So better late than never. This year I will be working on the SPARCS @ CCMMS project, the CS Principles project, and leading the STARS program with Robinson. This is my 5th year on the SPARCS project and I'm excited for some of the new activities we'r rolling out, like Kodu and TouchDevelop. I'm also trying to coordinate lab tours for the students involved so they can come to campus and see the latest and greatest in cutting edge computer science research. While I spent my 1.5 years at Charlotte, lab tours happened almost once a week. I was able to plug my outreach kids into these tours, and they absolutely loved it. For some of those students it was their first time they or their parents have been on a college campus, which is incredible.
My other non-STARS projects this semester include designing a Lebanese immigration game for the museum of natural history, consulting high school students at Shaw University on making a CSI game, and continuing my hunt for a focused research topic.
As far as goals go, my big one is to figure out what I want to focus my research on. I've been assisting on a variety of research projects and have reached the point in my grad career where, I should be honing in on one thing. My other goals this semester include writing at least 1 conference paper, working out ~10 days a month, and leading a successful STARS team. Additionally, I want to avoid the need to pull an all-nighter, and still maintain my time management skills.
My expectations for the upcoming year are that I will inevitably commit to more projects than I can mange. I will therefore expect to "voluntell" more people for tasks they are currently unaware of, these people will consequently learn the meaning of "voluntell." I also expect that somehow I will be able to help someone in a seemingly arbitrary manner, but that it will have a large impact on them.
As far as milestones go, this spring I am scheduled to take my qualifying exam for graduate school. Next month will also be my first trip to the NSF building. Milestones that occurred recently were my first trip to the West Coast, and the first time I EVER made a sandwich containing meat on bread (& yes it was for someone else).
Something cool I did this summer, was teach 120+ people ages 11 to 87 how to make an application for the Windows 7 phone using touch develop (~40 minors, ~20 high school teachers, ~60 STARS Celebration attendees).