wherever your career goes afterwards. I put this into practice a bit this week, as I’ve been testing out a tiny fire tornado (do not attempt inside!) for our intern demo competition. We also had some virtual intern hangouts and a happy hour with the SPS Exec board, all of which involved some wonderfully terrible physics puns.

Outside of this internship, I’ve been working on my routine and trying to keep up with the news. I got a new plant from a friend, picked up some new books from a local bookstore, and took a quick trip to Arkansas while taking out the recycling. If you’re ever in Memphis, I highly recommend driving over the Mississippi and blasting your favorite tunes (currently Noname). Till next week,

Anna Murphree