Colin Fahey

1. Introduction

I acquired the following images of various locations around the Irvine campus of the University of California. 

2. Images

Garden at the main plaza of the campus
Administration building
UCI students pay their "Zot Bill" here. 

Some scenes in the 1973 film "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" were filmed at this location.
Administration building
Administration building
Administration building
Administration building
Student Center
Very tall trees on the "outer ring" of campus
Shade of a tree on the border of Aldrich park
A path to Aldrich park
Very tall trees on the "inner ring", in Aldrich park
Looking outward from the "inner ring" at Engineering Tower
Looking outward from the "inner ring" at Engineering Tower
Tall trees on the "inner ring"
The "inner ring" path, looking toward the main library
The "inner ring" path, looking toward Physical Sciences 2 (now known as "Frederick Reines Hall")
The "inner ring" path, looking toward Physical Sciences 2 (now known as "Frederick Reines Hall")
Trees in Aldrich park
Aldrich park trees and ground plants
Aldrich park trees and ground plants
Bench in Aldrich park, looking toward the main library
Social Science Tower, looking toward the Engineering Gateway
Social Science Tower : courtyard.
Social Science Tower, looking toward my apartment!
With X-ray vision you could see through University Tower (the spotted cube slightly to the right of the center of the image above) to my apartment in Dartmouth Court (on Stanford street).
The Sun : "A big fiery ball at the center of our Solar System... But that's not important right now!"
Engineering Gateway, the home of several engineering departments
Facility for converting students in to Soylent Green
Vents in vicinity of the Engineering Gateway building
Center for Embedded Computer Systems
Center for Embedded Computer Systems
An arch in front of the McDonnell Douglas auditorium
A Computer Science building
Engineering Tower
The annual UCI campus "Engineering Week" event (called "E-Week") has a contest called the "egg drop contest".

In the "egg drop contest" the challenge is to use a container of a specific size to enable as many eggs as possible to remain unbroken after the container is dropped from the top of the Engineering Tower building. 

One obvious design is simply a cardboard box filled with styrofoam particles, with a few eggs suspended in the middle of the volume of particles.  I'm guessing that particular design is almost optimal.  However, trying to maximize the number of eggs in the container, while ensuring sufficient cushioning, is an interesting problem. 

One year my friend Jim Chiou participated in that contest.  The top prize at the time was a new Western Digital hard drive.  When Jim's container landed on the ground, a lot of egg liquid leaked out of the container, and the students who were serving as judges in the contest assumed, incorrectly, that most of the eggs inside had broken.  The student judges discarded the container without inspecting it.  The judges eventually awarded the hard drive to someone other than Jim.  But, when Jim retrieved his container from the trash bin, he showed the judges that he had won the contest.  I was a witness.  However, it was too late.  The drive had already been given to someone else.  Anyhow, Jim can take comfort in knowing that at least one other person in the world knows that he was cheated by the system! 
More computer science and engineering buildings
Computer science buildings and Engineering Tower
Physical Sciences 2 ("Frederick Reines Hall")
Physical Sciences 2 (PS2) was renamed to "Frederick Reines Hall" some time after Frederick Reines shared the Nobel prize in physics in 1995 for his contribution in the experimental detection of the "neutrino" particle in 1959. 
I had a brief conversation with Frederick Reines (he had a surprisingly low-pitched voice).  Thus, I have had conversations with at least four Nobel prize recipients (Reines, Watson, Crick, and one other biochemist whose name I do not remember). 
Physical Sciences 2 : bronze representation of the head of Frederick Reines
In the lobby of "Frederick Reines Hall" there is a pedestal with a bronze representation of the head of Frederick Reines, including eyeglasses (without the lenses; although it would be humorous if they had (opaque) bronze lenses, too!).

This statue was installed while Dr. Reines was still alive.  Despite his age, Dr. Reines continued to work at that building, in an office on the second floor.  In fact, UCI allocated a parking space (in a nearby parking lot) specifically for Dr. Reines after he had won the Nobel prize.  (If you know anything about the scarcity of parking spaces at UCI, you realize that granting a reserved parking space is the highest honor that UCI can bestow upon anyone!) 

Here is what I think is creepy : Dr. Reines walked through the front door of that building many times during the final months of his life, and each time he walked past a bronze sculpture likeness of his own head!  Yikes!  Yes, it is not quite the same as walking by your own tombstone every day, or walking by your own awaiting open casket and grave ditch every morning and evening, but it must have been subconsciously unsettling for Dr. Reines to see, on a regular basis, what was most definitely going to become a little memorial shrine in his honor. 

