Sunday, April 13, 2008

I wanna fly away, yeah

I started peeking around at flight reservations to Japan. My thinking was that the easiest, most pain-free trip would be non-stop from Chicago (ORD) to 成田国際空港 (Narita Int'l Airport, NRT). It seems I will need to find $650-1000 dollars for a one way ticket, or play around with a round-trip (and rescheduling the return).

I'm not sure which is better, a one-way or round trip. Considering that i'm leaving nearly a year after I get there, a round-trip ticket shouldn't be any cheaper than two one-way tickets. Invariably there are fees to move around the return date, which will probably be similar to the higher cost from inflation/devalued currency. Either way, I'm going to be out a lot of money.

Right now i'm considering 3 options: JTB (Japan Traveler's Bureau) is a gigantic Japanese travel agency which mainly does business in Japan (http://www.jtbusa.com/enhome/s-chi1.asp). They have some good deals, but I'm unsure about their level of flexibility. I'm pretty sure I'm not eligible for a rail pass, either :(

Second option is Orbitz, Travelocity, or something like that. Prices are generally more expensive than a travel agent. Third choice is STA Travel, which I've heard has reasonable rates and easy rescheduling.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Computer Science Awards Banquet

Last night was the annual awards banquet, wherein money is doled out from Corporate Sponsors to undergraduates. They also announce other awards and so on, and this year they even had entertainment. Some guy did a hilarious stage act of Thomas Edison, and helped to give out awards.

This year, I actually got a scholarship! Well I did last year too, but it was not announced at the ceremony. My sincere thanks to FactSet Inc. for a $1000 scholarship. Although, I have my doubts whether or not I'd ever want to work there. They do mostly concurrent programming in C++, which sends shivers of pain down my back.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Undergraduate Research and Poster Symposium

A week ago, I presented a poster at the Undergraduate Research and Poster Symposium 2008 (link). The poster that I made (link) details some high-level ideas from the research I am involved with. I spent a great deal of time working on it, and learned a lot of about the direction of my project. And naturally, learned how to use Adobe InDesign pretty well :)

Perhaps in the future I will post some more discussion of the poster material, but for now I am too busy for such a writing.