Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy New Year 2014

It has been 6 months since my last post and this shows how "busy" I was.

First of all, in July I was accepted into the Telejob group of AVETH and have been working in the IT team to support the job platform and Telejob website. Even though I am working as a researcher in Physics and aiming to continue in the academia, there is no harm to learn about the working environment of somebody outside of academia. The Telejob is like a small private business where everybody is coming from different background hoping to learn from each other on how to manage a business. This is certainly very beneficial for PhD students who are working most of the time in a small group and highly specific topics, to extend their social network and horizon. I have also learnt a lot from the IT team about PHP framework Symfony, JavaScript and also managing database using mysql. I am enjoying the work!

After spending a weekends with my high school friends in Venice, I was spending most of the time attending seminar, conference and workshops, from ETH to Linz in Austria and PSI. It was for the first time that I have presented something about my main project "Phase space compression of positive muon beam". I was quite nervous at the beginning, but managed to explain smoothly after several practices and discussions with other physicists.

After resting for several months, the season of Badminton is finally coming back again. The Swiss Badminton League is usually being played from September to the March of next year. Since last year my team was at the bottom of the table in League 3, this year we are demoted to League 4 and our target is to top the table and go back to League 3 again. Since I have stopped playing every week for quite some time, my first league game was quite rusty but somehow managed to score 2 wins in men singles and men doubles. And currently I am ranked high C3 after beating two C2 guys in December 2013 and January in 2014. B3 is my target this year and hopefully I am able to reach it.

In September when the semester starts, I have signed up for a course named Space geodesy. It was all about mapping the physical quantities of the Earth, such as gravity field, drift of the continents, etc. At the beginning I thought it was only about the GPS, but as the course going on, there were much more interesting stuffs being taught: different types of tides, different ways of measuring distance, orbits of the satellites, etc. It was really an eye opening class for me and I believe it will be of future use for me in my career.

We were happy to have friends visiting again in October, where we visited Rapperswil (3rd time!) by ship and Titlis for the first time. The lake view from ship was nice as usually, and the Titlis mountain was great as everywhere was covered with snow. We had Raclette party one night, and another dinner at the famous Zeughauskeller to show them some typical swiss foods.

In November I have attended an interesting workshop "2nd International Workshop on Antimatter and Gravity". It was held at the University of Bern which is just next to the train station, and I get to know many physicists who I have seen only their names before. The faces didn't match the names most of the time though.  I wasn't giving the talk but I have prepared the talk together with my boss so it was great to receive some feedback regarding it in preparing for my thesis defense. Since I am quite new to this field, it was quite a good chance for me to have a glance of whole field.

December was quite an eventful month for me as I have attended KIZUNA meeting for past Japan scholars to share experience and to exchange information, Annual meeting and dinner for Institute for Particle Physics, visited Google Zurich for the first time hosted by a Malaysian friend working there, Christmas dinner organized by AVETH and Telejob (plus year end bonus!), Telejob retreat to Mulhouse, France, and of course year end trip to Italy (Rome, Florence and Pisa) with my dearest one.

Oh, and not forget to mentioned about the new year eve party held at my flat with my student gang in Zurich plus their friends. The foods were great, the games were fun and the people were nice!

A few days after the new year came my first Ski in Switzerland in Sattel, and I managed to recall what I have learnt last time at Nagano in Japan during the ICEPP symposium 2010. Hopefully there will be more snows this year and I can ski until May to minimize the cost/use. :)