Confessions of a researchaholic

November 24, 2018

Objective perception of subjective reality

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:24 am
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A core skill, in art, science, or even life, is the ability and willingness to objectively perceive subjective reality.

Notice the swap of the two adjectives. Supposedly, perception is subjective and reality is objective. However, that is a fixed given condition. Our bodies and brains act like filters, so reality is always subjective. What we can strive for is objective perception and depiction of the (given) subjective reality.

For example, in drawing, one has to perceive what is really out there, which can vary depending on the individual subjectivity, in the physical world, in the memory, or in the imagination.

In deriving a math proof or following a scientific argument, one has to rely on what is assumed to be true (axioms, theorems, conjectures) which are subjective by nature.

November 21, 2018

Comparing deadlines of various conferences I have submitted to

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:34 pm

SIGGRAPH deadline: you are completely dead!

CHI/UIST deadline: you are really dead!

CVPR deadline: you are half dead and can continue to submit supplementary materials like a zombie.

October 27, 2018

Academic lineage

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 11:57 am
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My academic lineage traces to Jung and Freud instead of Gauss, Laplace, Newton, or Leibniz.
I guess this partially explains my research interest and mentoring style.

October 26, 2018

Practice shading a color pencil cylinder

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:29 pm
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Hatching is a core technique to convey shading and texture in sketching.
I have hatched algorithmically so it is only fitting for me to practice manually as well.
This exercise also gave me research ideas which I would not be able to conceive without the artist perspective.

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Practice shading with a color pencil cylinder

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October 8, 2018

Commonalities between research and drawing

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 2:44 pm
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Both require sighting novel and interesting ideas or scenes. Without this important first step, the rest will fail even with perfect execution.

The author needs to be patient and persevering to complete a sufficiently challenging work without ever giving up.

Strong objectivity is required to help us see the reality without being blinded or obscured by our biases and wishes.

Drawing is one of the few activities, aside from SIGGAPH deadline, which can enter me into the zone.

September 16, 2018

Mischiefs with paper author names

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:42 pm

Be a sole author, multiple times.

Add native author names.

Sneak behind other more senior/established collaborators to become the last author.

MSR Asia single-author challenge

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:32 pm
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It has been 10 years since I posted up the single-author SIGGRAPH paper challenge to MSR Asia, and nobody has managed to claim the prize as far as I know.

Looking back at my writing, I was wondering who this blunt prick is.
If I could, I would tell my past self to be more graceful without compromising the strength.
Otherwise, I still stick with, and have faithfully followed by own edicts, after switching into these other roles.

September 3, 2018

Writing style for revision control Latex source

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 2:27 pm

Put one, or at most a few, complete sentence(s) into one line.
Latex treats line breaks as spaces, so the compiled document will still have the correct formation.

Since popular revision control tools like git/svn are based on line diff, putting too many sentences in one line will cause excessive revision differences and obscure the actual changes.

Avoid artificial line breaks in the middle of the sentences, which tend to confuse the spell-checkers and the git/svn line diff.

June 27, 2018

Project pivot versus switch

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:03 pm
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When we get stuck in a project, the issues could lay on the project or us.
For the former, switching to a different project might help.
For the latter, we should fix our own issues as otherwise no project will work out.

It is not always clear where the issues are.
But if someone keeps on switching projects, it could be a sign of individual instead of project issues.

Even if a project does not work out, it is usually better to pivot by continuous transforming the ideas during progress, instead of discontinuous switch to a separate project without coherence.

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June 8, 2018


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:54 am
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Aside from rare exceptions like Steve Jobs or Albert Einstein, people usually do not care who is behind an invention or discovery.
(As a quick experiment, can you name the Nobel Prize winners in the most recent year, especially if you are not working in the related fields?)

Thus, I would prioritize our outcomes over our egos for publicity.

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