I've been really enjoying the summertime pace of the campus. I finally have blocks of time again! During the semester, I rarely have blocks of time larger than 20 minutes without interruption, which makes working on significant writing or code nearly impossible. It's nice to be able to dig into significant problems and work on them.
Over the past few days, I've put in 15-20 hours getting the "Pipeline" working. A new faculty member in Biology arrived wanting to set up a software system to manage genomic sequence data. It's a sometime odd and eclectic system that seems like it was programmed by someone rather like me: a relative novice programmer more interested in functionality than elegance. You can see how the style of the code evolved over time as the developers changed and learned more about programming. There are some seriously weird things about system: I found 3 different functions in different parts of the code called "run_phd2fasta" and how many daemons have you seen written in PHP? I'm optimistic that we've finally resolved all of the serious bugs and will have a working system Real Soon now.
Meetings go forward on the campus response to the reorganization. Yesterday, I was part of a group that met with the chancellor. He began the meeting by saying he didn't have anything to say -- and then spoke for 45 minutes. It's been interesting to try to triangulate in on what's happening based on the perspectives of the different players involved. Tomorrow, the Faculty Senate executive committee will meet to continue moving the issue forward.
Today, the MSP board met to bring everyone up-to-date. At the same time all this is going on, we continue to negotiate next year's contract. The meeting today was encouraging that both sides are close to resolving the outstanding issues. There are several parts of the new contract that I'm particularly interested in. Unfortunately, it looks like we're being strong-armed into accepting a one-year contract, but if the contract is signed and funded on-time, it will be a first since I came to UMass.