Week 5: Life is full of surprises!

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Friday, July 2, 2021


Zeynep Tuna

At the end of last week, I was quite worried about my process of modifying and debugging the code that adds the new year’s data into the Überspreadsheet. At the end of this week, I am at a completely different place: the code has been modified, debugged, and complete; the final Überspreadsheet has been generated; and the documentation is ready! It turns out that the solution to my code taking a long time to run was quite easy: use a read-only mode for speed optimization, load one workbook into memory at a time and close it before moving onto the next one (big shoutout to Arthur Smith from the IT department for his help!). The rest of the debugging process went very smoothly: lots of breakpoints and prints. Life is truly full of surprises – or at least, I still cannot be sure when my code will be complete and ready.

As I was talking to my supervisor about the final Überspreadsheet, we realized how far we still have to improve the diversity and inclusion in our physics programs. The total number of “Historically black colleges or universities”, “Black-serving institutions”, and “Hispanic-serving institutions” were upsetting. Also, realizing that the inclusion of the “Two or more races” category into the “Underrepresented minorities” definition made a greater difference in the 2018-2019 numbers than 2015-2016 numbers showed me how much we have improved; seeing this gave me hope for the future!

As this week comes to an end, I am ready to rest and recharge to start working on the graphs we all see and use on the APS website – exciting! I have also been having fun brainstorming ideas about my contribution to the SPS Demo Competition and I cannot wait to film it. Happy 4th of July to everyone!

Zeynep Tuna (she/her/hers)