May 24, 2017

Yesterday I finally submitted my paper. We originally planned to submit it back in March, but at that time we did not have enough details and materials for the paper. This time we had a good story, good experiments and well-articulated arguments. As always, my advisor was very helpful. She stayed up late to help with writing and fixing papers. Now that’s one less thing to worry about. The next step would be doing more experiments (that I promised during thesis proposal defense) then writing my thesis in tandem. My next target would be end of June for the thesis’s first draft. Also, I finally have spare times (!) to take care of my side projects. I don’t remember when was the last time. I’ve been working like crazy since I got back to the US in Jan. The first thing would be converting this blog to static HTML, because, WordPress is overkill. The second thing would be put my two newly purchased Raspberry Pi 3 in good use. The third thing would be start running and cycling again this summer. Cheers to an exciting summer ahead!

May 14, 2017

Today I wake up at 3pm. It was a great sleep. I can’t remember the last time I slept so well in the last few weeks. Yesterday, I successfully defended my thesis proposal, the second big milestone towards getting a PhD (the final step is the dissertation defense). For the first time in the last 5 years, there is a clear path towards the end of the tunnel. I know for the first time that I actually can graduate. Still, there are a few more steps towards the PhD. First, I need to submit a paper to CIKM, then do more experiments, then write the thesis, then setup a meeting between committee members, then defense, then a bunch of logistic steps, then PhD. Anything could go wrong at any step, but the consequences are a lot less than failing the proposal defense. It was a rainy day today. We’ve had chicken Pho, colored two pages of The Enchanted Forest and practiced basketball, just about the perfect activities for this kind of day. Tomorrow is going to be better. Anyway, I need to finish writing my paper. 10 days left. Finger crossed.

May 04, 2017

Usually when I am thinking about doing something, I can’t stop thinking about it until I get it done. It’s a good thing, but usually comes with bad consequences. Since I am really busy right now, at least it would be good to write about it and comeback later to do it. My blog is currently running on WordPress. WordPress is nice, but seems to be overkill for a simple, mostly text blog. Not to mention so many exploits recently (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14263252). What I am going to do is to export all blogs into XML, maybe convert them to Markdown and write a parser to generate static content instead. Comments can  be done using github (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14170041) I’d like to setup a server at home. I’m graduating and therefore will lost access to my current machines and clusters at my university. And I can’t afford to rent a cloud for my powerful computation. Therefore, I will spend sometime looking for a good Mini-ATX or NUC that will be my basement server for the next 5 years. And a good UPS too. It’s nice that electricity in the US does not get cut off often, but it’s still good to have an UPS for server and router. In other news, Bitcoin is up!