My Todo System

I used to overcomplicate my todo system.

My todos were scattered across workflowy, email, various plain text files, a weekly planner, my white boards, and Dropbox. This doesn’t include the post it notes covering my desk, reminding me to check whichever planner, and notes to self on various topics. I would then write down my immediate todos (4 items) on a post-it-note to begin working, I would inevitably lose that post it and write another one with the same content.

My weekly planner is located on my tablet, and I would keep this open always. I’ve since begun using my tablet for project design and documentation*, and can no longer keep my todos continuously visible (which led to the aforementioned mess).

I find it is useful to have my todos to be immediately visible, this frees up my mental cache to focus on brainstorming by eliminating the need to actively keep in mind the mundanities of everyday life. Thus, without structure to organize them spatially, post it notes grew colonies and conquered my desk.

Finally, I realized that considering self-betterment an ongoing project is a productive perspective. It allows for more focus, and less guilt maintaining your physical and mental health when you could be working on a project.

With this mental freedom, I sat down and unified my todo system. I’ve finally settled upon a simple routine that works wonderfully for me.

The board is broken up into (annotated below)
0. Self improvement & documentation
1. Development of math & physics intuition
2. Low priority
3. Today (indexed 0,1,2,3 by order of planned completion — indexes adjusted throughout day)
4. Done

If I’m not at home, I email myself todos to add to the board.

*I maintain a writeup for each one of my active projects (linked to relevant files in Dropbox) in One Note. These writeups include an “in progress” tab for detailed, longer term, project specific goals.

Todos requiring temporal synchrony with another party are listed on Google Calendar (i.e., calls to professors, doctor’s appointments)

Introduction to Algebraic Structures

This post is an experiment in explaining math concepts via colorful hand-drawn diagrams.

At the recommendation of a few friends, I will likely add examples in the near future. If you find this post uninteresting/difficult to connect to ideas that you already have, I highly suggest you check out this post by MathIsFun.


Now that we’ve got that out of the way — we will delve into rings, fields, lattices, and categories.

Only then, once we’ve built your intellectual tool kit, we approach will the applications of groups in physics and biochem. Here’s a sneak peak of the introduction to lattice structures:

Semi-Autonomous Robotics: (2012) My 1st Software Project

I’m experimenting with committing past projects to github.

Over the summer (2012) at George Washington University Robotics Lab – Positronics Divison (with Roxana Leonetie as my mentor and Gregory Colella as my research partner), we wrote a package for the PR2 using ROS stacks and Python. In short, the PR2 completes a task moving a dowel into a hole (using only force proprioception) as a response to dynamic stimuli.

If you are unfamiliar with the PR2:

Greg was relatively new to Python (an experienced Java coder), and I learned to code the same summer that we completed the project (previously, I had dabbled in mainly math and physics). Bear this in mind while viewing our project.

This is an early demo I simulated in gazebo of the PR2 learning to replicate arm movements (a major part of the project).