Category Archives: Faculty

Sabbatical habits, part 1

For me, June marked the beginning of a year-long sabbatical. This meant an abrupt return to the research I almost entirely neglected during my first year back to teaching and administration after the birth of my child. All I had done was write two proposals – one for summer research, and one for the sabbatical itself.

This won’t be a post about the content of my research: that’s a topic for later in the year. Rather, this post discusses the habits I’ve retained from the academic year, new habits I am forming now, and habits I am considering for later in my sabbatical. Continue reading

Maternity leave

I write as my maternity leave is drawing to a close. My child will start with a full-time nanny during the first full week of August, so that I have time to prepare for the start of classes in the last week of August. I am writing this while traveling to and from my first professional meeting since the birth of my child – and also the first time I’ve been apart from my child for more than a few hours. Continue reading

Planning for faculty leaves

After just three semesters with the CS faculty at full strength, I was on maternity leave this spring, and one of us will be on sabbatical each of the next six semesters. You may wonder how we are managing these leaves as a department.

First and foremost, I am pleased to announce that Rohan Loveland will be joining us as a visiting assistant professor for the 2018-19 academic year. Dr. Loveland earned his Ph.D. in Engineering at Oxford University. He comes to us from Los Alamos National Labs and Dynafit via an adjunct professorship at New Mexico State University. He looks forward to teaching a course on Machine Learning at Whitman in spring 2019.

More of the story below!

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On systems and breakdowns

David Allen’s Getting Things Done is no small part of what got me through my dissertation, and I’ve been using it ever since. I was introduced to the system and philosophy by the postdoc I shared my office with. (A.J. Brush, who has continued to get things done—if you are reading this, thanks again!)

However, I won’t say I apply it perfectly. I experience breakdowns pretty regularly, which means reflecting on my tools or routines to figure out what to change to make it work again. Continue reading