Harsh’s June 26th Blog

I woke up today in the midst of a battle. A battle that has been ongoing throughout SSP. A battle against my alarm. It persistently started going off around 8 AM, and I persistently tried to zone it out and go back to sleep. I lost the battle. I grudgingly got out of bed, freshened up and took a shower. When I finished, it was already 8:50 so I quickly grabbed a bar (that has unfortunately been my breakfast for the past couple of days) and headed to Philips for the first lecture of the day. 

The morning lecture continued our exploration of the orbital determination (OD) method. We focused on one parameter in particular: the mean anomaly. I really like the OD lectures because they are about things that I’ve never learned before; some of the previous physics and astronomy lectures were mostly review for me so they were a bit boring. The OD, lectures, however, are entirely new content for me so they challenge me a lot, which I really enjoy. I especially like the OD psets because they guide us into deriving all the equations we need; instead of just memorizing all the equations, we are able to understand where they come from. 

OD code!

After the first lecture, some friends and I went to Chase for lunch. The food was quite a bit better than normal which was nice. Today is also my dad’s birthday, and luckily I had time after lunch to call my family and wish my dad happy birthday! 

Had some yummy cake to celebrate my Dad’s birthday!

The second lecture was about LaTeX and Overleaf, which I was already somewhat familiar with. The lecture itself was quite short and we spent most of our time doing a LaTeX activity. It was a good refresher since it had been a while since I had actually used LaTeX. I spent the majority of that lecture working on psets and the OD code and I was able to finish all the upcoming assignments, which was a big relief.


Walking to Philips

Today was the most free time I’ve ever had so far at SSP; I basically had no work to do after dinner. It was nice, of course, but also felt really weird! I spent most of my time helping other people and also put in quite a bit of effort into today’s QOD, which I thought was very unique. Throughout the day, I also played spikeball and engaged in a lot of small talk with other SSPers, as usual. In the night, I had additional time to binge-watch some Netflix.  Overall, today was a pretty solid day. Maybe I’ll win the battle tomorrow morning. Not sure if that’ll be a good thing though 😛 

About Me

Hi! My name is Harsh, and I’m from Cary, North Carolina. I’ve been passionate about astrophysics ever since I was a child so I’m really grateful to have the opportunity to participate in a program as immersive and rigorous as SSP. I love participating in competitions like Science Bowl and Science Olympiad, and in my free time, you can find me playing soccer, playing the piano, reading, and/or watching movies and TV shows.