Thursday, May 10, 2018

Thanks Anna

TigerBlog did not have to write a senior thesis at Penn.

Pete Carril used to make fun of this fact a lot, by the way.

He's wondered a few times what he might have written about, though he's never completely figured it out. He was a history major, so maybe he would have done something on the Civil War. Or maybe the Cold War.

He could even have written about the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. That would have been great - excepting of course that it didn't happen until several years after he graduated.

As he thinks about it now, he probably would have done something on the Battle of Gettysburg. As you know, that was July 1-3, 1863, and the battle is considered the turning point of the war in the North's favor.

TigerBlog has been to Gettysburg. He's actually been to a lot of historic places in his life, but very few have had the impact on him that Gettysburg did. When you stand in a place where so many people died in such a short time (nearly 8,000 soldiers killed in the three days) and contrast that with the calmness that exists there now, it's pretty overwhelming.

There was a video on the University homepage yesterday that featured a few students who were reading the first lines of their recently completed theses. You can see it HERE.

That's pretty interesting stuff.

One of TB's favorite parts of the Princeton website (University, not is the  senior thesis catalog. If you click HERE, you can find out what any alum's senior thesis topic was.

When he did a search for "Gettysburg," only four titles came up with the word in them. Can it be that only four people have written their theses on the Battle of Gettysburg? That's the same number as people who've written their senior thesis on the work of John McPhee.

The database also allows to search by a person's name. TigerBlog picked out a few. Mr. McPhee, for instance, who wrote his on Skimmer Burns, which TB has no idea about. He'll have to ask him about it.

Jim Barlow, the men's soccer coach, wrote his on: "Deepening The Chasms: A History of Race Relations in the One Square Mile Paradise of Hightstown, N.J." Hightstown, Barlow's home town, is about 15 minutes from Princeton.

Then there was Ford Family Director of Athletics Mollie Marcoux Samaan. Hers was entitled: "The Social Construction of Sport and Gender: A History of Women in Golf, 1890-1955"

The database isn't complete, as not all departments are included and it only goes back to 1926. TB isn't sure how far back the Senior Thesis requirement goes, and he couldn't find it in the Princeton Companion.

TB wanted to find Justin Tortolani's exact title, for instance, but he's not in the directory. Justin graduated as the all-time leader in goals scored at Princeton in men's lacrosse with 120, a record that has since been bettered by four players.

Anyway, back in 1992, Justin got a lot of publicity around the time of the program's first NCAA title for the topic of his thesis. It wasn't easy to even pronounce, let alone understand. Justin, by the way, is a doctor at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore these days.

One current senior who recently handed in a senior thesis is Anna Broome. Here's the title of her thesis: "Single-Chip 100-Pixel 2.8 THz CMOS Camera: Antenna and Front-End Detector Design."

She's an engineer.

As a Princeton fan, you probably have never heard of Anna Broome, though you also probably have seen her work. She's actually a huge fan of the University of North Carolina, where her mother works. She came to the Office of Athletic Communications looking for a job as a freshman, and she was put to work doing entry for StatCrew.

If you don't know what StatCrew is, it's the computer program that all colleges use to do stats basically across all sports. The program is basically the same for all sports, with a few minor changes here and there, other than in basketball, which is almost completely different.

TigerBlog isn't sure how many games Anna would do StatCrew entry for in her four years, but it's probably around 100. She was especially valuable for men's and women's hockey and men's and women's lacrosse.

Anna is one of those people who gives you absolutely zero to worry about when she's your employee. You know she'll be there. You know she'll never make a mistake. You know she'll never give you one seconds worth of problem.

She's funny and laid back. She has a dry sense of humor, with a healthy ability to mix in sarcasm at just the right moment. 

Entering stats can get stressful, especially when a lot of things happen in a short time. Or when the computer decides not to work. Or when you make a mistake that you need to fix. Or when the spotter doesn't see something and then things get backed up.

Anna? TB has never seen get flustered. It's hard to overstate how great it is to know that you can rely on someone to that extent.

And now she's graduating. Anna will be pursuing her Ph.D., and TB hoped it would have been at Princeton. Instead, she's headed out to Stanford.

Anna's last game was last weekend, at the Ivy women's lacrosse tournament. She did the Penn-Dartmouth semifinal game and then couldn't make it for the next two, so TB did the entry for those. He made a mistake in the Princeton-Columbia game, entering a shot for the wrong team. Everything is entered with uniform numbers, and it's really easy to enter the wrong team.

TB can't remember when Anna ever did that, though she must have.

Anyway, TigerBlog wanted to take the chance to wish Anna all the best.

And to thank her for all she did the last four years.

On your list of "Most Likely To Succeed" for the young people in this world, you can put Anna Broome's name near the top.

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