Hello I am a post

What do they say about good intentions? Something about paving a road to some kind of a place that has a bad reputation...

Well, I had every intention to update this thing much more diligently. Unfortunately, life got in the way. Busy busy busy, always working, not sleeping or eating nearly enough, no time. Working on a bunch of projects at the same time

1) Building a query-focused multi-document summarization system for a class. Very interesting and I so wish I had more time to spend on this project alone, doing something interesting with it... alas, no such luck. If it were my only class that would've been feasible, but this is not the case. Well, in any case, it's been going fine. Lots of coding, LOTS of reading, lots of research and thinking, then some more coding. Basically, at a pretty high level the flow is: minor document pre-processing (clean up and some very coarse clustering), query parsing, document retrieval based on the content and the parse of the query (using Lucene for this because it works quickly and I've tuned its implementation to be quite reliable), sentence scoring (using something like LexRank although I may change it to a HITS implementation), anaphora resolution (got it to work through singular value decomposition), sentence extraction and compression (treating the sentence/feature space problem as an integer linear programming task), sentence ordering, anaphora resolution round the second, and finally grammaticality and coherence cleanup (don't know what I'm doing here yet)

2) Building a Finnish-English statistical machine translation system. I am focusing heavily on the pre-processing component, mostly thorough morphological parsing and normalization of stem forms. Alignment method similar to GIZA++ but not quite, factored language model, Pharaoh decoder. Haven't actually implemented the components yet, working on the theory and in lecture this past Thursday we had a guest speaker whose presentation resulted in about a million ideas forming in my head. Have to make sense of all of it first, and there is just no time this week.

3) Slowly, slowly making progress on my thesis. I just really don't have time to put all my effort into it... But that's what the summer is for.

4) Have ideas for 2 conference papers... Not sharing yet, though :P They are in their infancy.

5) Obviously, work. After some staff changes I ended up with about three times as much work as I had before, including having to learn an entire huge process in about two weeks. I thought I was being really slow and dense about the whole thing, but apparently everyone was extremely impressed how quickly I caught on and how very well my work was going. Makes me feel a bit better.

I am slowly coming to a realization that most people don't live like this. I wake up at 6am and I go to sleep at 3am. Every day. People say they are jealous of my work ethic but I don't get it, what else am I supposed to do? Turn in half-baked projects? Code that crashes? Ideas with giant holes in them? Fall behind on tasks that other people rely on? I can't do this. I guess that despite how laid back I am in person, I'm a closet type A personality. I almost never play board games because I hate losing, I get really upset if I get anything below a 3.7 in classes, and I would rather go without sleep for a couple days than not finish something I feel I am responsible for.

I think my problem is that I am just one person, and I want to understand it all. It is unsettling to me that it just can't happen. I wish to have a full understanding of the complexity of the world, and while that is clearly impossible, I can't stop pursuing this unattainable goal.

Also, I thought I hated all glitter nail polish, but I am fully willing to eat my words. Mad as a Hatter and Absolutely Alice by OPI are amazing. Of course I only have the mini set :-( And of course these are ~coveted nail polishes so if I wanted to get them off eBay or something I'd have to pay prices I'm not willing to pay for nail polish. Yet. Oh, the lemmings...

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