Thursday, December 18, 2008

Flight Cancelled

To save money I booked a bizarre flight path to India:

Seattle -> Vancouver -> Hong Kong -> Chennai

This means I had to take a bus from Vancouver to Seattle in order to fly back to Vancouver. In addition, the flight leaves in the morning so I had to stay in a hotel overnight. I couldn't just cancel the flight because that would cancel the connecting flights as well.

The flight from Seattle to Vancouver was cancelled this morning due to mechanical problems. There were no other flights to Vancouver in time for my connecting flight, and taking a taxi/bus probably wouldn't have made it in time either (especially with the snow). The only option was book a completely different flight path which leaves tomorrow:

Seattle -> Paris -> Chennai

Monday, December 15, 2008


Now that exams are finished and I have submitted most of my grad school applications, I should finally have time to work on some projects I have been planning:
  • Vectorization using stochastic local search: I read a cool blog entry about evolving a picture of the Mona Lisa using only 50 polygons. Inspired by the results, I think it would be cool to use stochastic local search to convert an arbitrary image to vector graphics. I will add a parameter to choose the number of polygons. I will try to animate it to show the progress of the algorithm as it optimizes the image representation in real-time.

  • A new version of Arlisy: A generic neural network framework which can be applied to a variety of problems. It will have the ability to detect temporal patterns. I also plan on implementing an attention control mechanism which allows the framework to focus on a subset of its input, similar to the role that attention plays in biological perception by concentrating the use of mental resources on a particular aspect of the environment.

  • Netflix prize: I haven't made much progress since last summer. I am going to try implementing singular value decomposition to combine with my neural network approach.

  • A better version of Swarm: I know the algorithm I used for finding nearest neighbors in the old version can be made much more efficient. This will allow larger swarms to be simulated in real-time. I'll try adding some more advanced behavior rules as well.

  • I am considering competing in the Robotics & Algorithm category of Imagine Cup 2009.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Once again it is exam period, so if you are in need of some distraction here are two neat flash games I've found:

Auditorium: awesome concept for a puzzle game. Its a shame there are so few levels in the demo.

99 Bricks: my record is slightly over 700.

I have two exams tomorrow. I should really be studying right now.