Jennifer L. Beckmann

A profile of one Wisconsin CS grad student.


Wisconsin Activities:
UW Rec Sports
Madison Recreation (MSCR) Wisconsin State Parks

Wisconsin Athletics
Seattle Mariners
The Olympics

Fitness is important to me. I workout at least three times per week and I like to run outside along the lakes or use the elliptical machine inside at the Shell. My favorite time of year is the summer because I can exercise outside and play my favorite sports: fastpitch softball and sand volleyball. I competed on several intramural teams and was a member of a MSCR softball team. Our intramural indoor volleyball team won the championship in 2002. Each year, I run a 8K in the Crazylegs Classic from the Capitol to Camp Randall at the end of April.

I watch sports on TV. Some of my favorite sports to watch are men's college basketball, Seattle Mariners baseball, and Wisconsin football. I had season tickets to the UW men's basektball games for four years and saw the team win two regular season BigTen championships at home in the Kohl Center. Wisconsin Volleyball matches are also a lot of fun. The Olympics are my favorite, though, but I've never been to see them in person. It is my goal to attend an Olympic event one day. I also want to attend a Little League World Series.

Food and Drink

Favorite Cookbooks:
Cooking Light
The Joy of Cooking

Favorite Coffees:
Espresso Vivance

Favorite Wines:
A to Z Pinot Noir 2003, Oregon
Turkey Flat Shiraz 2002, South Australia
Benziger Zinfandel 2001, Dry Creek, Sonoma, CA
Bridgman Chardonnay 2003, Yakima Valley, WA

Cooking is good fun for me. I have a subscription to Cooking Light magazine and use the online resource to find most of my recipes. The Joy of Cooking is also an excellent reference for understanding the science of cooking. The book helps me deviate from recipes and put my own twists to food.

As a native of Washington State, I am a coffee connoisseur. EVP coffee is the best coffee in Madison and they have two locations in town. When I visit my friends in Seattle, I try to stop by Espresso Vivance off of Broadway. Starbucks has a special place in my heart because it reminds me of home.

Coffee with breakfast and wine with dinner. I enjoy wine and enjoy sharing it over dinner with friends. My favorites are bold with complex flavors. Shiraz and Zinfandels are my reds of choice for rich foods. I like a good Pinot Noir with softer foods like pork. For whites, I love a good oak-y Chardonnay. My favorite vacations are to wine country and so far I have visited the Barossa Valley in Australia, Napa Valley, and Sonoma Valley in California. Wollersheim is a good local winery in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin.


Recent Trips:
January 2006: Winterpark, Colorado
August 2005: Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney Australia
January 2005: Tampa, Florida 

I enjoy camping vacations, but I haven't been camping since 2004 when we went to Yosemite and Yellowstone. My next big camping trip will probably be to Bryce Canyon NP in Utah or Glacier NP in Montana.

This year we went skiing in Colorado over Martin Luther King weekend. I had a great time, but got cramps in my thighs, which was not fun. My favorite runs on the mountain were the blue runs on Mary Jane--a funny (ironic) name for a ski resort.

We went on our honeymoon in Australia. We spent three days in the Barossa Valley wine country and visited 14 wineries in two days. No worries though, we rode bikes. We moved on to the Australian shopping capitol, Melbourne, where we enjoyed hanging out in the city.  My favorite part of Melbourne was taking morning jogs along the Yarra river. Our trip ended in Sydney where we marveled at the beaches, enjoyed a symphony at the Opera House, climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Our other big trip in 2005 was to Tampa, Florida.  We enjoyed golf, went to Universal Studios in Orlando, and visited the Salvador Dali museum.


Online Radio Stations: Pandora

Recent Album Purchases:
Rufus Wainwright, Want One
Tracy Chapman, Where You Live

Recent Song Purchases:
Fair by Remy Zero
Landing on the Sidewalk by The Samples
L.T.W.T.M.S by The Trouble With Sweeney
Windfall by Son Volt
Coalminer by Mia and Jonah

I recently started listening to The company has a database of songs with hand annotations describing properties of the music. Listeners give a list of songs that they like and the program finds other similar songs that the listener might also like. I found a lot of new music by using this website.

From Pandora's analysis, I enjoy music with bluegrass influences, mild rhythmic syncopation, acoustic sonority, repetitive melodic phrasing and acoustic rhythm guitars. I find this analysis to be mostly true, although I do enjoy music outside of this description and I cannot go too heavy on the bluegrass.