13 April 2014

Oh right, this exists

My last substantive post was about how broken graduate school applications are, so I think it makes sense that my next post would be about graduate schools again.

I spent the better part of the last few months worrying that my statements of purpose wouldn’t be well-received. Not because I worried that I hadn’t written my SoPs well, or because my research wasn’t interesting (well, to me anyway), but because I was afraid that I had been on the fence for too long, so committed to interdisciplinary studies that I had forfeited my stake in both social sciences and computer science. I was afraid that I was too quantitative for qualitative fields (like Anthropology) and too qualitative for quantitative fields (like Computer Science).

Several months ago I got a call from Stanford. I went for a visit, and I’ve signed the proverbial papers; I’ll be joining Stanford’s Computer Science program to pursue a PhD. Specifically, I’ll be studying digital cultures and working in the HCI group (after the initial year of rotations).

I’m still settling into the bizarre turn of events, especially the lingering misgivings I’ve had about ultimately leaving the social sciences, which got me into academia in the first place (and where I feel my research interests belong), but after speaking with Michael Bernstein, Jure Leskovec, Dan Jurafsky, Chris Re, and others, I really can’t imagine being anywhere but Stanford and in Computer Science.

It just happens to be really convenient that the clout associated with CS at Stanford affords me immense credibility in some circles.

More updates eventually. I’m trying to stay above the day-to-day errands of housing lotteries and personal stuff because I kind of assume nobody reading this is interested. My next unprompted post will probably be about Quantified Self, the undergraduate thesis I’ve been working on for the honors Anthro program at UC Irvine, for which Dr. Boellstorff has been advising me.

If you have something to say about this, contact me