Quarantine Logs 2020-04-06
This is my first post in a while, and unfortunately I don’t have a new technical project to show off. As of writing, I’ve been in the COVID-19 quarantine for just over three weeks now. I’m set to finish my undergraduate degree this term, and my classes have gone entirely online, including exams.
My graduation ceremony is postponed indefinitely, effectively cancelled for the May term. Perhaps this is apt - this year I was in the middle of learning for myself to put less personal importance and emotional weight on accolades and ceremony.
An internship that I have lined up for the summer has transitioned smoothly into a remote internship; it’s a huge relief, but I inevitably wonder how much I’ll be stuck in my home which will become my office.
Throughout this quarantine I’ve been contemplating the concepts of productivity and motivation as I try to maintain my life. Here’s some of the things I’ve been doing in my now-abundant spare time:
- Learning about electric circuit analysis. I’m on the way to building my own synthesizer, having started by purchasing for myself a CEM3340 voltage-controlled oscillator chip. Until then, I’ve been chipping away at learning all the theory that’s needed to understand the electronic operation of synthesizers.
- Building a circuit simulation library, in Julia. In my study of circuits I realized that you can model a circuit as a graph. Furthermore, you can solve for voltage drops and current across the whole system by traversing the graph and building a linear system (for resistors-only) or system of differential equations (when you add inductors and capacitors) as you go along. I know other libraries exist which are probably of a better quality than whatever I’d build as a casual hobby project.
- Trying to contribute to some Julia open source project. I’m currently trying to work towards implementing multivariable Gaussian processes in GaussianProcesses.jl, for which I have a very preliminary pull request so far.
- Moving things around the house
- At-home exercise
- Calling a bunch of friends, including some I’m reconnecting with after long stretches of time
- Entertainment of all forms: books, games, music, YouTube, TV shows, Twitch, etc.
I’m not completely devoted to any of these pursuits or diversions, and I think that’s okay. It’s hard to get into a state of flow for any of these when the entire world feels a little bit unstable.
I might try to keep a log of my thoughts during this quarantine as I’m finding this activity inherently enjoyable.