Friday, June 23, 2006

My Techie Life...

It has now been two days since I have been debugging the Python script. One problem is fixed, that the next one would come up. But the feel is now much much different. Its not like those times of ASU when there used to be sleepless nights and erroneous codes. I still remember that night towards the end of the Spring semester when I did not sleep the whole night and kept working on the avaya code. I had a meeting with Ajita and Doree next day at 11 am. Still, it was just too much inside my head that I should show a preliminary agent-selection, however it is possible. Despite that the results were not that great, still it was a big boost to my enthusiasm in the project!
Okay, I wont any more drift away from the topic I was initially discussing, yeah, so what I was telling is that, I now really curse the ASU CS Dept that PhD students can do only one internship. Had they allowed more, I could have really gathered handsome industry research experience in these 4-5 years! Its funny but you know, what really came to my mind right now is that duration of this PhD! I have just taken two and two courses in the past two semesters and I really dont know if I can finish graduating in next 4 years. The load after coming to US has been pretty much, more since I was not used to this kind of ambience before. And then a first hand hand to research! Yeah, but I would really admit that after joining Hari's group, things have changed in life! The approach he adopts in training students, specially the newbies, is awesome (let me not talk of those meeting 'wait' times!).
Hitting back from New Jersey to Tempe, it would be again the rigorous life a graduate student. The worst part are the courses! Yeah, probably this Fall I would want to get rid of those 'have-to-take' stuff: Combinatorial Algorithms, and Software Verification, Validation & Testing. The former is known to be really tough. Let's see what is in store for me! But yeah, I am sure, after Avaya, I will get back home with much more confidence than before, and beat the teneousness much better!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Academia and Industry: Research With a Difference!

Corporate Research! As if a whole new sting of nice feel runs from the top of your head to the toe! So here is me, in it, by luck or by effort, by hook or by crook!
Avaya Labs Research, the then spun off segment of AT & T Bell Labs; the Bell people, who have long been known for their services as telephony people across the world. But yeah, believe it or not, Avaya does stuff which is much much more interesting than those conventional stuff!
Its basically IP which is their center focus money delivering 'cow'. But the department I am into, Collaborative Applications Research, extends much beyond those peripheries. Its interaction, communication, presence, availability, interruption: but all considered on an entrerprise domain and from a user perspective.
Anyway, after a whole lot of technical jabbering, I should now talk sense and talk like a human being. What made me dig up this corporate research thing, is that it really preapres you for life. Any situation; I learned how to grasp things in no time and be ready to implement and use them at the tick of the mext moment. I understood nothing is unmasterable if you have the desire to deal with it. And that is what matters in life in the end!
I have like learnt four new tools since I arrived here and used all of them. The code is now being demoed to customers and will be ready to sell once we are done. This has given me a tremendous feel of satisfaction and confidence! From now on, I believe, my courses when back in Tempe will not give me nightmares or sleepless nights!
And yeah, my schedule! I swear, I believed it could never set to right till I came here and got into this habit of getting up early for office. And its so true that starting your day off early changes your life! All along the day, your vigor is on and you accomplish stuff much better!
So count it in: take my word, corporate exposure always helps!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

How is 'Blogging' There in Your Books?

So here is Munmun back to the 'blogging' world after almost an year: see, how long a vacation it has been! Or was it really? Things have changed like daily meals: nevertheless, better don't ask me for the good or for the bad. I guess a sensible, diplomatic and pragmatic answer would be: yeah, it has been a mix of everything: after all, its the life experience that matters, not the 'good' or 'bad' of it. Anyway, after enough of philosophical note in the very beginning, I now want to change the track. Yeah, I have been writing since long back, many times regularly, sometimes intermittantly, but one thing was always common: it was mostly my explanations of my life experiences, but now I want to fetter those shackles, all I want now is to capture the essence of it: that is what sticks with you in the end at all times!
Being into research for an year, the very word 'blogging' or 'blog' has a whole lot of diversified meaning to me. Let me jot them down here (you will find 'your' definition of 'blogging' here probably!):
(1) 'Blogging' is a juicy pastime after a kind of tiring, rather grilling office weekday or a day long work with your advisor.
(2) 'Blogging' is a platform to resume your writing habit again and to brush up that really coveted hobby/skill(?) .
(3) 'Blogging' is a means to ward off the idea that there isn't a boyfriend/girlfriend!
(4) 'Blogging' is a side job while you are doing some really crap surfing or chatting on blind 'cyber dates'.
(5) 'Blogging' is a means to ventilate your subdued frustration after watching a highly bogus movie last night.
(6) Yeah, those comments by your friends after you write a blog isn't a bad time pass at all! On a serious note, you can judge your thoughts, compare with others and have some fruitful, mind-boggling discussion with your best friend on Yahoo Messenger or the phone.
(7) Ask my faculty advisor about 'blog'. He would say, "Ohh yeah, it is one of the best means to visualize a social network in a virtual world like Internet. I am extremely interested in social networks. Like, you can mine those 'blog' databases to find people of similar taste and interest. Like a company dealing in cameras might want to mine a blog database and find cliques of people particularly discussing some special model of Canon or some newly released feature in Nikon SLRs."
(8) Talk to my internship mentor or supervisor. They would look at the 'blog' from their product selling's point: "Yeah, blogs. They are an immense source of information for us since we look at the user (person) perspective in social networks in blogs where there have been very little work or real time system development till now. We can have some really interesting publications later."
(9) And yeah, how can we ignore that 'blogs' are the 'food for thought' for people in Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Research? No, you should not get jitters of tomorrow in some corner of the newspaper you read that Google Search will now be driven on personalized scales: they would now use the social network structure analysis from places like Orkut and the blogs on the open web to direct their search for you: just and specially for you: ones that taste your tongue!
(10) After subscribing to all these nine dimensions to think about blogs and blogging, what do you now expect my thought would be? Or will I at all be having any tenth thought on blogs? What do you say?