Confessions of a researchaholic

November 24, 2022


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:13 pm
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I am thankful for not having any meetings during Thanksgiving!

November 11, 2022

Watching presentation videos in faster speed

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:40 pm
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Sometimes I watch presentation videos in double speed to save time and heighten focus (more attention is needed to parse narrations playing in faster speed).

November 8, 2022

How to choose project team members

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:19 pm
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More people do not imply more productivity, sometimes it could be the opposite.

Every member should have a clearly defined role that fits their interests and expertise, so that the total union can cover the entire project with just enough redundancy for robustness (e.g., unforseen demands for certain types of knowledge or tasks, or unvailability for some members during certain stages of the project).

Everyone should have the personality to harmonize with others on the team. We don’t need to love each other, but if some members don’t get along the project will be in trouble.

For longer term projects or building your own teams, consider the growth potential of people in addition to who they currently are (e.g., 3 to 5 years down the road versus right now).

Deep focus

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:54 am
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Recently I realized that I have not spent enough time for deep thinking and I can notice that my ideas started to suffer. Some of the causes were self-inflicted, such as letting myself distracted by meetings, slacks, or emails.

Regaining self-control is in order.

October 10, 2022

For best results, forget the bonus

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:10 am

Bumped into this 1993 NYT article via hacker news yesterday about the pitfalls of incentives not aligned with the tasks, which prompted the question: what should the employees do under the current incentive system (which lets assume can only be changed by the management)?
One strategy that seems to work for me (which I have been executing at a subconscious level) is to focus on “doing this” without thinking too much (if at all) about “getting that”. Specifically, do we want to do this even without that?
For example, I worked on SIGGRAPH papers because it was a fun and exciting experience, not because I needed them to get tenure or promotion. (I used to tell people that I have the best job in the world because I get paid to do what I like.)

October 4, 2022

Your life experience is no less valuable than your career achievement

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:29 pm
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In a meeting with a collaborator she told me that she is starting her post-doc in Tokyo and plans to work on an additional project during her spare time. I shared my thoughts about exploring Tokyo (and Japan in general) and how I regret for not even visiting the great wall during my 3-year stay in Beijing (I was considered a workaholic in MSR Asia).

If you just relocated for a new job, explore the new city/country/culture/food/people/etc. instead of just your work. As I progress in my life I miss more about not exploring a place than having an extra career achievement.

May 11, 2022

Burning the 3 am oil

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 10:46 am

This comment from Elon Musk reminded me that back in the good old MSR Asia days when Harry Shum would buy people free food at around 3 am and I tried to convince everyone in my projects to go home no later than midnight.

April 7, 2022

Everybody brings their pitchforks

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:25 pm

The reason for my NVIDIA-bye subject line is that my then manager John Danskin once sent out an email with subject everybody brings their pitchforks and content about a team member who broke the code check-in protocol of a chip we were working on, so I thought I should reciprocate with another quote.

John is also a former student of Pat Hanrahan, and one of the smartest people I have worked with.
It appears that he designed not only GPUs but also his own car and home.

March 26, 2022

Dictator meeting room

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:07 pm
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In a meeting few days ago a colleague was sitting alone in a conference room, which, due to camera angle, appeared much deeper than it really is. We joked to the colleague that he looked like a dictator sitting at the end of a long table, and he immediately moved closer to the camera.

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