Confessions of a researchaholic

April 4, 2017


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 2:13 am
Tags: ,

I heard this from my parents recently.

An uncle of mine took trains to work every day for many years. On the morning trains he performed the daily biological unloads.

After he retired, he found out he could no longer unload at home, so he kept on taking the trains for round trips.

March 19, 2017

The shape of the words

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 2:31 pm

Recently, I contacted Ken Anjyo via his email account, which is spelled in English. When he replied, his Japanese name 安生健一 appeared in front of his email address.

If you can read Chinese alphabets, including Kanji for Japanese and Hanja for Korean, you can probably see the meaning of this name before you hear its sounds. (A direct Chinese translation would be: safe-birth-health-first, and overall the name looks very healthy/stable/safe.) I actually do not know how to pronounce the name in Japanese; fortunately that does not prevent me from comprehending the semantics. (There is some phonetic similarity among some Chinese/Japanese/Korean words and phrases, but not much.)

This is a key difference between Asian and European languages.
When I read Chinese, I see.
When I read English, I hear.

March 16, 2017

When others try to beat us down, we go up

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:00 pm

I am the only one who can beat myself.
You are the only one who can beat yourself.

March 13, 2017

Swamped in review loads

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:55 pm
Tags: ,

When I am 88
If I will be so lonely
To miss review fests

September 22, 2016

Qualification filter

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 7:01 pm
Tags: ,

When they just arrived they thought it tough to publish at least one first-authored SIGGRAPH paper before graduation.
Now they are hitting the job market and found out that some topic research lab (not to be named but this is no secret) requires at least 5 first-authored SIGGRAPH papers.

Birds of a feather flock together.
Your opinions of others often reflect more of who you are than who they are.

I would like to thank those who (unintentionally) help me filtering away unqualified candidates; you might be even more effective than what the good folks could do.

May 9, 2016

Recursive interviews

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:20 pm
Tags: , ,

When you were interviewing the candidates I was also interviewing you.

You opened yourself like a book.

April 20, 2016


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:47 pm
Tags: ,

Nowadays a quick way to filter a job/school application is to see whether and how it says the candidate wants to do machine learning.
(Some neural network probably already existed precisely for this.)

Machine learning by itself is not the problem (quite on the contrary).
The problem is whether you can even form your own independent opinions.

When something (investment, technology, or research field) becomes hot it is already too late to bandwagon.
Those pioneers you see today started (and stuck to) their stuff when it is not yet hot.

Stick with your passion, belief, and opinion might not lead to success, but at least you can have fun, face less competition, and success/fail in your own style.

And if you are smart and creative enough you can have the cake and eat it.

Say your expertise and/or interests are about user interface design. But you also want to do some machine learning like everyone else.

You can switch field, and compete with a lot of smart people who have more passion and knowledge.

Or you can stick with user interfaces, and use machine learning to make them better. You can pick up something new without ditching what you already have.

March 27, 2016

Equality versus fairness

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:05 am
Tags: , , ,

A CEO gets paid 100 times the average employee salary. It is definitely not equal. But is it fair? The answer depends on whether the CEO has contributed 100 times than the average employees.

It is not always easy to tell fairness from equality, but it is important not to confuse the two.

Fairness should be maintained, but it is unfair and counter-productive to enforce equality.

Algorithmic species

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:04 am
Tags: , , ,

Algorithms can already devise algorithms and write programs.

It is just a matter of time before they can do that in a scale massive enough to displace many, if not most, programming jobs, just like what robots have already done to the manufacturing jobs.

March 8, 2016


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:47 pm
Tags: ,

“You can observe a lot by just watching” – Yogi Berra

Sometimes some very little things can reveal a lot of useful information. Just watch carefully.

Next Page »

Theme: Rubric. Get a free blog at