Confessions of a researchaholic

April 30, 2023

Magnolia cone

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:26 pm

Found in a two-mile walk in Palo Alto.

April 26, 2023

Sketch creativity

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 7:30 pm
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It was told that I would be too run down to have meetings after the surgery, but I managed to come back 10 minutes prior to the start of the seminar and gave a live talk without any issues.
But just as a back-up plan, I also pre-recorded a rehearsal.

April 23, 2023

PhD student recruiting philosophy

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:58 am
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Throughout my research career I have been very conservative in recruiting PhD students, especially for those whom I would be the (de facto) advisor.
(I am a bit more relaxed for hiring interns as the collaborations are shorter term and thus the risks are lower.)
I prefer to have deep involvement for each student and project, and the cost of having a student not suitable for independent research is higher than the risk of occasionally passing on a top candidate.

However, there are other professors/researchers out there who have been very successful in managing large groups.
So definitely go for that if your style is like a VC incubating startups, you have enough funding, and your projects require teamwork (e.g., one student probably is not going to build a new operating system or programming language).

April 22, 2023

Happiest moments of the day

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:48 am

My happiest moments of the day are when I finished my physical trainings, especially at weekend mornings, which made me realize that physical, mental, and relationship health are the most important things to me and everything else is icing on the cake.

April 21, 2023

Office virtual background

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:50 pm
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Empirical evidence suggests that the best background for virtual meetings is a photo of my office taken at exactly the same camera view of my office webcam so that I will appear to be joining meetings from my office regardless of my actual physical location.

April 18, 2023

Single review paper committee member

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:00 am

It turns out that I only need to review one paper as a committee member for a top venue thanks to “the large number of IPC members”. (Cannot go any lower unless we want to list someone who does not review any paper as a PC member.)

Expanding the committee to include more members can lighten the individual workloads, but also reduce the visibility of each PC member for calibration purposes.
I wonder what the sweet spot would be as a function of the number of submissions and the number of PC members.
1 is definitely slow while 20 is high (based on my recent SIGGRAPH/SIGGRAPH-Asia PC experiences), while 4 to 8 feels about right to me.

April 16, 2023

Outside the mandates

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:15 pm
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Recently, during the preparation for an invited talk on a topic I have been working on for a while, I realized that even though I am familiar with the topic, I have yet to organize my thoughts into a coherent story, and I am glad that this invited talk motivated me to do just that.

Giving academic talks is outside my current main job duties and thus I wouldn’t be as incentivized to do that as teaching courses as an university professor or shipping products as an industry researcher.
But this experience made me realize that there are activities outside our official job mandates that can still benefit our careers in a less direct way or in a longer run.

April 9, 2023

Compsite sketch

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 7:59 pm

After two quick pencil-on-paper sketches around the de Young Museum I came back home later to draw a digital composite.

Left: attempt to draw a sculpture in the Kehinde Wiley exhibition but it was too dark for me to continue

Up: quick sketch of a Mayan effigy vessel

Right: quick sketch of a guy sitting on the grass inside the Shakespeare garden

Bottom: attempt to draw a dog near the guy above but had to leave

The potential of being on both SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia technical papers PC in the same year

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:40 am

I have already served on the SIGGRAPH 2023 technical papers program committee and just got asked to do that for SIGGRAPH Asia 2023 as well.
I have not yet decided (at this moment of writing) whether to turn down the latter or do both at the same year, but either will be the first time in my career, and I will feel bad about potentially disappointing the paper chairs or spending another month’s worth of evenings of reviewing papers.

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