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Meet Vermeer Online – where would Modern Museum go?

Digital reproduction from Mauritshuis (Netherlands)

Yesterday was the day  – Google launched its first virtual museum in its Arts and Culture section that gathered all the well-known paintings from Vermeer. If you are not familiar with the name, I guess ‘ Girl with a Pearl Earring‘ might ring a bell. Scattered in multiple museums around the world, those paintings might never be able to unite in one hall physically, making the tour to all Vermeer’s work in exhibition not that easy. Google used its Art Camera to take high-resolution pictures of them, arranged them as if they are exhibited in a gallery, and now you can click the button and appreciate the beauty of those masterpieces altogether. For a better experience, put your VR glasses on and it is 3D! (more…)

Report is due, but don’t panic!

Credit to: Calvin and Hobbes (Scientific Setbacks)

As graduate students, we are often assigned teaching jobs, most commonly lab and course TAs. I really enjoyed my time with students when we did lab work together (I’m a lab TA), and we chitchatted about life, study, weather, or  future. My colleagues have various working styles, but in general we are a bunch of cooperative ants focusing on our tasks. On the other hand, grading several dozens of lab reports is the most painful moment at the end of every experiment cycle – we are sad to see people forgetting what we emphasized during the experiment, not double-checking the formatting, giving us blah-blahs without even reading the background information… (more…)

What Stuck With Me This Month

  1.  “No information is useless information.” – Alex Trebek, on a recent episode of Jeopardy

People tend to say “the more you know” with a sarcastic intonation. 

But EVERYTHING YOU LEARN can be pertinent, as long as you know how to apply it.

You also never know what might come up in a conversation, and contributing to discourse is always a plus, not to mention so satisfying.

So next time you find yourself learning about something that has absolutely nothing to do with any of your current classes or your intended career path…

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First Post Ever — TOP TIPS

  1. Take advantage of the resources here. 

McGill has endless opportunities designed specifically for you to learn new things and meet new people. I can vouch for the fact that there is literally something for every single person sitting in Leacock 132, so be sure to soak up all the benefits you could from your undergrad/graduate experience. Because, as cliche as it may sound, before you know it, it will be too late.

  1. Office hours. Never. A waste. Of time.

Whether it be with your professor or your TA, you will ALWAYS learn something useful… Even if it means learning that emailing might be the better option for next time.

  1. #SELFCARE

The single most important thing you could do for yourself, because only once you are in a healthy mental and physical state, can you perform your very best and go on to helping others. 

  1. Attendance

A direct determinant of your grade.

(Okay this was a controversial one, I know)

Now I suck at math, but here is a formula based on my personal experience:

f (attendance) = grade

  1. Find what works best for you.

EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT, to each their own. That being the case, college is also about learning who you are and how you function as a person — from learning how you study best, and what teaching styles and methods of evaluation (if applicable) work for you, all the way to learning how to dig up your real priority at a given moment. Sounds a little tricky eh?

*Number 5 is only possible through this thing we call experience, so don’t get discouraged and just keep going, but more significantly, remember to LEARN as you go ❤

~xoxo~

So, About Volunteering…

Have you been adamant about volunteering throughout your academic career? Have you been told that volunteer work is extremely important for building your resume? I’ve definitely heard this before, and I’ve been hearing about it since high school. But I have to admit— I’m a little late to jump onto the volunteering wagon. And it isn’t all my fault. Let me tell you why…

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Machine Learning: More Inspiration from the Modern Technology

Source: George Seif (Towards Data Science)

Since last year, I have heard of ‘Machine Learning’ for so many times that I become very curious about what it is. Montreal has become a hub of Machine Learning thanks to talented scientists in this city. For me, it is both exciting and mysterious to witness the birth and development of Siri and Google Home, and to benefit from search engines on a daily basis. Although the ads on Facebook become sometimes annoying, I have to admit that the automatic playlist on YouTube is quite convenient. (more…)

Graduate life – Take the advantage of academic seminars

Resource: Vanderbilt University website

First of all, Happy Halloween! I hope you are enjoying a wonderful (although rainy) day of pumpkin spices, costumes and fun with friends. Today, I would also like to talk about how to make the most out of academic seminars.

I believe that each department has their own schedule of academic seminars and talks. Here I just use Department of Chemistry as an example. Each Tuesday afternoon, one invited speaker (usually professors) gives an 1-hour talk on their research. As everyone can imagine, the research themes cover the whole spectrum of chemistry – inorganic, synthetic, biological, medicinal, etc.

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Some More Advice

One year ago, I started writing on this blog with an advice post outlining seven tips to succeed in your first year of university. They were specifically aimed at first year students and were meant to come in addition to the many pieces of advice students already receive before starting college. To wrap up this past year of blog posts, I wanted to present some more advice in the form of seven more tips – some new things I’ve learned along the way and some life reminders, especially to those who will be heading out at the end of the academic year.

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Book Review: Mind Gym, Part 2

In this post, I am going to cover how different concepts from Mind Gym[1] can be applied by students. You may be familiar with some of them from other ‘self-help’ type books, from workshops on time or stress and anxiety management, or already use them without giving them names. I am going to give overviews of the power of positive thinking, motivation and fear of failure, and SMART goals. All of these contribute to getting ‘in the zone’ and succeed at everyday tasks or activities. (more…)

Dealing with Distractions

Getting down to work and staying focused when you’re studying can be a real challenge. Of course some people are excellent at ignoring them, but many of us aren’t quite there yet. Distractions are everywhere and they can make completing assignments and reviewing for exams very difficult if you don’t have a way to block them out. Once you get distracted, it can take a very long time for you to get back to your original task and it will inevitably hinder your long-term productivity. With the willingness to change habits and a bit of self-discipline though, you can learn to better deal with these distractions and therefore work more efficiently. Here are some tips that you may find to be helpful:

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