Thursday, March 20, 2008

what can I do next week? Go home! :D

13 Thursday night: Suddenly realise that you have nothing planned for the easter break from 20-25th and you dont feel like sleeping it away as you had initially assumed. So start searching for possible things to do:
? Already bored of touring western Europe, so rule out that option.
? Flights to Scandinavian countries are too costly now (obviously .. should have booked much earlier), so rule out the option.
? Adventure or activity trips within UK all need more than 5 days or atleast 3 week advance booking or need to wait for summer for the so-called better weather. Rule out the option.
? Go home? Booking flight tickets to India just a week before travel will definitely cost a fortune! Nice challenge right? So start searching.
? Keep searching and searching .. almost all return flights to Hyderabad from London (whichever airlines and via whichever city) cost around than £500 or more.
? Finally after 4 hours, find one which costs just a bit more than £400. Not too bad. But going to India seriously? If yes, should at least go for 3 weeks. But then what about all the work here? and my supervisors and so on? Lets sleep on it

14 Friday morning: Wake up and immediately realise that ought to go home since its been more than 15 months anyway.
? Go to lab and then mail the supervisors saying you will be away for 3 weeks.
? Get the okay from the second supervisor .. and since the first one is away to a conference, book the tickets anyway without waiting for the primary approval :D
? Booked the tickets! Flying on next saturday 22nd march.
? Start informing friends, no one had expected me to go home before july ... neither did I

! Not told parents yet, maybe it's a surprise ??
! Plan a small trip to Bangalore for one of the two weekends that I would be in India. Why? To meet friends and also because I have been to Tokyo, London, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt whatever but not yet to Bangalore :D

17 Monday: Inform some of the lab friends about your unexpected trip and amaze them with you whimsical decision :D.

20 Thursday: Decide to write a blog post about the 'impending trip' to announce it to the world :P
! Just came to know that the new airport at Hyderabad will be functional from 23rd morning .. so I would be one of the first bakras :-s Or is it that they have opened a new airport just for me? :P

And finally just hope that this journey passes more smoothly than the earlier trip to India which involved waiting at Heathrow for 8 hours and then missing the connecting flight at Mumbai and then having to run around the two airports of Mumbai for a replacement flight to Hyderabad :).

edit: screw Pati. If this post sucked, its because of him

Friday, March 14, 2008

work-wise updates ....

I realised that there have been only two posts labelled "work-wise" ever since I moved to the UK and started working towards my PhD i.e more than 18 months now. Prior to that, according to the statistics :P, I seem to have written 28 posts in the two years of blogging at IIIT. Quite unusual, because I feel PhD provides with many many interesting anecdotes too. But I guess, I never felt the inclination to blog about them :-s.

Okay, so where should I start? Or maybe I can just put in bullet points in chronological order?

»» I wrote the first paper of my PhD and got it accepted in a workshop of Aamas. Not a big deal at all .. but I had a paper in a workshop of Aamas 2006 and another one in another workshop of Aamas 2007. So with this paper, I complete a hat-trick :D .. though this will be first time I will be presenting the paper ... So Portugal .. me shall be coming in may !

»» After writing this paper, I started working on my mini-thesis. Completed it a few weeks ago, by producing a book-like document of 103 pages ... a century! woo hoo!! :D

»» The mini-thesis is followed by a viva (mini-defence? :D). So I had to submit a copy to the examiner .. who scrutinized it for a good three weeks. And then, we had the grand viva ... me, the examiner (an internal guy .. one whom I already knew), and my two supervisors. The purpose of this minithesis+viva activity is to decide whether to
- let me proceed towards my phd by concluding that my progress over the past 18 months was good enough
- kick me out with an mphil by finding that my progress does not match up to the expectations
- give me a bit more time to produce an improved minithesis and conduct another viva

and the result is obvious :P. So, now I am officially, half a doctor :P lets say I learnt the philosophy part .. now just need a doctorate :D.

And yeah (instead of PS): did a very instinctive thing on a whim today .. and am I glad that I did! :D.