Archive for September, 2007

comparing professors.

Sep 29, 2007

Students have a very bad habit of comparing different professors. The notions of comparison have a wide variety, all the way from looks to intellectual abilities. Some typical comparisons of two professors P1 and P2 are noted here.

  • P1 is too strict with his lecture flow. He does not allow you to think out of the box. P2 is too lenient. His classes are full of chaos, like fish market. Moreover, you really dont have a flow of what’s going on!
  • P1 comes in Innova. P2 has an old bicycle.
  • P1 looks so cute. Had he been not in teaching, he would have been in Bollywood. I first mistook P2 for a cleaner in the department.
  • P1 has the style of asking “Got the point?”. P2 says, “Those of you who did not understand this, raise your hands.”, and nobody ever does!
  • Yesterday, I saw P1 with his wife. He had a plastic bag of vegetables and fruits. He was walking behind his wife. It was so amusing to see him that way! P2 is unmarried.
  • P1 is a printing machine, he has so many publications. I wish! P2 publishes maximum two papers every year, but each of his papers is like WOW!
  • P1 is very strict in grading, students generally get marks in binary. P2 is that way very lenient, but you should have written down something in the answer-sheet.
  • All the shirts of P1 are new. P2 seems to have only two shirts.
  • P1’s favorite student is Gullu. P2’s favorite student is bhOndOO.
  • P1 gives lot of assignments. P2 gives lot of assignments.

advisor meeting – countdown begins.

Sep 28, 2007

bhOndOO meets his advisor once every week. Therefore, if we count the number of days before meeting, they should start from 6 down to 0. However, being an ardent software engineer, bhOndOO’s countdown contains only binaries: it starts from 1 and reaches 0. For the remaining days, he is off to some other work. He is so busy!

The grand realization of the meeting gets prevailed on bhOndOO before 00011000 hours. “Shit!”, he exclaims, not because he has not done anything since past meeting, but because Tuesday is approaching! For 00000110 seconds on his bed he remembers the enjoyment he underwent in the past week till last night: Lili’s birthday party, Shami’s job treat, Gullu’s birthday party, Friday movie — Pirates of the Caribbean, trek to Bheemeshwari, inter-department cricket. And it is Monday again!

bhOndOO gets ready, has lunch, and goes straight to the lab via a zig-zag road. He knows from a talk on Time Management that if time is the constraint, work should be done in parallel. But he looks more worried with the thought. He has two tasks to do:

  • read a paper on pointer analysis.
  • implement the algorithm given in the paper!

Yuck! He has to do sequential processing. He remembers another gem from the talk: plan your work apriori. He plans: I have 00010110 hours left for the meeting. 00000110 gone in sleep (negotiable), 00000010 gone in snacks/dinner/transit, effectively 00001110 hours for the work. This is enough time: I can spend a couple of hours in understanding the paper and remaining in implementing it! Things seem in control, he starts breathing again.

By snacks time, he has read abstract, introduction, and conclusion of the paper, played Quake III, gone for coffee, read a few blogs and the recent Dilbert cartoon, updated his own blog, and chatted with …

bhOndOO is very upset with his mid-day performance. But friends around the snacks table make him merry again. Enthusiastically, he returns to the lab. I must finish it in another hour! He starts reading theory behind the algorithm, and soon the notations manage to puzzle him. He re-reads the section. He re-re-reads the section. He understands! He goes through the given algorithm and the worked out example. How did they partition the variables? May be like this (there is no time to go back and confirm, and moreover, it is so straightforward!). He browses through experimental results, reads conclusion again, closes his eyes, and asks himself, “What does the algorithm do?”. His mind bluffs something to him which he considers a valid answer.

“Coming for dinner?”, friends interrupt.

“Sure.”.

It is 00010110. I need to have a night-out.

At 00000011, the program is crashing for some unknown reason. This compiler is crap, Linux is for experts only, why dont they build a nice gui for gdb?

At 00000100, the program works for one input and crashes royally for others, and bhOndOO wishes to crash in his bed, he is dead tired minorly because of debugging business and majorly because he is cursing himself for not initializing the array. He gets into a deal (with himself): I will sleep for 00000011 hours, take breakfast, come back, and work for another 00000011 hours. Sounds good (anytime after a nightout).

Crap! When did I switch off the alarm! It is already 00001010! I have a meeting within an hour and the algorithm barely walks, let alone runs. Within 00001111 minutes he is in the lab. A few minutes before the meeting, he finds another logical bug. Oh! This is how they partition the variables! He makes changes, compiles, runs the program. Boy! it is working. Fantastic! Nightout has paid! I am the happiest man in the world!

“Hi! Come in! I have an urgent meeting with some of the IBM folks. Can we meet tomorrow?”.

naming ceremony.

Sep 27, 2007

All of you are cordially invited for the naming ceremony of our hero — the student researcher — at the institute auditorium. It has been getting a bit too long to type -t-h-e- -s-t-u-d-e-n-t- -r-e-s-e-a-r-c-h-e-r-. Therefore, he is getting renamed to (any guesses?) bhOndOO. Indian meaning of the word is non-intellectual. But we of course know that it is very paradoxical. In fact the name contains appropriate characters representing our hero -b-O-n-d-. The name perfectly matches his occupation and I expect the name to play a crucial role in his iisc life.

The difference of capitalization in the name is deliberate. Reason one is to make it easy for a reader to pronounce it, and two, to give a surprise to the reading eyes.

We will celebrate his birthday on Sep 24.