Pacific Northwest Summer Photos
I spent my summer working at Pacific Northwest National Lab, but also made some time to get outside and explore more of the west coast. My trips included a few hikes, Los Angeles for my birthday, Portland, Seattle, the B Reactor, LIGO, and KDD 2016 in San Francisco.
The Tri-Cities area includes Richland, Kennewick, and Pasco, all of which border the Columbia River. A few nearby mountains overlook the area which make for excellent and windy hikes!
I didn’t have a car this summer but needed some way to get around. I found this bike at a local shop on my first day and road it every week this summer. I even shipped it back to Atlanta to use on campus!
Los Angeles, California
For my birthday I flew to LA to visit some family and take a short vacation. My favorite spots were Santa Monica beach and the Griffith Observatory.
I spent two weekends in Portland where I basically just walked around taking in the city’s peculiarities and eating more food than I should’ve. I recommend checking out the view from the top of Pittock Mansion.
I didn’t stay in Seattle long, but my time there was well spent enjoying the perfect weather (no rain!) and meeting more Georgia residents than I would’ve expected for being in the opposite corner of the country.
B Reactor, Washington
The B Reactor “was the first large-scale nuclear reactor ever built.” I was able to take a tour of the facility with a handful of other PNNL interns to learn about an interesting and rather sensitive time in history. While the reactor is impressive in person, its location in the middle of the Washington desert is eerie.
Besides the B Reactor, the second massive scientific structure I toured this summer was the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). Its purpose is to detect cosmic gravitational waves given off by the merging of two black holes billions of light years away. LIGO announced its first observation just earlier this year, so it was exciting to speak with the scientists and engineers after the first gravitational wave ever observed in human history was recorded.
KDD 2016 in San Francisco, California
I ended the summer by attending KDD 2016 with my research group from Georgia Tech. My advisor organized a full day workshop on Interactive Data Exploration and Analytics that had some great speakers. I was only able to explore San Francisco a bit before flying back to Atlanta to prepare for qualifying exams1.
Goodbye Summer 2016
And with that it’s time to say goodbye to Summer 2016. The west coast weather has been a nice change of pace from the all too humid Atlanta summers. And in-between all that traveling I happened to get some research done too. 🙂
More on that in a future post… ↩