What does an academic do with 3 months “off”?

Deliberate Practice

Fabrication / Physical Prototyping: I enjoy making physical things, especially when those things are embedded with computation. But, I haven’t really had the time to acquaint myself with the latest wave of fabrication technologies and techniques. As faculty, a goal of mine will be to create tangible demos and prototypes, so I plan on using some of my free time to re-acquaint myself with physical prototyping.


Success spirals app: Success spirals are a habit formation technique I’ve used and written about, first introduced to me by Nick Winter’s book, The Motivation Hacker. They’re powerful, but can take a lot of set-up to work optimally. It’s long been a goal of mine to create a simple app that removes a lot of the hassle of using success spirals.

Life / Wellness

(Re)forming good habits: Eating well, consistently exercising, meditating, establishing a consistent sleep-wake cycle — these are a few habits and routines I want to establish now that I’m free of the day-to-day hustle of the Ph.D. I’m still young, but I’m no longer young enough to completely ignore my general health and wellness.

Bonus things

Look, I’m not going to have time to do all of the things I’ve listed above while also abiding by my ongoing academic responsibilities in the 3 months that I have. But, just in case, here are some bonus things:



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Sauvik Das

Sauvik Das

Assistant Professor of Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University. Formerly at Georgia Tech. Ph.D. from CMU HCII. HCI, Security, Data Science.