So it was around this day last year that I joined up with the rest of the SRG to start on the merry road to this thing we call a PhD. It’s been a great year; in many ways, it was the fifth year of college that I so desired when my four years were up last September. I’ve bashed out two papers, done some travelling, worked with Intel briefly, and become ensconced with a terrific band of smart, interesting people. And a few goons.

It took a lot of prodding and empty promises, but our two new arrivals this year mark the culmination of Marko’s plan to get all the old gang together into postgraduate studies.

My research area is pretty well defined, and can be summed up as “The visualisation of autonomic systems.” As part of our year one requirements we all had to write up our hypotheses and plan for the future, which I feel is pretty solid, though doubtless will change drastically. Autonomics as a field is fairly young, the term having only been coined by IBM in 1990s and still being ill-defined. So there’s plenty of stuff that could be done.

My biggest weakness at the moment is that I have struggled somewhat into getting into the mode of paper reading. As I was trying to explain to Aaron earlier this week, it has taken me a long time to attune to the paper-reading process. So used am I to getting the latest techniques daily through weblogs in four paragraph bursts, that facing into a ten page — possibly very boring — academic paper has been a challenge, and the main thing I aim to fix in the next few months.

You better learn it fast; you better learn it young,
'Cause, "someday" never comes.