Confessions of a researchaholic

March 7, 2018

What I want my future child(s) to know

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:47 pm

Find out what you want to devote yourself to, and stick to it without ever giving up. You will then more likely to have a happy, fulfilling life.

March 1, 2018

Review fest

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:56 pm

I spent about 63 hours reviewing 23 papers during the last month or so. I did all these during the evenings and weekends so that I can focus on research and coding during “official” work hours. I felt my head is spinning a bit, but such intense reviews are the best antidote for post SIGGRAPH deadline withdrawal which I have suffered in the past as a professor for which paper reviewing felt like the “official” part of the job.

Adobe has this nice matching-grants program which can convert paper reviewing hours for charity donations. So now my paper review efforts can be counted as volunteer activities and I won’t feel guilty next time I don’t give money to random beggars on the streets.

February 22, 2018

Replicability stamp

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:47 am

The replicability stamp requires more than just the source code, such as datasets and scripts to replicate all results and timing information in the paper.

That may seem a lot of work, but is totally worth it.

First of all, it is a good practice to manage a research project from day one for replicability; a script that can reproduce all current results can help debugging and collaboration. I did that even for my single authored projects.

Even if we have not started the project in that way, it is still worth doing due to the amount of leverage as Andy Grove called in his seminal book “High Output Management”.
A single unit of efforts we put in for replicability can potentially benefit many people who want to apply, reproduce, or compare against our works.

February 18, 2018

The most useful faculty advice I have ever received

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:53 pm

From Peter Shirley if I remember correctly:

Do not perform too well on tasks that I do not enjoy so that they would not get assigned to me in the future.

February 14, 2018

Employee number 88

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:19 am

A colleague who has been with the company for more than 30 years recently retired.
During our lunch at his last working day, I asked him why he wanted to retire. He answered that he preferred his individual researcher + developer role more than management and team roles which tend to happen as one becomes more senior, and he also likes to spend more time with his hobbies in art and physics.

I joked that if I were ever forced to retire I would heist the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. But maybe one day that will change, just like I could not imagine I will ever get married when I was still in school.

February 12, 2018

Replicability versus reproducibility

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:18 am

There are some technical definitions (e.g. here), but allow me to put it more succinctly:

Reproducibility – people believe they can replicate the methods and outcomes based on the information provided in the research documents.

Replicability – they can really do so.


January 29, 2018


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:03 am

In the relative time scale, a 24-hour coding session is more like sprint than marathon.

January 28, 2018

The last one to watch the last Jedi?

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:02 pm

I finally watched the latest Star Wars movie on Sunday night. Avoiding spoilers is a good practice in discipline.

The movie is highly entertaining and has this tinge of smacking the tradition. But I still prefer the original series and even the prequels which are telling the background story of Darth Vader, the most important character of the entire Star Wars universe. The Force Awakens is refreshing, but I am not sure what The Last Jedi is trying to achieve in terms of the story line.

January 26, 2018

Dream recording

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 10:41 am

My young grandfather
Looking sideways from a stand
For my legacy

January 21, 2018

Symmetric confusion

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:19 pm

A few days ago a lens was knocked out of my eye glasses.
After carefully putting the lens back and ensuring that everything is in shape, the glasses still produced weird optical distortion.
Finally, I realized that the lens is symmetric in boundary shape but asymmetric in optical axis, and I have put it upside down.

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