Confessions of a researchaholic

March 2, 2024

Fun versus job

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:30 pm
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Academic research can be a day job for some people, including reading, writing, and reviewing papers, coding prototypes, conducting experiments, advising students, and interacting with collaborators.
But it is a leisure activity for me, more intellectually satisfying than managing and communicating about products which is my current day job, which, in turn, I wonder might be a fun activity for others.

January 30, 2024

Group urban hike

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 5:27 pm
Tags: , ,

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.

December 25, 2023

2023 academic volunteering hours

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 8:07 pm
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Since my company allow us to report academic services as part of our volunteering hours for matching donations*, I have been keeping track of mine in a spreadsheet (down to the levels of the hours/minutes spent in each paper across different stages of the review processes).
According to the spreadsheet, so far this year I have spent 190+ (!) hours in total, including TVCG AE and paper committees in SIGGRAPH, SIGGRAPH Asia, EG, EGSR, HPG, etc., mostly during my “spare time” in the evenings and weekends.
I won’t be able to serve for SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia next year, so hopefully I can get back some time for other activities.

* For Adobe folks: remember to report your volunteering hours before the end of the year.

November 29, 2023

Rapid prototyping

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:13 pm

When I initially joined Adobe I thought that sufficiently mature prototypes are required for selling to the product partners, but some recent experiences taught me that it is possible to drive progress (including eventual product transfers) via rapid iterations and demonstrations.
The key is to have sufficiently convincing presentations on the most relevant aspects without spending too much time optimizing elsewhere, which depends on good judgement and prioritization on what and when to focus on.

During this process, we can be more comfortable taking on tasks that are uncertain, ambiguous, and beyond our current expertise if we can leverage the collective strength of a strong team, which requires good project management and tech leadership.

November 28, 2023

The benefits of being part of a strong team

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 6:11 pm

I used to think that I can take on only projects that I have sufficient competence and interests.
But later I realized that if I am working with strong collaborators, I can trust them to handle the parts that I am less good at or less interested in, which would allow me to embark on more ambitious endeavors.
A strong team also provides me more growth opportunities to learn from others, and to be inspired by their ideas and creations.

November 23, 2023

Why we should take PTO (especially those “unlimited”)

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 12:36 am

This post is inspired by “is unlimited (or more precisely, untracked) PTO a scam”.

Taking a break away from work can enhance mental and physical health, reduce burnout, and provide a chance to see things from a different perspective.
All of these can boost our productivity and creativity when we return to work.

If we stay at work while being unproductive, we are not doing ourselves or our teams any favor, as it could drag down the team performance and negatively impact how others perceive our competence.

After noticing some positive correlation between people’s performance and the amount of PTO they take, I am trying to take more (unlimited and untracked) PTOs, even if just to have time for individually focused works (like reading/reviewing papers) which tend to be outside my main duties (mostly product/management related nowadays).
Company/organization-wide shutdowns remain the best opportunities for me to be complete away during which no co-worker is expected to ask me for anything.

October 11, 2023

Bengali fish curry

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:05 pm
Tags: ,

Sometimes I looked at the company lunch menu even when I was not in the office, to feel a sense of connection and anticipation.

October 9, 2023

Katalin Kariko on perseverance

Filed under: Real — liyiwei @ 9:09 pm
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Very inspirational story on how to deal with setbacks (focus on what is next and do not hold grudge).
Comparatively I have had a much easier career.

August 2, 2023

Obituary for DLXXK17WK7M9

Filed under: Imaginary,Real — liyiwei @ 9:09 pm
Tags: ,

iPad Pro 12.9-in 64-GB
Enrolled 10/26/2021
Last seen 6/22/2023
Served in Fresco motion and live brushes

Succeeded by W99KG6V2KQ
iPad Pro 11-in 128-GB
Enrolled 7/27/2023

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