I have since my return to the States five weeks ago been preparing my MSc thesis for submission to UCT. 114 pages. 40 citations. 20 images. Three weeks to go … and still so much to do. Nearly every day I engage. 2 hours, 4 hours … 14 hours. It is a process I enjoy far more than I thought possible, for the exacting attention to every detail is wonderfully consuming.

Running, hiking, yoga, bread baking, tending the fire at my aunt’s home in Tucson are what I do between the hours I am writing and editing. As when I was developing Karoo GP, I wake, breathe, and sleep my thesis.

This is the making of a scientist. No fact goes to print without evidence of its origin, either in previously published works, or my own, validated research. No statement is personal. This is not about me, but what was discovered about the arena in which I laboured to better understand.

I was twenty months in South Africa, twenty two months in this program. I attended a dozen workshops and conferences in South Africa, Namibia, and Spain in order to broaden my skills and deepen my knowledge, to learn how to begin to understand machine learning as it can be applied to radio astronomy. Countless thousands of pages of literature reviewed, thousands of lines of code written, and hundreds of hours spent in development, data runs, and analysis.

In the end, it comes down to just two numbers, Precision and Recall, to determine if my work was a success.

That is … incredible!