LeithJournal

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Archive for April, 2006

Apr30

Assignment agony

Posted by Leith in News
assignment-agony

Couldn’t get to sleep again, but ended up getting some sleep afterwards. I woke up around 1.45, got up and did some emails. Went outside and took some pictures for Photography, then packed up and headed in to Uni (after offloading the images), taking more pictures outside the CSE building, then going up to my office and offloading them, setting up everything with Angelina etc. After that I took the camera equipment around to Nate’s office in EE, since he needed the camera after me.

Back at the office I was agonizing over my Vision assignment. I can’t even get the basic detection to work, which means I can’t even get to the implementations of the rest of my ideas for the feature descriptors and the like. Basically this means I’m going to get next to nothing for this assignment because I have no working code, no data to compare, nothing. This means my report will be very, very bare. I then spent some time working with the graphics and photos I had taken to try and make some sense of them and make some progress with that assignment. Seems ok, I should be able to come up with something useful for that, although I’m not sure where I’m going to find the time to do the renderings. Aseem (the TA for the course) said we could utilize a script to get the servers to do it for us, but he hasn’t posted that yet so I’m going to be doing the renderings individually I guess.

I also did a little updating work as a distraction method from my assignments. Nothing particularly fancy, so it was somewhat relaxing. I kept working on my Vision assignment and ultimately got myself nowhere. I went to bed and watched a little television to unwind. Didn’t manage to get to sleep for ages again… couldn’t stop my brain thinking about things.

It’s very frustrating feeling like a total moron.

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Apr29

Open House and getting worse

Posted by Leith in News,Play
open-house-and-getting-worse

Well, the Univeristy of Washington had its Open House on Friday and Saturday, in which I participated as a volunteer for the Engineering part. I got a volunteer t-shirt, another name badge on a lanyard and had a lot of fun. On Friday I ran the table that taught people (mostly kids) how computers store letters as numbers, then on Saturday I ran the parity trick area. I had a lot of fun showing kids how to do things, and I met this guy Twon who’s looking to come to the UW who was pretty interesting to talk to about Computer Science as a problem solving field.

I went to the Computer Science TGIF which was alright. I ended up chatting to a girl named Julie who was a PhD student in the Oceanography department for quite a long time about various different kinds of things.

I worked on my assignments, went to the Anime Club meeting, then went out with the Anime Club people on the Ave for a bubble tea and a chat. It was really good going out with them actually. I’m slowly learning their names, and at the very least I’ve got a bit of social activity for my Friday nights, hurrah!

My sleep has gone to hell in a handbasket from stress over work stuff.

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Apr27

Pretty productive day

Posted by Leith in News
pretty-productive-day

Groggy start, but went to Architecture just fine. I apparently didn’t miss all that much last week since we’re still going over the theory section, pretty much all of which I know from doing Computer Graphics and in some cases a lot more detail, as is the case with 3D Photography right now. After that I went to 3D Photography, which was a guest lecture by Wolfgang Heinrichs from the University of British Columbia, just up the road in Vancouver. It was a pretty interesting talk about how to capture the geometries of ‘difficult cases’, which in this instance meant deformable objects like cloth and transparent materials like glass. I’m finding a lot of this stuff interesting from a curiosity point of view, but I can’t say that I would want to delve into it as an area of research.

After that I went back to my office and did a bunch of email and admin stuff, organising what I was going to be doing. From there I went to a rather long meeting with Brian, in which I finally sorted out what I’m going to be actually doing for my research. Now I just need to expedite putting together a proposal report (which apparently is ultimately just for my edification) outlining what I’m doing and when I’m doing it. For those of you that are interested, I’m going to be putting together some useful visualisations of the accuracy of algorithm-generated 3D models against ground truth models during the rest of the quarter. Next quarter I’m hopefully going to be generating some more datasets (which while isn’t actually contributing research is still contributing to the research community) and creating a fast algorithm for 3D model comparisons. The current comparison algorithms are accurate, but really slow.

After that I went with Suporn to her office to pick up the Camera and fisheye lens which I need to use for my 3D Photography class, and talked to her for a little while about some of the challenges that we need to work on. I then went back to my office and did a little more admin – paid my GST for the last period, which was like $500…. ouch. I really need to convince everyone I subcontract to register for GST so I can actually claim some of the money I’m paying them back. None of my expenses here are tax-deductible because they don’t have New Zealand GST on them. Bah.

After that I ran across campus (literally) to Balmer hall, where I sat in on a discussion session on entrepreneurship. That was really interesting to listen to the discussion with a couple of local entrepreneurs, hear their stories of what they do, how they got started, what they think is important, that kind of thing. Really it was a lot of things that echoed what I had heard from other presentations, but what I found really interesting was due to their different backgrounds, they definitely disagreed on some things for their own personal situations.

After that I swung by the HUB and picked up some sushi, then went back to my office and tried to do some work. I ended up doing a lot of emails, a little bit of reading (the technical kind, that is), putting together the shell for my proposal in LyX and pretty much doing no solid work on my assignments, which was frustrating. I eventually took a range of images with the camera of my office to get used to the system – I’ll process them tomorrow and take the rest of the pictures.

