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Sep. 10th, 2004

Yesterday I met with a career coach who is affiliated with Right
Management but not employed by them. (She has her own business.) We
had a talk about how a career coach might help me in my job search.
She generally felt that my introversion might be one of the things
that is making it difficult for me to get a job. That could be true
-- there are some times when in conversations, I tend to mostly
listen, and provide simple, short answers. However, I think I was
more open in my recent interviews. At today's meeting, I was feeling
low body energy, because I woke up without feeling rested and the
feeling persisted throughout the day. She also suggested that I use
the remaining meetings with coaches to practice some role-playing,
which I thought was a good idea anyway.

I don't think I'll be signing up with the coach after my program
ends. She's pretty expensive ($150/hr). Also, I still think I should
continue to spend most of my time trying to bring my skills
up-to-date.

Speaking of which, during the past couple of days I have been
reviewing transforms (z- and Laplace). There is a method that is used
to invert the transforms that requires taking derivatives and
evaluating them at certain values. Before I took the intro queueing
theory class (CS112) at UCLA, I used partial fraction expansion to get
the transforms into expressions that are more easily inverted. There
is another way to do this involving residues that I knew about from
6.003. It wasn't covered in the lectures or recitations but was used
on a videotape of a final exam review. It is also in the queueing
theory textbook, but I don't remember using it. At any rate, I had to
stop and think about how to do partial fraction expansion before doing
it. I made some mistakes in some of the problems I was working on,
but fortunately I caught them as I was checking my work. (It has
probably been at least twelve years since I've done anything like
this.)

I remember in the analysis of algorithms class (CS280A), which I took
at the same time I took CS112, the professor assigned a difference
equation problem. Because I had not learned the derivative method
yet, I used partial fraction expansion to solve it. It took a fairly
long time because it required solving a system of four equations in
four unknowns. However, I was glad that I was able to do that because
I had another way of solving the problem. We were never tested on
that, however.

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