Five Engineers in an Apartment

Hello World!

My internship at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories has come to an end! It was a wonderful eleven weeks full of programming and talking to government workers. I left a small easter egg in my code. I won’t reveal exactly what I did, except to say that I am not the biggest fan of the leader of the Department of Energy, Rick Perry. The easter egg is not in the main codebase that runs the laser, because that would quickly be noticed and removed, and if it somehow went unnoticed it would undoubtably result in disaster. Instead, it was in my python code that generates HTML pages that describe the JAR file dependencies. This code will only be used by a few developers, and nobody will be in danger if it breaks. It uses a python random function to determine if it shows up. This means that the python code determines a random number, which I set to be anywhere between one and one thousand. If that random number equals two (I set it to be two but it could be any number) it triggers the easter egg. It’s completely harmless, but should be funny! And if you work at the lab and are reading this, feel free to check out the python code, the code that creates the easter egg is intentionally extremely easy to find so it can be deleted if it gets in the way.

I was technically supposed to stay another week, but after spending a weekend up at the apartment in Davis, I decided I really wanted to spend a week up there before classes started. So I guess I’m taking a week off, which I haven’t done for quite a while! I’ll be missing a week’s pay, but Future Mira is paying me pretty well so I think I’ll be alright.

drone

Since Cloudshare, the company I’m applying to, only has 30 employees, I spoke with the CEO about getting a job for next summer. Not only is he willing to give me a job, he offered to set me up with other CEOs in Israel working on different startups! He looked at my resume and noticed that I seemed more interested in aerospace and robotics than cloud computing, which is true. He said that he would be happy to set me up with another company! At first I was worried that he would be offended, but then I realized that it would probably be good networking for him to give a fellow CEO an intern, so I accepted his offer. He said he knew a startup that made drones, and at first I was very alarmed. Working at LLNL was weird enough because it sometimes worked closely with the military, there’s no way I’m going to work for a military drone company! But then he clarified that the drones would be used by firefighters. So I told him that I would be delighted to work for the drone company, and if that didn’t work, I would also love to work for Cloudshare. After talking with the drone company CTO, he said it would be pretty unlikely that they would need an intern, so he’s looking for other places now. I’ll be getting paid a good amount more that I was this year, and there’s a chance that they might cover my flights!

bag

At first, I was worried that since my dad is an Israeli citizen, I’d be an Israeli citizen too, and since I’m a healthy nineteen year old I’d be drafted! But thankfully, I’m not a full Israeli citizenship until I do some paperwork. I have the equivalent of a social security number, but I’m not in danger of getting drafted.

As president of the Hyperloop team, I have been receiving resumes, which is completely bizarre. I just created mine a year ago, and now I’m receiving them? One thing I noticed that was interesting is that all the international students had very odd resumes there were two to three pages, much more descriptive, and sometimes would even list classes they had taken! Then when I was applying to my Israeli internship I was told that my resume was a bit too short. So I guess non-American resumes are very different! I imagine that there are differences between resumes in every country, but since my experience is limited I can only differentiate between American and non-American.

campground

One of the few things that I miss about my pre-engineering life is the amount I used to spend outdoors. I grew up in an area with wonderful parks nearby so I got to go on hikes all the time, and while I love programming, I’m living what my friend Kevin calls an ‘Otaku lifestyle’ which isn’t all that great in the long term. So it was certainly a nice change of pace to go home for my younger sister’s 12th birthday! We went cabin-camping, which is a lot like camping only it’s easier to take a bunch of 12 year olds on a camping trip when you’re sleeping in cabins rather than tents.

I said in my first post that I wouldn’t go too much into detail about my social life, so I’m not going talk much about what it’s like for five engineers to settle into one very small apartment. I will say a few things however. Our apartment is kind of like a parody of what an engineering apartment should be like. We have nerf guns on the walls, posters that a friend of ours painted for a D&D campaign, two self-assembled desktop PCs, 5G wifi, and a five string bass. On the first day of all five of us being in the apartment, we played a six hour long game of Axis and Allies. The geekiness is palpable here — it’s honestly the place I’ve wished I lived my entire life.

kobe
kobe
kobe
kobe
shelf
My roommate and I did some pretty useless but awesome engineering to our room! Well actually it was mostly her, because despite the fact that I’m a skilled computer engineer, I’m pretty terrible at physical engineering. It’s actually a joke among my friends that I break anything that isn’t a computer , which is kind of true. So she made us both rock walls to get to our beds, which will be much less effective but more awesome than the ladders they originally came with!
shelf
Also I created my own shelf out of a sawed off piece of wood with an indentation so my phone cord could go through it and attached it to my bed. My first feat of mechanical engineering!
gem5

I’ve also got my research gig with Professor Lowe-Power set up! I’m working on a project called gem5, which is essentially a simulator of how computers work on a low level. I’m also going to end up getting my name on a paper, which would be awesome when applying to graduate school! And only for one quarter of work, so next quarter I’ll be able to work for another professor! It’s highly unlikely that they’ll have the same deal though, so in the future I’ll likely have to work harder to get my name on papers. Unfortunately since I’m an undergrad, I’ll be one of the last authors, but I’m only a sophomore so it’s not a huge deal. In my conversation with the professor, I did not get a chance to comment on the fact that his last name is perfect for the field he had entered, but I’ll definitely bring it up some other time.

mezzuzah

Also, in case anybody reading this is a friend of my parents: we have a mezuzah! My roommate is jewish so we got one for our room, and you don’t need to worry about me not having a Jewish room. The front door doesn’t have one because not all my housemates are Jewish, but I think that’s okay.

Anywhoo, not much happened this week because I was taking a week off. Honestly I think I’m kind of bad at taking weeks off. I badly needed it, but having free time makes me kind of anxious. I get bored very easily. But thankfully hyperloop, cybersecurity club, space and satellite society, and my internship are all gearing up, school starts on Wednesday. So this will be my last week off for a while!

May you be ever victorious in your future endeavors!
M.E.W