Friday, April 9, 2010

Things I heard from my PI

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My PI tells stories that and go on and on and on and on, which could be really informative and entertaining. A post-doc's helpful suggestion is that whenever I have crucial things to discuss, make a written list and check off during meeting. Else tangents galore!

(1) Back in his grad student days, he was running a wafer process in the fab. A technician apparently turned off the vacuum pump when my PI was not tending to his wafers, and... silane gas everywhere and everyone was evacuated... If not for the quick fixes (pumping nitrogen gas and turning off the toxic gasses), the whole fab might have exploded. There were actual flash fires.

(2) Sandia National Lab currently enjoys a cornucopia of resources. My PI wants to "visit there and absorb the aura" of disposable funding... He has a recent grad who works in the Albuquerque branch, and 3 months into the job she's already dropping by for pointers on applying to faculty positions...

(3) Faculty job slots at 2nd-3rd tier universities are going down. UC schools are getting more consolidated -- Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD, UCSF, UCSB are getting most of the resources, and the current governor is... not qualified to be a governor.

(4) An enterprising recent PhD grad was thinking of making an RPG to learn about circuits. This is pretty much like what I was thinking about with quantum mechanics! Maybe I could try starting companies. :-P Apparently another student in my group attended the one-month summer entrepreneurship program that I was thinking about going.

My current advisor is on the same caliber as my former advisor in I.O.N, but my former advisor has a (really efficient) secretary and my current advisor does not have any. I blame the stupid funding situation. Although whether my current PI wants a secretary is another question...

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