Confessions of a researchaholic

February 25, 2024

Missed opportunity

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 3:45 pm
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When I boarded Caltrain 313 at San Jose on Thursday February 22, 2024, I saw a guy deep in sleep with his head resting on the window. The face constituted an excellent drawing subject but I decided to finish my dinner first. Then the train conductor came to check tickets, and the guy had none and was asked to leave the train at the next stop.

Afterwards I did a quick sketch from visual impression and produced a variation via image-2-image diffusion. Neither could catch the original face which I could better capture on spot.

February 21, 2024

Visualizing dreams

Filed under: Imaginary — liyiwei @ 6:19 pm
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One main reason that I would like to be able to draw is to share what I saw in my dreams which tend to be vivid and unusual. This is difficult enough due to both the required skills and the ephemeral nature of dreams. But how about visualizing other people’s dreams based on their descriptions?

January 30, 2024

Group urban hike

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:27 pm
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As part of the lab offsite, we took an urban hike between 601 Townsend Street and the Mission-Dolores Park. The weather was unusually nice for January in San Francisco, and this is actually the first time I walked through the neighborhood between Mission and SoMa which has this interesting industry-under-the-highway feel.

January 28, 2024

A beautiful day

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:20 pm

After finishing a demo in the morning, I drove to San Francisco, listening to Edvard Greig’s piano concerto (A minor, opus 16) on the way, and went to the Legion of Honor to see Boticelli’s drawings, which I finished on time by avoiding reading all the descriptions.

It was a beautiful day, with the sun shining and Golden Gate bridge visible from the museum.

January 20, 2024

Sleeping profile

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 4:54 pm
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Rainy Saturday, writing, drawing.

January 7, 2024

Embodied computing

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:17 pm
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I spent the evening on some manual household installation/repair tasks and felt a visceral sense of satisfaction of using my body, which tends to be missing for sitting in front of a computer all day.

Given that our bodies are designed (or more precisely, evolved) to be moving around, I wonder if there are ways to structure our work routines so that we can use our bodies more.
The existing design for “spatial computing” is mostly for content consumption and authoring tasks that are inherently spatial (e.g., 3D modeling).
How to extend that for more abstract tasks (like programming) is an interesting question (personally I doubt if spatial manipulation of node graphs or the like is the right answer).

January 4, 2024

3-hour PhD defense

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:54 pm
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This is by far the longest PhD defense I have ever attended, and I have attended many.

The first half was spent on the presentation, with the second half on discussions (among thesis committee members and later the candidate) about how to deal with the lack of publications.
I enjoyed the first half much more than the second.

December 31, 2023


Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 1:47 pm
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Is buffet an expression of gluttony, aside from catering for workspace events which can be more convenient than sit-down meals.

December 27, 2023

Mental accounting

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:46 pm

When I go through repetitive exercises (e.g., swimming laps), I often group the repetitions via integer factorization, such as 6 by 6 for 36, with a little voice in my head saying something like: 6 times are easy, and you just need to do 6 of these.

So psychologically I perceive the repetitions differently even though they are all the same.

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