No Math Camp for this PhD & Windy Wellie for the Peregrinating Soul

A big disappointment made its way into my inbox this week… apparently the math camp for my future PhD programme is scheduled for the 2 weeks before I have planned to arrive in the US. This means that I would have to both re-arrange my travel plans and find somewhere to couch surf for 2 weeks if I was going to attend. As neither of these seems realistic (I have places to be! People to see! There’s not many folks as busy as me! [note: I am kidding, just felt the need to Dr. Zeus it up]), it looks like I will have to miss this otherwise excellent opportunity to bond with my cohort.

In other news:

WHEN IN WELLINGTON – Academic Progress Clunks its way through the NZ capital

(1) Visit the Te Papa Museum – The museum is large, free, and fun. Oh, and did I mention it’s free? For the struggling graduate students out there, this is a cool way to soak up a wide range of NZ culture without breaking the bank.

(2) “Hike” the Southern Walk from Newtown to Oriental Parade – You can make a nice 10km loop walk if you follow Oriental Parade along the bay to Taranaki St. and then make your way back to Newtown. A good mix of urban & urban park with lots of stunning 360degree vistas.


(2.5) Mount Victoria – While you are doing the Southern Walk, take a detour and head up to the Mount Victoria lookout point and spend some time in the sun (if you are lucky enough to be in Wellington on a sunny day). Bring a snack and enjoy the birds eye view of the city. Note: if you are feeling a bit nerdy, there are quite a few cool posters up on the lookout that tell you about the history of Wellington as a settlement including its later development into the island nation’s capital.

(3) Cuba Street – Reminds me quite a bit of Vancouver’s Main and Commercial shopping districts (with a bit of Gastown mixed in) only on a smaller scale. Lots of cool “op shops” where you can stock up on trendy “gently used” duds and coffee available at regular intervals.

(4) Wellington Film Society – I mentioned the Film Society in an earlier (admittedly rambling) post but I should reiterate that this was a great way to enjoy a bit of Wellington culture whilst blending in with the local crowd. If you are going to be around Wellington for a year, buy a membership and make the 6:15pm Monday showings at the Paramount Theatre a regular event.


2 responses to “No Math Camp for this PhD & Windy Wellie for the Peregrinating Soul

  1. I’d honestly never heard of math camp for political scientists before. This is at odds with the poli sci grad students I’ve met at UM who are actively hostile to math and numbers. Looking at the syllabi for the Duke and Columbia equivalent, it seems like poli sci math camp is eminently more useful that econ math camp: it tops out at probability theory, linear algebra, and constrained optimization, things you might actually *use*. I wasted far too much time and stress before my first year trying to prove arbitrary theorems and have never used those skills since.

    • Yup. As hard as it is to believe, some of us poli sci people do actually have to do quasi-scientific research to which we apply quasi-scientific methods of analysis. I’m not talking bioinformatics here, but you get the gist.

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