August 27, 2009

Reevaluation

I'm currently in the process of reevaluating my blog. Thus, the current "hibernation" stage. I hope to come back fresh and in full later this semester. Thanks for reading!

July 7, 2009

Back From Alaska

I just returned this week from my awesome vacation in Alaska. It is one of the most amazing places I have visited. Its spectacular scenery makes you feel like you are in a postcard the whole time. I will post some pictures as soon as I sort through the thousands (literally) of pictures that my wife and my mother took.

Meanwhile, here are some of the cool things I did at Alaska:
- Train riding
- Biking
- Paragliding
- Glacier hiking
- Cruising
- Rafting
- Zip lining


June 21, 2009

Way Up North

Wrangells1.jpg

I will be on vacation for the next two weeks. Since it is getting warmer and that would just feel too comfortable, I am going up north to Alaska, where it is still somewhat chilly. Nothing fits better together than cruises and sweaters.

June 17, 2009

GroupLens, The Most Awesome CS Lab

Readers of this blog have probably seen me write a lot about Cyclopath and my research. The Cyclopath project is really cool and one which I am proud to be a part of. But the fact is that Cyclopath is just one of the many cool projects that go on in my research lab, GroupLens. We have a great team and excellent advisors. The group does a lot of research on online communities, such as Wikipedia, and recommender systems, such as MovieLens. If you ever want to know more about out research, check out grouplens.org.

June 8, 2009

Go Progress

At the beginning of the semester I had talked about trying out the game of Go. And I have to say it was a great choice. I have fallen in love with the game. I am playing almost every day and have blasted through 14 books on the topic already. I recommend this game to everyone. I will most definitely blog more about it in the future. Meanwhile, I leave you with two links.

An introduction to the game: The Interactive Way to Go

The place where I play and practice, fit for players of any level: KGS

June 4, 2009

Submitting a Paper for the First Time

This week I submitted my first paper to a conference. Well, technically it was a note, which means it is only four pages long. And I was second author. But it is still the first paper to go out there with my name on it.

The process was pretty tiring, but it was worth it. We went from general outline to outline at the paragraph level to outline at the sentence level to draft and finally to finished paper. And the introduction was written at least four different times. It was really hard to nail down.

I am really eager to talk about what we wrote, but it will have to wait until the paper actually goes through the review process and gets accepted. Hopefully that should happen sometime in July. I will blog about it as soon as I get notified!

May 27, 2009

Research Note

I apologize for the recent lack of posting. I'm in the middle of writing a research note for a conference deadline this Monday. Meanwhile, head on to the Fail Blog for some entertainment.

May 16, 2009

Real-Life Superheroes

Hard to believe as it may be, there are actually people who go out as masked heroes and try to fight crime. Reminds me a lot of Watchmen. Read more about it in the articles Cincinnati Patrolled By Real-Life Superheroes. What Could Possibly Go Wrong? and The Legend of Master Legend. The "Consortium of Evil" (yes, it exists) had even posted a Craiglist ad (which seems to have been taken down) offering a $10 bounty for the identity of Shadowhare. If you were a real-life superhero, what name would you go by? Something with the words Panda or Ninja would probably cut it for me.

May 9, 2009

My First MN 5k

Today I ran my first 5k since I moved to MN (and my second ever). I had done terrible my first time, arriving second to last out of around 15 runners. This time I set a personal goal of finishing in less than 30 minutes.

This race was quite bigger than the one I went to in Puerto Rico (although the one I went to was quite hidden). There were more than 300 participants this time. The path went right next to the Mississippi river, so it was really nice and relaxing. It was so nice that I had no idea that I was actually keeping quite a good pace throughout the race.

In the end, I beat my goal by more than 5 minutes, finishing the race in less than 25 minutes and in 22nd place. This was really surprising and at the same time motivating. Now I can't wait for the next one! I just hope I don't get such terrible allergies next time (it seems my nose does not enjoy running outside in the Spring as much as I do).

May 3, 2009

Cyclopath Tags Are Live!

One of the features I have been working on for some time in my lab was just released this past week. Cyclopath, the geowiki for bicyclists, now supports tagging. It is just too cool. Here are two short videos that one of my teammates prepared explaining how tags are used in the system.