Confessions of a researchaholic

October 17, 2013

Automation

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:23 pm
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A capital crime for computer science is manual repetition of uninteresting tasks. You will be happier and more productive by proper automation, which, coincidentally, is a main job for computer scientists.

For example, instead of sitting up all night tuning parameters of an experiment, you can write a script to try over a million settings over night while you go home sleep or have a fun time in Lan Kwai Fong.

October 14, 2013

Brainstorming

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:48 pm
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I stumbled upon this article about group brainstorming today.

It echoed well with my own personal experiences and my general take that meetings are almost always completely useless for research/creative works.
I do meetings only when absolutely necessary, such as resolving major confusions or conflicts among multiple team members, evaluating live demonstrations of a UI design, and interviewing (i.e. reading) people.

Some managers and administrators like meetings. Fight them with all your power. Do not let less intelligent people waste your time or reduce your effectiveness.

October 2, 2013

Sharing experience

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:17 pm
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I received the following question:

I just had an interesting email conversation with a PhD I don’t know in XXX University as below. I was suggested to share my experience via blogs to new graphics researchers. On one hand I think sharing my experiences may increase my impact in the research community. On the other hand I seriously doubt whether I’m qualified or senior enough to do so. Another reason I tend not to publish my experience is that I know many stronger and smarter researchers who work very hard and yet remain silent. Would you please let me know your comments?

My answer:

If someone asks your advice, it is already evidence for your qualification.

In particular, if you are my advisee and you can survive me, you should tell others how you did it.

The same (or similar) question is likely to be asked by others, so it is better to post up your answer once for all. This reduces your workload and benefits more people.
(I started blogging mainly to avoid repeating answering the same questions over and over.)

I am not sure how many advices out there are actually qualified. So do not hesitate if you think yours are even remotely so.

There is no such thing as seniority in terms of sharing. Some of the best research blogs I have seen are written by grad students, as they are in the more relevant career stage compared to more senior professors or researchers.
(My memory for my grad school days is already fuzzy, except that I spent a lot of time playing video games and my office mate was Ravi and some undergrads mistook me as his TA.)

I always want to know the secrets of those stronger and smarter researchers who remain silent.

Last but not least: I also want to read and learn from your blog!

October 1, 2013

False presumptions – sequel

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 7:31 pm
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Last night I saw this Facebook post from a friend who is a CS professor in a top university:

Gag ugh gun ml K LnmNqnN ‘m

I spent some time deciphering the profound meaning and encoding of that post, to no avail.

Later on, the friend commented that this is the first Facebook post of his 2 years old daughter.
🙂

Conflicts

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:12 pm
Tags: , ,

are often caused by a lack of imagination

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