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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The End of The Semester Is Nigh

Only four or five student project to grade and then I'm done, done, done. All in all, I'd give myself a C+ for the semester. It wasn't great, since I was teaching two new classes, and one was pretty effort intensive. But I got through the material, and even did a little research. First semesters at new schools are always much, much more difficult than you'd think.

I'm looking forward to the break so I can spend more time on research - I realized that I'm not doing nearly as much as I should be. In fact, I think I'll go back to logging my time and my output (i.e. how much time spend each day with fingers to keyboard and how many pages of product). The times I did that last year were among the most productive I've had in recent vintage. And I'll post my results here weekly in the spirit of transparency (and maybe get some of you to do likewise).

For the Finance & Accounting academics among you: yesterday, I finally figured out how to use SAS to remote access the Wharton Research Data System (WRDS) databases we have access to. For years, I'd done it the "old fashioned" way - used the WRDS web interface to download the data and then massage it locally using SAS. I finally bit the bullet and worked through the system documentation - it was surprisingly easy. Now I can do all the work on the Wharton system and use their resources to massage the data and merely download the finished product. Unfortunately, I lost track of time until Unknown Wife called me at 6:30 (oops).

This should help since some of the things I'm working on are real memory hogs. They should execute much faster using the servers at Wharton than they do on my relatively dinky system --it'll be nice to use up Wharton's resources instead of mine.

Today it's time for Christmas shopping and grading those last few projects.

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