I'm deciding where to go to grad school, right, and where to spend the next 5-6 years of my life. It's a tough choice with a lot of factors. Our slow sequential rational minds are not great at processing these huge multi-dimensional choices, but luckily we've got these built-in hacks called "emotions". They're capable of doing massive processing, but they're tricky! For example, the weather has a big impact on which school you attend. Also, I like feeling accepted by people I respect. So I've got to understand what my emotions are telling me and then decide which ones to listen to.
Here's what I'm thinking:
Here's what I'm thinking:
wearable computingcontextual computing lab (and neighboring BCI lab). When I heard about magic piano gloves, I was ready to sign on the dotted line right there.
- The other students visiting along with me had mostly done something else before coming back to grad school. Of course I'm biased, but I think that's a good sign.
- Atlanta's cooler than I expected.
- The "Aikido problem": if I decide to try some new thing (say, Aikido), will there be a studio nearby? If it's driving distance, I won't stick with it. I want an atmosphere where growth is not only possible but actively enabled; does Atlanta have that?
- I feel like family already.
- They are so tight with Microsoft Research, Intel, Google, and y'know other companies too.
- I met a lot of fervent supporters. People who, if you asked them to rate their time at UW on a 1-5, would say 5.
- And I had a couple of think-really-big conversations. Students and profs interested in big important work, not just publishing papers. I think their heads are on straight.
- I'm not really looking forward to going back to Seattle, oddly, and I'm not sure why. The rain or something? The homogeneous Stuff-White-People-Like-ness?
U of Toronto
- The prof I'd work with seems very sharp, enthusiastic, flexible, and interested in growing his lab.
- Toronto is an amazing city. I like it so much. And U of T is right downtown.
- HCI is not such a focus there as it is at CMU, GA Tech, and UW. (doesn't mean there's not cool stuff going on. but CMU/GA Tech have whole schools for HCI, and UW has a big group.)
- I met a couple of folks who might rate their time there as a 2.
- There's a whole school dedicated to HCI; the class mix is different than I'd get elsewhere (for better or worse).
- I have a few friends in Pittsburgh. Plus, Pittsburgh is cool and cheap.
- I'd feel a little weird being back at CMU, too, and I'm not sure why.
To be continued!