Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Great kabob house

I went to visit the University Center at my graduate school, and came across this small middle eastern restaurant in the courtyard. The price is very reasonable, and I think this place can potentially get a spot in my list of great kabob houses that I have encountered so far in California. I will disclose the name as soon as I get to hit that place a number of times, and find out whether the food is consistently as good.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A great book that I forgot about

I read this book over last summer, 2008, when I was doing summer research at The University of Chicago - Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert Putnam. It took me a good portion of the time I was in Chicago to read this book, mostly due to time constraint with several other activities, but it was a great read on civic engagement. The book has more of a neutral tone, but it provides a vivid picture of the transformation of civic engagement in American society over the last few decades. Just thought I should mention the book if anyone is interested in such sociological discourse.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Finally leaving college campus

I am leaving my college campus for my new apt tomorrow. I have been staying on campus after graduation for the last two weeks, relaxing and enjoying being on campus which I have come to love and treat as my home. Being an international student, and after leaving home for college, I never realized till now how homely my college and dormitory has been to me from the day I came in as a freshman. I have spent a lot of holidays being on campus, not able to fly home half way around the world - mostly for the expense - which has made my ties with my college even stronger. It has been four long years, filled with amazing experiences and great memories. Thanks to all the great people who I have come across over the last four years, and who has made my college experience an amazing one.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

French Open this year is with a twist

The 2009 French Open is very dramatic. A lot of the big players, like Nadal and Serena, are out and the lower rank players are dominating the tournament.  Federer has moved onto the semi finals after a not so convincing win against Monfils; 7-6, 6-2, 6-4. I guess the French just lost their dream of a French player winning this years French Open. If Federer wants to win the tournament, he needs to get his rhythm back. I am looking forward to the final.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

An intro to compressive sensing

Both my senior thesis in Mathematics and Computer Science in college were related to this new area of signal processing called Compressive Sensing, which I think is a really amazing area of research. The basic idea of compressive sensing is that given a few available measurements of a signal, where the number of measurements is far less than that necessary for exact reconstruction according to Shannon's theorem, it is still possible to exactly reconstruct a signal (with high probability) given there is certain structure present in the signal. There are amazing theoretical and practical results that are currently being developed based on compressive sensing ideas. For anyone who is interested in an introductory view of Compressive Sensing, I think this lecture is great. I also have a link to a compressive sensing page at Rice, in my 'some interesting links' section, which contains a number of great journal papers.

An interesting discussion

I just had an interesting discussion with Geoff, one of my good friends from freshman year in college. We both graduated this year, he took two weeks for home and is now back on campus to do research with a Professor. The topic of blogs came up during our conversation, and he brought up a good point as to what direction my blog is going to take. The answer to that question: I do not know. My idea of this blog, as I have mentioned in the short introduction to my blog, is to simply put down any thoughts that cross my mind and share it with my friends. Maybe it will weigh heavily towards technology, code, software, politics, literature, science, humor, sports or international issues - time will dictate the path my blog takes.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Being on campus after graduation

I graduated but I have been living on campus for the last two weeks. It has been nice to live on campus with other friends, who also graduated, and being able to spend time with them. There are a lot of other non-graduated students as well who are doing summer research on campus or internships. One of the perks of being an international student is that you do not usually have a place to go, unless you have relatives or friends who has a place nearby, and so you have a good reason to stay on campus and be around with all the familiar faces. Of course, my college has an amazingly nice policy of letting international students stay on campus, which gives us international students a home before figuring out where to move next.

I am leaving campus next Saturday for my new apartment in graduate school, which is a little sad since I will be finally leaving my college after four years, so I will be enjoying every moment of my last week on campus.