Sunday, November 06, 2005

Riots, Cartoons and Selecting an Advisor

Here we go.

So, ideally, I'd be able to strike a compromise between tedious rehashing of current events based on a few quickly scanned articles and frightening threats from crazies on the El. Ideally, and that's what I'll try for now.

In Ryan's Life:

This week has a few important meanings for my career as a first-year graduate student. Two of those important things are tests, which only matter so much in that I'd rather not fail them. One of them is a quiz which seems somewhat less like a graduate school exam and more like an extra credit assignment in high school chemistry, memorizing the Periodic Table of the Elements, minus the f-block metals. It shouldn't be too difficult, and I'd advise you to visit that link to play with the little html toy I've been using to study for this deal. More importantly by far is Friday's ceremonial "turning in of the advisor request forms", which demands that everyone settle down on a priority list of the people they'd like to work for. In the interest of bringing you up to speed on that, and without any order other than "alphabetical", the professors that will be on my list are:

  • SonBinh T. Nguyen, who does some remarkable catalytic work and, incidentally, got his PhD at the California Institute of Technology with recent Nobel Laureate Robert Grubbs, and which consisted primarily of developing Grubbs' Catalyst (I). He's currently looking at some surface supported catalysis, and, unfortunately, has no web page detailing his research, so I can only suggest that you look up the papers if you're actually genuinely interested in what I might be trying to do over the next five years.

    Thomas O'Halloran, whose work is perhaps the most removed from my research at any point as an undergraduate. Fairly bioinorganic and I'll direct you to the page for any specifics. There are Several projects of interest here, and my only hangup about working in the O'Halloran lab is that I've never really studied in-depth the kind of chemistry that's done there.

    Karl A. Scheidt, whose work is quite the opposite of O'Halloran's in that it's the closest to what I've worked on in the past. Scheidt's chemistry involves, primarily, methodology and reaction development, though his further establishment is leading to some diversity in projects in the field of total synthesis of natural products.

    Richard Silverman, whose work is primarily in the field of what they're calling "medicinal chemistry", he's responsible for Lyrica, which Standard and Poor's investment branch estimates could make $1 billion annually, which would bring over $60 million to Northwestern University in Royalties.

In Other News:

The Boondocks starts in a little under three hours, and I for one will be tuning in. Various sources, from the New York Times (which won't let me read the article online without actually having a subscription) and Chicago reader, a hefty, hefty, hefty free paper have expressed concerns that Boondocks on television will lose its bite in an attempt to avoid being "dated", but we'll see how that works out.

Chirac has gotten around to promising to restore order in Paris after the tenth night of rioting, which spread inward to Paris' historic 3e Arrondissement. An estimated 3,300 vehicles have been burned and ten officers were wounded yesterday by shotgun fire from protesters, two of whom required hospitalization.

I'm going to go study some more Physical Organic now.


Jenna said...

Just learn that Tom Lehrer song!

Also, everyone's always ignoring the f-block metals. what's the deal with that? Give the f-block metals some love! Don't be a hater!

-Murphy said...

Actually my structural inorganic professor does a lot of work with certain f-block metals.

And some Soviet bloc metals.

Blocky bloc.


Rory said...

I knew the periodic weights to the fourth decimal place better then I knew where in the table they go. (although one could obviously derive one from the other) Thanks Doc!