Confessions of a researchaholic

September 30, 2011

Last official day with Microsoft

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:48 am
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I have a tremendous 6-year with MSR. I would like to thank all my friends who helped me become a better person. Fortunately, we can continue our friendships due to the nature of my next job. In fact, I can finally work with anybody without any legal restrictions.

MSR is a great place to be, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in computer science research.

I also have a tremendous job hunting process in the past several months. I interviewed with a variety of sectors (technology, finance, research, and education) over different continents. I would like to thank everyone who helped me during this process. For those of you who kindly gave me job offers that I could not take, I would hope to collaborate in alternative fashions. For those of you who turned me down, I would like to thank you for helping me fulfill my destiny.

September 23, 2011

Scarcity

Filed under: Imaginary — liyiwei @ 10:27 am
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Imagine a world where all resources are unlimited. Everything has infinite supplies and free to access like air. Everyone can live forever without aging, disease, injuries, fears, or any forms of constraints.

What would it be like? Do you think it is heaven, or hell?

Life is worth living precisely because it is finite and every resource is limited.

September 21, 2011

Why software is eating the world

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:20 pm
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I highly recommend this article from Marc Andreessen, especially for computer science folks.

To be fair, I think he is a bit too optimistic (as an entrepreneur he should be), but he still made plenty good points.

This is not exactly a new article, but I just realized that a lot of people haven’t read it yet, thus the sharing.

September 17, 2011

Producing research results

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:06 pm
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Sylvain Lefebvre has a nice post about how to structure code for producing research results; see here. (Full disclosure: Sylvain is my collaborator, but he is a superb researcher and coder, as evident from his resume.)

September 11, 2011

A year of no significance

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 6:13 pm
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1587, a Year of No Significance (Chinese: 萬曆十五年) is a book by historian Ray Huang (Chinese: 黃仁宇) which described how a sequence of seemingly insignificant events precipitated the eventual downfall of the Ming dynasty, as well as China itself. I remember getting totally fascinated by this book as a high school kid. The book is not flawless, but it is fascinating in highlighting how significant long term trends, which usually happen slowly, are often preceded by very small signs.

It is like the famous Chinese proverb, 一葉知秋: from a falling tree leaf one can know that the autumn is coming.

If future historians are going to write a similar book about the eventual downfall of the America (dynasty) as well as the entire West, the analogous year will be 2001, or probably even a specific day, September 11. Contrast to 1587, this is a year of *major* significance. But THE event is no less precipitating than those in 1587.

I am looking forward to read this book, and I hope it will be as enthralling as the one by Ray Huang.

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