eyeoftomoe (eyeoftomoe) wrote,

Complex Systems School

Well, it's looking more and more likely that this thing might actually happen. The story is, right toward the end of finals, Prof. Livingston forwarded me this e-mail for "an intensive four-week introduction to complex behavior in mathematical, physical, living, and social systems for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the sciences and social sciences." Underline "graduate students and postdocs", but he thought I might have a chance anyway. Of course, I need to consult with my parents first, and of course, we immediately fly down to California for a week where I'm pretty much cut off from internet access.

Now, these people have no idea who I am, whereas Livingston might actually have some pull, so when I get back, I e-mail him asking if he'd ask *them* about the possibility of me getting in. Simultaneously--because, after all, the application is due at the end of January--I ask him and my URSI fellow from last summer, Heather Johnston of Math, to write me letters of recommendation. Well, yesterday Livingston e-mailed me something containing the words, "Yes, we will consider an application from an advanced undergraduate," and today I got a response from Heather. So now, all that's left is to write myself a resume and a short essay. I think that as soon as school starts, I'll be heading down to Career Development for some assistance.

The coolest part is that I can apply for either (or both, if I don't care) the session in Santa Fe, which would be the safe option, or in Beijing, which would probably be much more of an Experience. In the latter case, I know that everything at the summer school would be in English, but I'd probably need to learn some survival Chinese anyway, which is a little intimidating. What are the chances of Vassar paying for me to go there, anyway? (Room and board and tuition would be paid for by the program, by some financial miracle the details of which do not concern me.) Details here.

And the downside, as Livingston noted, is that I wouldn't be around for URSI. Still, this is such a cool opportunity that I'd be criminally negligent not to try to take advantage of it.
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