Confessions of a researchaholic

November 18, 2021

Butterfly effect of small initial unbalance

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:00 pm

Part of my body is now made of titanium.

Despite the discipline and care I have maintained, there will always be random deviations that started small but eventually amplified to visible unbalances.

Fortunately, this particular issue could be resolved via mechanical instead of biochemical means.
But something will get me eventually, as nobody lives forever.

November 17, 2021

Drawing a pair of boots from memory

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 10:39 pm
Tags: , ,

The boots in the first drawing look like being made of some hard materials (e.g., wood) so I drew another version (over the previous rough outlines) with softer materials (like leather or cloth).

November 15, 2021

Follow your passion only if you know what it is

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:54 am
Tags: ,

I have been using ray tracing as a default introductory exercise for my open mentor program. Probably as a consequence, several recent students decided to focus on rendering when applying for graduate research programs.

When I applied for grad schools 20+ years ago, I only knew that I wanted to program stuff.
I decided to focus on computer graphics after the first year during which I took courses in different topics and attended different research group meetings (not least for the free food).
I figured out my research topic after the third year, after trying out at least 20 different projects which not only greatly helped me figure out my thesis topic but also have a glimpse of what is going on in other potentially related research fields (which in turn helped me expand and transition my research topics many years later).

I guess this relates to the more general discussion about the danger of following your passion (too early); if you only do what you like, you might not try what you might like even more.

The downside of globalization

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:19 am

Listened to this podcast today, which highlighted the importance of help transitioning those left behind by technological and economical upheavals for social and political benefits.


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:13 am
Tags: ,

Persistence (grit, tenacity) is perhaps the quality that I admired the most from a person, who has a strong desire to achieve something without ever giving up.
(Sometimes I wonder if I have too little desire, like a monk.)

November 14, 2021

Advice from my 80-year-old self

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 10:36 pm

I often talk to an imaginary 88-year-old self for advices as a way to elicit answers that I already have in mind.

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 10:03 pm

For a split second I thought started a new line of business.

November 13, 2021

Sketching a face from memory

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 9:53 pm

I let the drawing guide me without knowing what would happen before hand.

Never spell out the identify of a portrait subject for plausible deniability.

SIGGRAPH/ToG conference/journal papers

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:16 am

When I was a PhD student around the turn of the millennium, SIGGRAPH, despite being the top venue in visual computing, is considered as a conference and thus the published technical papers received a lower count/weight than journal papers in traditional academic rating.
To remedy this problem, starting from 2002 SIGGRAPH technical papers were published as special issues of ToG (ACM Transactions on Graphics), which is a journal.

Now, about 20 years later, people were concerned about the author workload and review speed for ToG, compared to some machine learning and computer vision conferences which tend to have lower requirement for evaluation and faster review/publication cycles.
To remedy this problem, starting from 2022 SIGGRAPH will start accepting a conference-track of papers.

This is one example of the general phenomena where people repeat cycles of identifying problems, devising solutions, causing other (sometimes previous) problems, ad infinitum.

Update: Aaron Hertzmann (the main architect for the conference track) has a recent post about expectation creep that is worth taking a look.

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