Now let me share some of my irreverent humor...

I think it would have been hilarious if Dr. Reines smashed a bottle of Champagne upon the bronze statue of his head during the building rededication ceremony!  The symbolism or psychological significance of that gesture would be intriguing and inscrutable! 

The fact that Dr. Reines passed by a statue of his own head so often and so soon before his death seemed so scary and creepy to me that I was inspired to imagine a horror film based upon the idea: 
Dr. Reines (when he was alive) would be attracted to his bronze head late at night.  With an expression of pain upon his face, Dr. Reines would beg the bronze head to stop tormenting him with awful, murderous proposals.  Later, Dr. Reines would beat and bludgeon sorority girls to bloody pulps using his bronze head as a weapon.  The head would be returned to the pedestal before dawn.  However, suspicions would arise, when, during the daylight hours, people notice that the bronze head has dented eyeglasses and what looked like...dried blood! 

I guess Dr. Reines would eventually have a showdown with his bronze head, and there would be some maddening realization regarding the truth of their connection.  Dr. Reines would laugh maniacally at the horrifying truth:  "It's all neutrinos! The girls, the fever, the killing! The neutrinos! It all makes sense! Ha, ha, ha, haaaaa!"
New construction
This building looks like it would fit perfectly with PS2/FRH -- as if they were interlocking pieces of something bigger, such as a giant robot... 

Among the many alternative meanings of the acronym "UCI" is "Under Construction Indefinitely".  Although UCI has existed since 1965, the construction and progress continues at that campus. 
Biology building (Looks vaguely like a plant cell...or a robot!)
Biology building (view from Aldrich park) ("[ant] 'Eater's Cafe" is on the right side of the image. Zot! Zot! Zot!)
Science library on the "outer ring" of campus
Science library on the "outer ring" of campus (You can see people studying in there.)
Humanities Instructional Building (HIB) (You can see a reflection of me acquiring the picture.)
"Arts Bridge", near the Humanities Instructional Building (HIB)
Humanities-related building (across bridge): brickwork.
Humanities-related building (across bridge) : steps.
Track (The irrigation sprinklers are sprinkling water. There are mountains on the horizon.)
Wide view of the running track and the spectator stands. (I think high school soccer teams were competing on the field.)
University Drive
I'm pretty sure this is University Drive.  This is just beyond UCI's track and field and the new baseball field.  You can see the bike path that follows the flood channel to Upper Newport Bay, and eventually goes to the ocean (see the Newport Beach pictures for another Back Bay bike path photo).  There are mountains on the horizon. 
A flower in the rose garden near the administration building at UCI
Interesting tiny flowers near the ground
Some kind of flowers
Flowers clinging to a wall of an engineering trailer
Gravel surface on a stone trashcan

3. My UCI experience

I was a graduate student at UCI, starting in the Fall quarter of 1993, pursuing a Ph.D. in physics.  After completing all required classes, and passing the Ph.D. "qualifying exam", I decided to leave UCI in 1997, with a Master of Science (M.S.) degree. 

I was a Teaching Assistant (T.A.) during the entire time I was a student at UCI. 

I was forced to leave school for a year (1994-1995) so that I could complete the requirements for an undergraduate degree.  I had not taken an undergraduate foreign language proficiency exam before starting graduate school.  Not having an undergraduate degree was evidently against the rules of graduate school!  LOL! 

I did experimental research for two weeks.  And then my advisor, Dr. Hopster, fired me for not spending enough time actually sitting in his basement laboratory.  In that short time I studied and repaired an amplifier circuit that controlled the piezoelectric crystals in his self-made "Scanning Tunneling Electron Microscope" (STEM). 

I received very high ratings from students for my work as a teaching assistant (T.A.).

I was selected to be the teaching assistant for the graduate course in Mathematical Physics during what would have been my second year of graduate school.  I would have been a teaching assistant to my peers.  I was very proud that I was selected for such an honor.  However, shortly after being selected for this honor, I was told that I would have to leave school for a year, to complete undergraduate degree requirements.  I was not offered such an honorable teaching position when I returned to graduate school a year later... 

I have no regrets about my procrastination in completing the requirements for an undergraduate degree.  In fact, the experience helped me realize how unimportant school and credentials are in my life.  I do not need credentials to do anything that I want to do.  For example, I can indulge my interest in science without credentials.  People who pursue careers in medicine, law, and engineering, for example, obviously require credentials.  But my own ambitions are such that I can rely upon demonstrations, rather than credentials, to win the trust and support of other people. 
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