I went back to my apartment, started my washing going, then cooked up the remainder of my BBQ beans and had them as the second part of my dinner (the first being the sushi) while I watched an episode of The Law of Ueki, which has certainly been entertaining me of late. It has some nice themes about justice, being good and helpful to other people, that kind of thing. I switched my washing over into the dryer and worked on understanding and putting in some code into my Vision assignment, which I’m finding fairly challenging right now. I don’t think I have enough mathematics coming in to a lot of these courses, and it’s really showing. >_<

After that I got my washing out of the dryer and went to bed.

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Apr26

Profundity and beautiful hair

Posted by Leith in News,Play,Work
profundity-and-beautiful-hair

Did not get nearly enough sleep, so I was a bit late to my Digital Culture lecture. However I didn’t appear to miss much, as the speaker was talking about security in a way that a lot of the stuff he was talking about I already knew, so that may have been alright that I was a bit late. From there we went on to photography and the implications of digital manipulation.

One interesting point that was raised was the level of responsibility associated with being able to manipulate images. The question that one of my classmates posed was, who in the room would be comfortable Photoshopping an image such that it could be used as evidence in a murder (removing the moral implications, of course). Oddly, I was. Weird kind of a feeling, actually.

Another interesting part about that particular class was that Terry, our professor, was searching around for some kind of educational landmarks for us to recognise. He was asking us for profundities, for specific commentaries about Digital Culture that we have gleaned during his course. This is what I contributed, which he subsequently posted on the course webpage:

Our ability to manipulate images is greater than our ability to perceive manipulations in images.

The idea that ‘Digital Culture’ is really about the greater availability of information, technologies and the impact they have on the behavioral patterns of society as a whole – it drives a need for the ‘culture’ to adopt a greater level of discernment. This can be illustrated as a general trend through emerging information technologies as people learn to disregard or perceive what is more meaningful or relevant to them: do not take notice of ‘trash’ novels or tabloids raving about aliens; do not watch the commercials on television or the melodramas about prepubescents; do not click on the pop-up advertisements or the search engine results that are not what you’re looking for. In the same way, when presented with numerous photographs and asked to discern which is the ‘real’ one, society is still playing catch-up to the wide-spread adoption of image manipulation technology.

Some other contributions from the class:

Adam Hindman: The things that people do in a digital culture are not new. However, the fact that digital culture allows many more people to do them much more easily means that unprecedented effects are produced. Quantitative change results in qualitative change.

Travis Kriplean (the other Computer Scientist in the class): The use of digital technologies is facilitating the generation of extremely precise, searchable, mineable, and archivable data–now, more than ever, we have to discriminate between not just too little, but also too much data: we need to understand and find meaning in excessive information. How do we come to ignore, what do we ignore, and when? The need becomes more pronounced the more detailed our quantifications become.

Past that I did some work, went to the FIUTS lunch, all that jazz. I went bowling again with the CSE people in the social league again. It’s good fun and I get to chat with other people a bit more. Anna and I aren’t doing very well score-wise, but that’s not really the point – it’s still good fun. Also, while I was there one of the girls in the lane next to us complimented me on my hair. ^^ That was a nice feeling.

Back at the office I looked over some work stuff, wrote a bunch of emails and generally felt pretty bad and not confident about my current assignments’ completion.

I went back to my apartment and got some dinner, went to bed early but it didn’t make much difference as I still couldn’t get to sleep for ages.

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Apr25

Feeling good

Posted by Leith in News
feeling-good

Woke up before my alarm, only to turn it off and doze again. I did this for a second alarm I’d set as well. When I was finally awake enough to be useful, I went and had a shower and started doing things. I did some minor accounts work, sorted out some blog stuff, did my hair then went to university.

I had a pretty interesting lecture for 3D Photography today, and I think I’m starting to actually get my head around a lot of the concepts a bit more solidly. I still don’t have a good recall on the various different names of people and the algorithms/models/properties that they represent all that well, but I figure that’s just a function of repetitively using them.

I spent the rest of the day at the office working on my assignments, one way or another. I spent a fair bit of time just getting my head around the concepts, I also started working on the report skeletons, outlining the structure for what I’m going to say, that kind of thing. That’ll speed up the process somewhat at the end of the assignment.

All in all I felt pretty good today. It might be illusory given how much work I know I have yet to do on these, but on the whole I felt really good and felt like I was working and making progress, which is always a nice feeling. Christian had the day off after a fairly intense bout of working on a paper he submitted to a conference yesterday, so he was enjoying playing some of the old school ScummVM games that he had pointed out to me a few days ago.

I decided to be reasonably sensible tonight and actually go home around 8.30. I went back, had some dinner, watched a little anime, did some work on my reports some more, then watched some more anime and relaxed for a bit before hitting the hay.

I felt good today. A lot better than I have in a while, even including the upward trend I’ve been feeling these past few days. No idea why – I’m starting to feel like I’m more hormonal than a girl with PMS. Yeesh. Scary thought. Actually it might have something to do with the weather. There’s been a lot less rain, yesterday had a gorgeous clear blue sky that looked like it wasn’t even real, today had fluffy white clouds and lovely sun as well (for the parts I saw of it walking between buildings, anyway). I probably have that stupid Seasonal Affective Disorder or something. Bloody weather.

Heh. ^^

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