Confessions of a researchaholic

September 2, 2020

Vertigo ceiling

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:07 pm
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During vertigo, the eyes can spin around following the incorrect signals sent from a faulty vestibular system.
The effect can be reduced by VR: track the eye movements, classify whether they are caused by vertigo, and adjust the display accordingly (e.g., move the visual field with the spinning eye gaze).

August 8, 2020

Sharing paper source with publisher

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:00 am
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Some publishers like ACM might ask for the source files to compile the camera ready papers. My understanding is that they need the source to tune the paper format, instead of publishing the source. Thus, it should be OK to share the source directly with the publisher.
If you have concerns about internal annotations such as author discussions not meant for the final paper, just clean up the source via arXiv Latex cleaner or something similar.

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.

May 27, 2020

AI and art

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:20 am

A few days ago I read two articles about AI and art:
Computers do not make art, people do
A philosopher argues that an AI can’t be an artist

I cannot predict the future, including the possibility for AI to create art.
However, at the current stage of technology, AI can automate only a very tiny portion of creative tasks.
So just like all existing automation tools, I see AI as an assistant to elevate humans to higher mental tasks rather as a replacement.

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


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 22, 2020

Remote internship

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:24 pm
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I have experiences in remote collaboration and mentoring.
I did not need research meetings and I did not meet the first authors of some of my papers until before the conference presentations.
(I have yet to meet the first-author of my latest CHI 2020 paper for which the physical conference is canceled.)

However, there are important aspects that are difficult to emulate remotely beyond research and technical works in research internships, such as serendipitous encounters with different people and immersions in different environments.

Thus, I have been thinking about what would be good alternatives or replacements for remote internships (or research collaborations in general) that can best emulate on-site experiences?
If you have ideas, feel free to share with me.

One (Adobe-specific) possibility I have been thinking about is artistic creation via various tools, suitable for remote and asynchronous communications and yet different from and complementary to technical research.

April 4, 2020

Virtual machines

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:55 am
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When I was a grad student at Stanford I thought the idea of virtual machines was entirely crazy. And then came cloud computing.
This CACM article nicely summarized the background story.

March 23, 2020

Networked creativity

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:57 am

I used to think that individual creativity is essential to succeed in a research career, either academic or industrial, until I saw people who managed to compensate their lack of creativity (or more general talent/effort) with socializing and networking to leverage up their apparent productivity.

March 18, 2020

How to clarify technical writings

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:06 pm

There are two ways to clarify writing: modifying existing texts, and rewriting from scratch.
These two can be combined in some way and thus not exclusive.
Sometimes, if the writing has fundamental structure issues, it could help to sketch out a fresh outline aiming for a general audience without deep knowledge of the topic.
This exercise could then provide a roadmap for subsequent steps.

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