Sunday, December 12, 2010


I frowned at the screen and muttered under my breath as I zoomed and windowed and scowled.

"It's so noisy," I murmured and a colleague walked over to stare over my shoulder. He nodded when I glanced back at him. "Poor algorithm can't make sense of it," I said sympathetically, tentatively adjusting some parameters and shaking my head at the persistent failure.

"Wow," I murmured a moment later, having opened a different program and running the same data through a prototype version of processing. And the results appeared as if by magic - not a single speck of failure to be found.

"How'd you fix it?" my colleague asked, swiveling in his chair across the lab.

"I didn't," I replied with a shrug. "But this new algorithm implements some normalization step. So it seems to be understanding the noise and canceling it out - making sense out of chaos via complicated math!" Unreasonably proud of the code, I beamed at the screen and patted the side of the monitor affectionately. "I wonder if it's right," I mused, slightly skeptical of the beautiful results in contrast with the previous crap.

In other news, I feel better.

I have rearranged my calendar through sheer force of will. I have slept and worked and curled up and watched the snow. I answered those questions that seemed impossibly hard. Wrote and reviewed documents. Thought through some personal issues. Tried to figure out what I want and where I'm going and how to embrace the imperfection and relax.

I've normalized. And hope to stick with this new algorithm.


Psycgirl said...

Katie, I really admire that you now work to take the time to look after yourself when you're not feeling well and your mood takes a dip. I wish I could figure out how to do that with less guilt when I need to!

Conceptionally Challenged said...

Normalized sounds good. I hope you keep feeling better.

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