Sunday, February 26, 2017

KGSP - The Thesising Begins

This week was actually a fairly boring week. It's the last week of the winter vacation and class starts on Monday, so there was that whole lull feel to the week despite nothing really changing too much when the semester starts.

This is (hopefully) my last semester. Unfortunately I still have to take one more class and one seminar, which means more distractions from working on my thesis. Now that my lab project has finished, I've actually had some time to work on my thesis project.

Just more time in the lab really.

The rough schedule for the semester came out this week. I have three presentations related to my thesis with the first one being in March, second in May, and last in June. Based on that schedule, I have a pretty clear idea of what my time is going to be like for the next few months.

For the March presentation, I have to pretty much finish a prototype of my thesis project. So I have about a month to do that. Then, I have just over a month to conduct user studies, analyze it, and write most of my thesis. If that goes well, my defense is in June which requires a complete thesis.

I didn't really take pictures this week so here's a moldy stick in a salted mixture.

So really, it's gonna be a lot of work, but definitely doable. I've already started looking for some jobs too so it really does feel like it's leading up to the end. I just hope I don't hit any serious snags with my thesis project. If I don't, everything should be fine.

In other news, the weather is warming up a bit now so that it doesn't feel as bad to Pokemon Go. A bunch of chains in Korea sponsored the application so it added a bunch more Pokestops on my route to and from the lab, which is fantastic.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

KGSP - Celebration and Relaxation

So it's official. I'm finally done with my lab project! It's been pretty much a year since I started working on it. It was originally supposed to just last half a year, but then it got pushed back. And then pushed back again. And then once more.

But, it's finally done! Me and my team wrote a paper and submitted it to IMWUT, a journal that has probably the best acronym I could think of. I'm not too sure about our acceptance chance, but I don't really want to think about that. As far as I'm concerned, the project is over.

Celebratory lunch after the submission.

The rest of the week has been pretty chill. Lots of time and energy were spent on the submission, so by the time we were done me and my teammate were just ready to relax. Our professor isn't around either, so we really did have a chance to take it easy for a bit.

I ended up taking the day off from the lab yesterday and just playing video games and watching shows all day. That was nice, I haven't really had the chance to do that lately. Plus, Pokemon Go recently released generation 2, which is nice too.

Wild geese appeared (while playing Pokemon Go)! Wild geese used Congest Road! It's super effective!

This week also saw the graduation ceremony for the year's graduates. I missed last year's because I was on vacation in Malaysia, but I was here this year. I knew some people graduating so it was nice to go, but still kinda weird cause it's not my graduation.

I don't think I'll end up going to my ceremony. KAIST only has one ceremony a year, so despite me finishing my studies in the summer, I'd have to wait until Feb 2018 for my ceremony. I'd go if I was in Korea then, but I don't think that's likely at this point.

Maybe I can just pretend it's kinda for me too.

But that's pretty much the goal for the next few months. Need to work on my thesis and make sure I can graduate. I've started working on it, but a lot more work needs to be done. So the last few days have been relatively restful, but then work starts up again very soon.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

KGSP - HCIK 2017

So the highlight of the last week by far was our lab trip to HCIK, the largest Korean HCI conference. We went last year too so I had a good idea of what to expect for this time around, and for the most part it played out pretty similarly to last time.

The best thing about this conference isn't actually the actual conference, but rather the venue the conference is held in. It's held at a conference center in the middle of a ski resort that also has a casino.

I feel like I took this exact picture last year too.

So what does this mean? Well, skiing and gambling of course! The vast majority of the talks are in Korean which makes it difficult for me to follow along. I can understand the gist of the talks if I concentrate and listen well, but to be honest many of the talks aren't that interesting.

So that means I pretty much spent half of the time just playing, and the other half of the time actually attending talks and stuff. The talks I went to were ok I guess. I learned a few things but for the most part they kinda just reiterated a lot of stuff I already knew.

The only English keynote.

I ended up going skiing for like two hours, which was fun. Surprisingly cold though. It was the first time I went skiing since last year's conference and it was nice. Didn't fall this time either, which is an improvement I guess.

We also briefly went to the casino too. Like last year it was super crowded inside so it took a while to find a slot machine to play with. However, unlike last year, I ended up losing my ten bucks super quickly and left empty handed. Oh well, can't win every year right?

Artificial snow on the slopes.

Overall the conference was ok. It was nice to get out of the lab, but we have a paper due on Thursday so the next few days is going to just be powering through and hopefully finally getting this project done.

I also finally started working on my thesis project. I didn't do much, but I started some initial planning and started porting some code over from my lab project. Have to focus on getting this paper done first though, but I'm looking forward to working on it again.

I also worked on making salted eggs. The mixture looks kinda gross though.

So yea, paper writing is the focus for this week.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

KGSP - Pokemon Going

So Pokemon Go has now been released in Korea for like two weeks now. While the rest of the world doesn't really care about the game anymore, Korea has definitely caught the Pokemon fever. It's fascinating really, because I'm seeing so many posts about it again.

A lot of random ads and posts on Facebook are about Pokemon Go, and there's a real deja vu feeling since I saw this all back in the summer too. I have to say I'm kinda caught up in it too. It's honestly not that fun of a game, but it's addictive.

This park is ridiculous. Nine Pokestops in a 5 minute circular walk.

I haven't really deviated from my daily life that much to play this game though. I've mostly just been doing the same thing but every time I'm outside I pull out my phone and check what's around me. I've discovered that my battery has been dying a lot faster lately.

It's one of the biggest issues I have with the game actually. You need the screen and application on in order for you to do anything, so you just end up with a phone battery that just goes down super quick. Plus it makes it difficult to do anything if you have a bike, like I do.

Which is why I invested in a bike mount for my phone.

I just wish it was a bit warmer. The cold is causing my hands to dry up if I don't wear my gloves. Aside from Pokemon Go, this week was ok. One of my friends from Seoul came by to visit yesterday so I spent the day chilling and hanging out with him.

Earlier on in the week there was a short workshop at school by the HCI group. Our lab recently joined that group so we had to participate in the workshop. It wasn't very exciting, but the room was in range of two Pokestops.

Free food and Pokestops. I have no shame.

It was funny because people just kept luring the two Pokestops, which clearly showed that a lot of people weren't paying attention to the talks.

Speaking of talks, my lab is going to HCI Korea again this year, so we'll be taking a trip out to Gangwon-do on Tuesday to attend the conference. This is good because it's at a ski resort and casino. But it's bad because we still have a paper to write.