Monday, December 24, 2012
End of the year 2012
2012 is quite a fruitful year and "luckily" the "End of the world" didn't turn out to be true. Even though there is still a year end holiday trip to Vienna and Budapest to follow, I am quite satisfied with the overall performance this year and managed to identify a few sections to be improved.
Celebrating CNY at home was very rare for me in the past few years due to the crashing dates of CNY and examinations in the Japanese universities. For the first time I went back to Penang together with my GF for CNY taking SQ. It was always happy to be back in your hometown and meeting family, relatives and friends. Visiting each other during the CNY, BBQ at high schoolmate's house, Karaoke, Futsal with old time friends, Birthday party in a hotel restaurant, and more .... all are good memories, considering I would not be going back for good in the near future.
On my flight back, we have a transit at Paris and we spent several days touring around the city. However, it was damned cold! At the moment we left Zurich, the temperature was around 5'C and we expected it to go up once we returned. Hence all the clothes with us were not so strong against the below zero temperature. Fighting with those crazy cold winds, we managed to go up the Eiffel Tower, only to find ourselves shaking like hell the moment we walk out to take some pictures. Due to the extreme cold, most of the time were being spent in the hotel room or cafes. On the last day we took TGV back to Zurich and felt relieved when we reach home! Paris, see you next time during the summer.
Perhaps the most encouraging event in terms of academic is the acceptance of my first co-authored paper by PRL. It was not the kind of breakthrough in Physics but still I felt proud of it after putting lots of effort onto it.
The most "exciting" moment of the year was the trip to QED 2012 international school at Corsica. Started with the delay of flight from Zurich to Paris CDG (well, Air France), then I missed my connection flight from Paris Orly to Ajaccio. I had to wait in the airport for 8 hours and I fall asleep for at least 3 times during the wait time. Luckily all my belongings were still with me. It was already 12 am in the night by the time I reached Ajaccio and had no choice but to take a taxi to the Institute of Scientific Research Cargese. Fortunately the arrangement was being made by the organiser and I just had to wait for the taxi driver to pick me up at the airport. There was another Hungarian woman sharing the taxi and thanked god she could speak some French and communicate with the driver. Imagine 90 mins of drive in the completely dark island roads without any conversation! Despite all these bad starts, the QED school turned out to be a great one and I managed to learn a lot and made some geek friends. And for the first time I have prepared both oral and poster presentations.
Soon after I came back from the school, I started my football training for the MSA 4 nation football competition. After weeks of exercising with a group of African football teams, I managed to contribute a bit to the 2nd place won by MSA.
I attended Swiss Physics Society Meeting this year which was held in my university, ETH. I gave a talk this time (last year at EPF Lausanne which was poster)
and it was not bad I guess. 2 months later I gave another one during the Zurich Particle Physics PhD seminar after I came back from another school at Zuoz. This was the one organised by PSI biennially, and I managed to met up my junior in Tokyo during the school. In fact he spent some days at my place and I brought him to some places in Chur and Zurich. I guessed he was quite shocked with the living cost here.
At the same time, I was busy on the EM field simulation for the beam time at MuSR, PSI. After working most of the time on COMSOL and GEANT4, finally I got to identify some mistakes in the simulations done by others last year and did some corrections to the data analysis last year as well. The beam time turned out to be successful as well as there was no serious problem during the run and the data looks okay. The analysis is still on the way but should be finalised soon.
In September, I re-visited London again to renew my passport. It was a kind of coincidence as my last trip here ended on 5th Sep (2010) and this time I arrived on 5th Sep (2012). The process of passport renewal was quite simple and the nasi lemak sold at the Embassy of Malaysia was very nice as well. This time I managed to visit some of the places that was missed last time, such as Hyde Park, Oxford Road (don't come here unless you want to have an empty pocket or wallet), and more. Also I have visited my physicist friend at Cambridge and joined a punting trip around the river.
He had given me the wrong number but somehow we managed to meet each other on the street (Penang lang faces, haha.) thanks to a time window discussed beforehand. Did a lot of shoppings and eatings (Dim sum, Rahmen, Fish n Chips, etc) Gonna come here again next year when my GF has to renew her passport. :)
This autumn marked my first participation in the Swiss Badminton League, 3th league. Even though it is quite expensive to get a license, I like the system here where they record all your played matches and even has a ranking system just like the one of Badminton World Federation. The classes are from D3 to A1 (D3,D2,D1,C3,... until A1), and you get points by beating the players ranked above you. Points gained through tournament and interclub are being calculated together. Throughout the autumn and winter, I managed to win a few matches in the tournaments but however I lost all my 8 matches (singles and doubles and mixed) so far. There are still 8 league matches next year and I need to put in more effort in my training. Even though I have joined a training course at the beginning of December, it will take some time to fully utilised what I have learnt there.
So, bye bye 2012 and hope that you are a good one, 2013!