Articles in the College Productivity category

Making Beautiful Schematics with TikZ

Posted in College Productivity
howto code latex systems


I have always been a fan of using LaTeX for all of my writeups. LaTeX has a fantastic graphical library called TikZ that I use to generate nearly all of my graphics. It has quite a steep learning curve, but once you get going, you can define all of your …

How to Write Beautiful Code Documentation

Posted in College Productivity
howto code python


Writing code documentation is really important. More than anything else, documenting your code pushes you to use best practices, and organize your code in a logical way.

After a year of writing Python code for a living [1], I'm writing to share the documentation process that works best for me …

Submitting Jobs to the Stanford Cluster via SLURM

Posted in College Productivity
howto code python servers systems


I do a lot of coding at Stanford on my laptop. It's a wonderful machine, but it simply cannot handle huge amounts of number-crunching. Most research organizations provide computing clusters fully equipped with state-of-the-art software in order to help out folks like me.

Clusters are helpful not only when you …

Setting Up Anaconda for Scientific Python

Posted in College Productivity
howto code python


Python is great. Not only is it relatively easy to learn, but it is extremely robust when it comes to gathering, processing, and plotting data, thanks to free open-source libraries like numpy, matplotlib, and pandas. The power that you get from using Python is comparable to other software solutions, such …

Float Your Projects

Posted in College Productivity
procrastination psychology


One of the (many) stresses we face in life is feeling overwhelmed with daunting projects that we have not yet started on. A youth pastor once gave me an interesting strategy that he applied when he was in school: whenever he received an assignment, he immediately (that night) began to …

The Zeigarnik Effect

Posted in College Productivity
psychology


I'm always amazed when a waiter takes my order without writing anything down. I'm a vegetarian, and occasionally I ask for substitutions with my order. My wife absolutely loves to make substitutions, and when our order is transformed into food 20 minutes later, I'm blown away when it comes through …

The 80/20 Principle

Posted in College Productivity
psychology


I’ve always dreamed of running a mile in less than 5 minutes. I have always been a fast runner (one standard deviation above the mean). I can remember in high school, whenever we would have the mile run for fitness tests, I always did pretty well. I think my …

What Clash of Clans Taught Me About Productivity

Posted in College Productivity
games


For those who never played Clash of Clans (good for you!), it's a game where you have to open their app every 4 hours in order to upgrade your village and raid someone else's village. Your village produces resources, and you use these resources (and the resources you plunder from …

My Research in 4 minutes!

Posted in College Productivity
fiber-optic-gyroscopes


I'm researching fiber optic gyroscopes. I just put together a non-techincal description video and uploaded it to youtube. Here's the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOn3yAWL0ys

How to Submit a Fellowship Application in 48 hours

Posted in College Productivity
writing


This afternoon, I submitted an a fellowship application to the National Science Foundation (NSF). I'm extremely blessed to have a PI with enough research funding to not have to worry about funding for the rest of my Ph.D. at Stanford. However, the funding source is not infinite, and paying …