Jahnavi Shah

PhD Student, Planetary Science

General Updates

Hi all,

It’s been a scattered/busy few weeks and more busy times approaching. So this is going to be a short post about some general updates, but hopefully I’ll have a special blog for next time!

iSALE project
I’ve mainly been working on running iSALE simulations the past couple weeks. I think I’m finally getting the hang of creating mesh grids. The math isn’t difficult but I’ve been sketching the layout each time. From what I’ve been told, the setup is a bit intuitive so I’m hoping it will come more naturally over time as I practice more. The next step is to write/modify code to plot the results. I have a few examples to work with but I’ll need to tinker with them so that they make sense for the parameters I’m looking into. Here’s hoping it works in time to create a couple good figures to include in my Space Day slides for next week. In addition to running simulations, I’ve gathered a stack of (background) papers and textbooks to read/refer to. This will help me write my thesis proposal and study for my upcoming Ph.D. qualifying exam.

The astrobiology course that I’m TAing this semester (instructed by Catherine) is set up so that students have multiple chances to re-submit their assignments. This, in theory, should prevent knowledge gaps as we provide them with feedback on what to improve on. However, some students are waiting around till the second or final chance to submit their initial assignment. This may be due a busy semester, not being able to keep up with assignments every week, and/or various other reasons. However, this means that there’s always a few more assignments to mark each week. As much as I like the concept of this way of teaching, it seems like more work than I had anticipated. Even though, it’s still well within working hours, I guess it’s not something I’m used to (just like the students). For other courses, you mark an assignment and don’t really look back on it, or provide feedback to this extent and actually have students follow up on it. Nonetheless, it’s been an interesting experience/experiment.

For a non-work update, I’m trying to spend a bit of time outdoors as the weather is getting warmer. I’m mainly going on walks in the neighbourhood but hoping to get my hands on a bike once I move at the end of the month. Speaking of which, I will be moving soon in a few weeks’ time so I’m starting to look into getting my place new place furnished and packing up my current place. And in regards to spending more time outdoors, I will have to find a creative way to set up my bird feeders at the new place as I won’t have a yard with (sturdy) trees. I will write an update if/when the feeders are set up.

Overall, it’s going to be a busy month (or two…), but hoping that deadlines will help me stay focused and accountable! Stay tuned for a fiery post next time!

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