Confessions of a researchaholic

August 5, 2020

Popularity contest

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:23 am
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A group of interns posted their projects on an internal expo and solicited popular votes with ferocity last seen in the 2016 Republican party presidential primaries.

Meanwhile, one intern submitted a paper to a top venue even before the start of the internship, and is now spending time revising the conditionally accepted paper, filing a patent, and collaborating with a product team, instead of campaigning for popularity among other interns.

Our time is very limited. As a research mentor, it is my responsibility to guide you towards what is important and steer you away from what is less so.

June 23, 2020

Anniversary dinner

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:58 pm
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The appetizers (corn mezzaluna, Spanish mackerel) and entrees (striped bass, duck breast) were pretty light until the chocolate souffle, which was much more fulfilling than the size would suggest and continued to roll in my stomach until deep into the night.

Drawing helped me to not only remember the experience (than, say, photography) but (counter-intuitively) also better engage in conversation.

This is my last celebratory meal before I manage to regenerate a losing body part considered to be irreversible by all doctors I have consulted so far.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBztNAlHXd7/

May 26, 2020

A school bully

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:54 am
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A student greeted members of her PhD defense committee via an email, and got scorched by one of the examiners for trying to schedule her own oral defense, using a “buddy” tone (including the use of emojis), sending from a non-school email account, and not addressing the examiner with a professor salute.

I like to tell this student that (1) a person is measured by the size of things that matter to him/her, (2) do not become such a person in the future.

May 8, 2020

Deep journey and genuine experience

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:51 pm
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There are these tourists who just want to visit as many places as possible to take (or even fake) photos without spending enough time experiencing the local life and culture with sufficient depth.

Researchers who abuse authorships are like such tourists.
They pretend having all the fun without actual experiencing much.

Life is a deep journey, and genuine experience is what matters the most.

May 3, 2020

Impact

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:11 pm
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A few days ago I read an article about an open-source ventilator that can be built with $400 in readily-available parts.
Today I saw a Facebook post discussing an article titled “Do top conferences contain well cited papers or junk?”.

Our impact is measured more about what we do for others (e.g., solving a social issue, curing a disease, saving the environment) than for ourselves (e.g., ego or career).
I would care much more about developing useful products or services than counting the number of papers or citations.

April 21, 2020

Mimetic desire

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:21 am
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It takes intelligent and independent minds to desire what are really wanted.

April 16, 2020

Putting dollar values on human lives

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:14 am
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Concrete numbers and data can help rational discussion of issues, including the trade-off between lives and jobs in the current lock-down situation.

April 14, 2020

A guy gone wrong

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:24 am
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An acquaintance, whom I saw in conferences sometimes but have no professional or personal relationships otherwise, sent me a bunch of inquiries recently:

Feb 12 email: When can we chat one of these days?

Feb 13 email: Are you around? Let me know when we can schedule a chat.

Mar 31 LinkedIn message: Hey man, can we chat one of these days? I sent you a couple e-mails and got no luck.

April 1 email: [ask a superficial technical question apparently to trigger my response]

If you were in my position, would you reply?
The only reason I can think of is when I have the time and curiosity to figure out what is wrong with this person.
(I investigated a bit and found other red flags, such as disappearing Facebook profile, near-zero research outputs in the last 2 years, etc.)

April 1, 2020

Peak Asian American

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:14 am
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This is the best time to be an Asian American.
Half a century before, it was better to be an American.
Half a century after, it would better to be an Asian.

March 30, 2020

The influence we have

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:37 am
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Both this NPR hidden brain podcast on the influence you have and this book on confessions of a sociopath point to the interesting aspects on how we know (and don’t know) about the psychological influences we can have on other people.

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