Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A quick update

I realize looking at the date of my last blog entry that it has been really long since I have shared my thoughts. As usual, life has been very busy. Although, I have a number of things and experiences in mind that I would like to share, and I am hoping to get to those after finishing up the quarter in a week or so.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Seeing the sun rise, been a while

An amazing thing happened today, somewhat unwittingly. Today was a grant proposal meeting, and in order to get to the meeting on time, I planned on waking up at 5:30 am in the morning. I wanted to wake up early enough so that I can beat the traffic to the meeting venue. The thought of seeing sunrise never crossed my mind -- maybe because I was working on a paged file manager API for my database class in c++ the whole evening before, and when I was ready to sleep, I was only thinking of whether I would wake up early, with enough sleep, to safely drive to my morning destination; or it was merely the fact that I forgot what sunrise meant.

I woke up at 5:30 am, and something felt wrong. I expected to see light outside, but instead saw darkness consume the world. I looked at my laptop, and realized I was almost an hour early before the sun. These simple sequence of affairs hit me -- I am so involved with my graduate school life that I have forgotten to take some time off to enjoy nature. And then I did this: I made black tea, with sugar and milk, sat down on the couch in my balcony, sipped tea and watched the whole phenomenon of sunrise unfold, again after a long time.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New blog for machine learners/data miners

Alex Smola has started writing a blog, Adventures in Data Land. I have looked at a few entries, and I already like what he is doing. He is sharing tips and tricks that machine learners and data miners would love to have in their repertoire. I hope he also shares his ideas on some machine learning problems that, in his opinion, are the most challenging. Thanks Alex.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

Pastoral idealism

I started reading Leo Marx's The Machine in the Garden - Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America.

I like this quote from Freund describing fantasy, and am quoting it from the book:

The creating of the mental domain of phantasy has a complete counterpart in the establishment of "reservations" and "nature-parks" in places where the inroads of agriculture, traffic, or industry threaten to change ... the earth rapidly into something unrecognizable. The "reservation" is to maintain the old condition of things which has been regretfully sacrificed to necessity everywhere else; there everything may grow and spread as it pleases, including what is useless and even what is harmful. The mental realm of phantasy is also such a reservation reclaimed from the encroaches of the reality principle.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

CVPR 2010

I am in San Francisco right now for CVPR 2010. I was planning on writing up something on some of the interesting papers that I have seen here, but the conference has been keeping me extremely busy. Maybe I will write something up once I leave for home tomorrow afternoon. To summarize my experiences so far, CVPR started out not that exciting but in the last two to three days I have seen some excellent work. I am looking forward to this afternoon session on sparse coding.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

How machine learners go for lunch?

This is how my friend, a machine learner, uncertain about where to go and get lunch from decided to settle the problem:
"...random walk on campus, with a bias towards the food courts."

Monday, March 1, 2010

Another computer vision paper

Here is the paper that we are discussing this week at our computer vision seminar. This is work by Kolmogorov, Vicente and Rother on jointly optimizing segmentation and image appearance models using a MAP-MRF formulation.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Computer vision papers

Here are two computer vision papers you might find interesting:
  • S Gould, T Gao, and D Kollar. Region-based Segmentation and Object Detection. NIPS 2009.
  • C Gu, J Lim, P Arbelaez, and J Malik. Recognition using regions. CVPR 2009.
We are looking at these two papers in our computer vision reading seminar this week.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Learning compressed sensing

If you are interested in compressive sensing and machine learning, this is a very interesting paper that my advisor emailed me. It paints a good picture of how PCA and random projections can be thought to relate to each other. Here's the link.

Hot new machine!

I just got a new workstation today - an Intel Xeon machine, with 12Gb of RAM! Well, I didn't get the monitor yet since, for some reason, Dell decided not to ship everything together, but I had an extra monitor lying around that I can use temporarily. Now I can play around with that 1Gb size training matrix for one of my research projects. I just got Ubuntu 9.10 on it in the evening, after my midterm that didn't go so well, and a two hour long seminar class. I think I might need some desk rearrangement once the ordered monitor arrives.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"Write Blog"

I have to apologize for not being regular. It has been really long since the last time I wrote; things have been pretty busy, with research projects, full load of classes, grading, and all the usuals of being a graduate student. I have been able to attend a number of great machine learning talks as well, which I was planning to write something about, but just never got around to doing that.

I think I really need to put 'write blog' in my calendar.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Getting back to research after break

The winter quarter started a week ago. I have my classes pretty much figured out at this point; now I am trying to catch up on my research from where I left off before break. As I am ruffling through my messy notes, I realize going on break suddenly made all my research projects seem very distant. But, on a good note, I am getting back on track again.