Sunday, March 27, 2016

KGSP - Incoherent Timelines

We're almost through the first month of the semester! That's good because that's one month closer to finishing the semester, but at the same time there's still a solid three months left in the semester. Still a lot of time left, but at the rate the work is accumulating it might not be enough.

For the most part this week was pretty standard. One thing that stuck out though was that for some reason my supervisor wanted the lab to go for a barbecue. This isn't exactly out of the blue because we do lab lunches and dinners every once and a while.

But outside barbecues, I haven't had one of these in a while.

Instead of going to a meat restaurant like we normally did, we went to the small mountain in the middle of KAIST and had our own barbecue in the barbecuing area. Yes, my school has a barbecue area next to the outdoor auditorium. It's pretty great actually.

Typing this post out actually reminded me that I don't know how to spell barbecue. I've spelled it wrong every time and used a Q where there shouldn't be one. A situation where the acronym messes with you a bit too much I guess.

First time using a chimney to start up the coals.

It was kinda fun. Food was alright, but the weather was a bit cold. Weather has been weird lately. It's nice and warm in the afternoon but in the morning and night it's still chilly. Don't like it. I think I got a small cold too, my throat and nose have been bothering me for a while now.

Outside of school it's been alright as well. School has been the major thing in my life now, so it's a bit weird when I'm seeing posts from friends back at home posting about their last assignments or end of the year celebrations.

And I'm just like, making curry that's too watery.

Since Korea's school year starts in March and Canada's school year ends in April, there's a real big disjoint between them. Now that the semester for us is actually going, the ones back at home is ending. So the feeling is a bit weird. The longer I live here the more disconnected I feel.

Monday, March 21, 2016

KGSP - Spring Begins

Yesterday was the first day of Spring. Incidentally, I also forgot to write a blog post yesterday. This week was alright. The school week was about the same as usual, just working on class and lab stuff while going to classes when I remember I have them.

Not going to lie, I used to think I studented pretty good, but now I have a feeling that my studenting skills have gone down a bit. I feel a bit more tired and unmotivated than I ever felt at UOIT, which is really killing me.

I put a light in a metal bowl and called it homework.

Lab stuff is going alright I guess. Have some papers to write and a project to work on, but that stuff is slowly getting done. Much more interesting than class work that's for sure. Unfortunately though, one of the proposals I wrote up got rejected. Not really heart-breaking, but kinda sucks I guess.

Outside of school, I ended up going to Seoul again this weekend. I've been tired all week so I wanted to rest and relax a bit this weekend, but going to Seoul apparently is not a good idea for that. Friend wanted to celebrate his birthday so we just went out on Friday.

Dark and badly taken pictures galore.

That was a tiring day. The next day I just woke up, went to the Magic store to buy some cards and then played Magic for like 9 hours with friends. That was great but that was also a tiring day. Came back to Daejeon yesterday and man, waking up today sucked.

My bed is so comfy man. But the weather is getting warmer now and I need to switch out my super comfy blanket for a still comfy but not as comfy blanket. Weather has been weird though, it's warm, but it's still kinda chilly at the same time.

Also one of my friends randomly gave me a pack of curry I have to try sometime.

Can't wait for it to get actually warm. Nothing planned for this week so I'm hoping to just rest and relax a bit.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

KGSP - Man vs Creation

This week was quite interesting. School itself was pretty straightforward though, being the first full week of classes. Classes already are ramping up the work load pretty hard, so I've been having to already kinda start balancing my work a bit.

I'm normally ok with dealing with a lot of work; I definitely had a lot of experience with that at UOIT. But the issue here is that I'm completely out of my comfort zone. Instead of programming and dealing with software, I have courses that deal with physical prototyping and product design.

That literal feel when you have to go to Daiso to buy a bunch of random stuff to think about what to make.

Like, I normally consider myself a relatively creative person that's good at problem solving. But my time here at KAIST has made me realize that my limits are very real. I really have a terrible time creating products.

Software and systems I can do, but once you ask me to go beyond technology a bit and go into creating products, my mind is blank. I find that if something isn't interesting to me, nothing will never come out of it. Like I went to see a ballet show and despite it being somewhat entertaining, it's not something that invokes anything.

The fact that the school has something like this is cool though.

I think a good example of what actually captures my imagine and passion really is the history that is being made this week. AlphaGo, an extensively powerful AI, is challenging Lee Sedol, one of the greatest Go players in modern history, in five games of Go.

Go is really popular in East Asia, and a lot of people in Korea play it and know it. I also have a lot of friends who are very passionate about it too, but I never even looked up the rules. Despite that, this is a monumental occasion and it speaks to me on a very real level.

The entire country is captivated by the sheer magnificence of technology.

I've worked with AI before, and despite not doing anything super complex, I have a very big respect for the people that can create powerful AI. And despite not knowing too much about Go, I know enough that this game is incredibly complex and intricate.

I'd probably enjoy playing it if I actually took the time to learn it, but I don't know it. Regardless, I found myself watching the matches on stream even though I don't understand any of the moves. The sheer spectacle of seeing a man lose 3:0 to an algorithm and then manage to claw back and win one game.. That's something special.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

KGSP - An Interesting Start

After two days of public holiday, the Spring 2016 semester officially started on Wednesday. This semester is going to be rough. I'm taking four classes which by itself is a lot of work, but I'm also leading the development on a project for the lab too.

All things together means that this semester is gonna be brutal. I normally don't think about these things too much before they even begin, but I guess times have changed and I'm not looking forward to it.

I distracted myself by buying this scratch map of the world. Toronto isn't even on it.

So despite only having a short week due to the holidays, this week was interesting. For one, I went to the first lecture for all of my classes. Two of the classes I'm taking, Design Project I and Motion Graphics, seem to be the most time consuming classes.

Lots of projects, but with a heavy payout if I do them well. Another class, Interface Design, is my final undergraduate class I need to take. The first lecture was by far the most interesting lecture at my time here so far, which is good. The last class is Scientific Writing, which, well.

A mandatory masters level class at one of the top schools in Korea people.

It's an EFL class. Apparently until the midterm it's essentially going to be like elementary school English class. After the midterm is when it gets more sciencey. Naturally I'm not too happy with this. Sure, it's going to be easy, but it's going to drive me insane at the same time.

Aside from school starting, the weather is starting to warm up a bit too. It's hitting the teens now, which is a fair indicator that it's no longer winter. I'm ok with warmer weather. I'm getting tired of wearing a jacket all the time, so warm weather is good.

But it rained so much our foot bridge disappeared.

I really want to do well this semester. This is my last semester before I start to officially work on my thesis, so doing well here gives a ton of bonuses. There's a lot of work even just getting it done, so getting it done well.. well, gonna be tough. Doable, but tough.