On Christ, Anxiety, and Waiting (in Academia)

More than most of us are willing to admit, the life of an academic and scientist consists of much waiting.

Some do this better than others; I am not, by nature, one of them.

Many times I have been weighted down by the anxiety of waiting: for graduate school acceptance letters, for getting a grant for my research, and for graduate research fellowship funding, etc.

It is now the season of waiting to hearing from graduate schools (the tail end of that), fellowship applications, job search for new graduates, etc. It is lent, too, though I am not of the Catholic tradition.

The following is probably the most personal post I have attempted. I will share how the Holy Spirit ministers to me through the Bible in hopes that it would help minister to you in such seasons. Especially for those of you whom Jesus has called to be a missionary in the scientific fields–the prevalence of Christians in these fields could probably qualify them as unreached people groups! (Perhaps with the exception of physics and mathematics by reputation? But I have no stats, and it is neither here or there.)

These are not trite statements, but came both from seasons of waiting that turned out to be “successful” and “unsuccessful.” Amazing that the Spirit gave me the same comfort prior to both. Humbling too, that He has to do this repeatedly for me [chuckle]. I am the “chief of sinners” and still learning this, repeatedly.

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ALIVE featured in “I Love UCLA” video contest entry!

Directed by Andrew Butte, this is an entry for UCLA Fund’s 4th video contest “I Love UCLA.”

@ about 30s in, Daniel Lin, our Undergraduate Project Leader was in the video greeting the view-point character, then the latter explored our UnderSea Campus 😀

Fun stuff.

Odds Are: On the difference between odds, probability, and risk ratio.

Odds, Probability, Chance, Risks: Interchangeable?
Not so much.

What does it mean to say “smokers are X times more likely to get lung cancer than non-smokers?” What about
when the weather channel says, “there is a 10% chance of rain?” The odds of 1 to 10 of winning?

These words are often used in casual conversations as somewhat interchangeable, and can be rather confusing. I remember being very excited to learn about them for the first time, so hopefully you will find this as interesting (or at least as clarifying!) as I did!

A little test!


In which of the following scenario are you most likely to find dessert happiness? Which ones are saying the same thing?

A. The odds against you eating a cupcake are 1 to 5.

B. Your odds of/on eating a cupcake are 1 to 5.

C. The probability of you eating a cupcake is 20%.

D. You have a 20% chance of eating a cupcake.

Answers, in short: A is the most likely-for-cupcake scenario, and C and D are saying the same thing.

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Participants Needed: Avatar Learning in Virtual Environments (ALIVE)

This study has concluded as of Winter 2015.

General information for prospective participants



$10/hour, Minimum $50. Paid on Day 18 in Cash.

Up to 5 Psychology SONA credits.
If participation exceeds 6 hours, the remainder will be paid in cash as described above.

You may opt to receive a combination of cash and credit for your participation.
e.g. I f you only need 2 SONA credits, you can get the two credits and $30 in cash.

Please inform your researcher of your compensation preference during scheduling.

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Niccotron: to host ALIVE’s OpenSim server!

Nicco put together this machine while I served as his package opener.

It is so pretty… and awesome.

Oculus Rift + OpenSim = I love my job!

Guess who is gonna have a jolly good time? (Or get incredibly sick)….


Thank you, David Rowe, the one-man team in CtrlAlt Studio that created the first and best (and only!) Rift-compatible OpenSim Viewer!

Dr. Jesse Rissman receives DARPA Young Faculty Award!

Proud to congratulate my mentor, Dr. Jesse Rissman for receiving DARPA Young Faculty Award!

This grant funds our virtual reality project, ALIVE (Avatar Learning In Virtual Environment).


Article on UCLA Toda

Dr. Jesse Rissman receiving DARPA YFA from Dr. William Casebeer

Jesse receiving DARPA YFA from Dr. William Casebeer