Monday, 29 December 2008

Greetings from Tallinn

Friday, 26 December 2008

Moving toward PhD title: Been stupefied I

Normally, the process of writing of PhD work/articles is well-balanced and rapid, but sometimes a certain problem occurs when you have no ideas how to evolve the work further. You just cannot think of any good ideas and this lasts quite a long time – a week or a month. It seems that all ideas left you head and promised never return back and the best thing you can do is to apply to some none-intellectual type of work. It is especially sad since you had a lot of good ideas just 10 minutes ago .... and now you can park a truck or two into the completely empty garage called „your brain”.

Such problems are quite common and experienced by most scientists during certain periods of their life. What you desperately need in such case is to obtain (somehow) a new point of view on the problem you deal with in your PhD thesis. The best way to get it is to communicate the problem to somebody else. This person can be your supervisor (why else you need him / her :)? ) or another student probably having the same problem and so a lot of time to talk about whatever you would like to talk about.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Moving toward PhD title: Advices from my supervisor

Been a PhD students, I got once an advice from my supervisor – have a special notes book into which you can write all ideas you get.

  • It will let you return to some ideas you had in the past in case you hadn’t time to develop it until now;

  • It gives a history of research, o you can track down all you did recently and so see your own progress and therefore find efficiency of your work. If you are not working well then you can even limit you own pocket money :)

  • It will give you a visibility of how an idea evolved and what stages it passed. You will see how you arrived to one or another decision and follow the logic you probably already forgot. Moreover it will show all turning points and probably find out how it can be developed from those in other directions.

PS: Obviously you can use any other gadgets instead of pen and paper, but I don’t see any good computer systems at the moment that could allow you to fix ideas quickly, efficiently, in any place you are at the moment.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Moving toward PhD title: Where conferences are held?

There are two typical place where a conference is held: either in a university or in a congress center. The first place is mostly chosen because it is either free of charge or very cheap having the entire infrastructure you need to organise a conference: auditoriums, projects, chairs, WiFi and so forth. All this is built for students, i.e. is already paid either by state or by students and can be just consumed. Besides science activities aligns well to university positioning itself as a “science center”. The only and the largest disadvantage – infrastructure is heavily used by students and therefore is not in good conditions. Therefore some conferences would prefer to use congress centers, which have the same equipment, but the equipment is much newer and modern. Unfortunately the price is also increased, but that is the amount you have to pay for ensuring the certain level of service for attendees.

Saturday, 6 December 2008


Ubiquitous: precisely this word is used to describe one of the most popular topics in the computer science nowadays: ubiquitous systems.

Wikipedia gives the following definition: that is a model of a human-computer communication when the information is processed by different local midget computers integrated into objects around us. This concepts extend the standard human- computer interaction we used to dealing with desk- or laptops. It is called a "post-desktop" evolutional cycle of information technology when we move first from mainstreams to personal computers and now to AI embedded into everywhere to serve our depending on the current request and context. Of course we started to move that way long time ago, after we god mobile phones, PDAs and so forth that could be integrated and can help us to get or post information ...

BUT ...

This paradigm is actually something bigger than that. It breaks out from the complexity of using all those systems and defines that communication should be transparent and even seamless for the human.

A typical example is so called „smart house”, which is able to recognise movement of a human and turn on/off lights along his/her path, react on voice commands or prepare the house for owner’s return from the office by increasing the average temperature in the house, turning on TV on the channel the owner likes etc).

The following terms are used very often with „ubiquitous systems”: Context-aware systems and RFID.