I concluded that my aging laptop would not remotely suffice for my internship, purchased a brand-new one, and through a coup d'etat, replaced Windows 8 with Ubuntu. Diving head-first into UNIX has been like ripping off a bandage: painful in the short term, but a relief in the long term. Furthermore, in my quest to find the perfect hardware last weekend, I wound up walking around Albuquerque in a continuous eighteen-hour trek. But what an adventure!
As soon as I'm able to tunnel into the physics department's computer and solve "some" configuration issues, progress should arrive. Because I model, no data or instruments are required; I rely on FEniCS and ParaView to solve differential equations by finite-element methods and plot the evolution of a theoretical geodynamic system. These software packages are universal among the theorists, particularly at Brown and Columbia. Other students and I also toy around with GMT, for example, in group meetings, and a seminar later this month involves extensive PyLith usage.
One more point on my last blog entry: in order to study seismic anisotropy, we often use SKS phase waves reflected off the core-mantle boundary. How come? At the boundary, compressional waves convert into shear waves. We know the initial polarization of these waves, so given the final polarization of the split shear wave, we can speculate on the anisotropy of the material through which the wave passed.
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