I Wish I Could Dance: Science Magazine Dance Your PhD Contest

Science Magazine announced its 9th annual Dance Your PhD Contest — a competition for best explaining your PhD research in an interpretive dance.

Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Achievement, Communication skills, Creativity, Funding opportunities, Graduate school, Humor, Ph.D., Science, Sports | Leave a comment

Offbeat Tidbits In A Serious Scientific Publication: Most Impressive Cameo Appearance Ever, In Wireless Networking And Mobile Computing?

My treasure of a dentist, the smartest and most caring of all dentists that I ever had, said the darnest thing to me the other day: “You do research, really? Good for you. I could never do it myself, it’s so boring.” She said that as she was reaching for an oddly shaped sharp implement which, she explained, was “like a cookie-cutter, but for the gums.” Cookie-cutting gums is fun for her, you see. Research is boring. My jaw would have dropped if my mouth was not already propped wide open with a different oddly shaped (this one rubbery, rather than sharp) implement.

Research, boring? I mean, seriously?

Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

RIP Andy Grove

I was saddened by the death of Andy Grove, the former Intel CEO who drove the growth of Silicon Valley.

HighOutputManagement

Andy Grove’s “High Output Management” has been my go-to book on running teams and improving business processes. I have seen few books like it: it offers a clean, clear, distinctly common-sense engineering perspective on day-to-day issues that managers face. I have internalized multiple messages from this book, such as its approach to one-on-ones (their importance and structure) and its guidance on team sizes. This book stands in sharp contrast to many “Leadership BS” books: it offers practical no-nonsense advice and guidance, rather than noble-sounding but impractical tidbits.  Continue reading

Posted in ASICs, Career, Good reads, In the news, Management, Technology, Tips and tricks | Leave a comment

Improvisation Theater Training for Creativity and Communication Skills

An activity that enhances both creativity and communication skills — wouldn’t that be a fun activity to try? Uri Alon, a scientist at Weizmann Institute of Science, promotes creativity of improvisation theater training as similar to creativity of truly innovative scientific discoveries [ link to Uri’s TED talk ]. In the keynote speech of the 2015 Supercomputing conference, Alan Alda, an Oscar-nominated actor and a long-time host of Scientific American Frontiers show, talks about the benefits of improvisation training for scientific communications.

Alan Alda’s talk gives me a push I need to give improvisation theater training a try. December 2015 through February 2016, each Monday evening I spend 3 hours learning how to do improv at NYC Magnet Theater .

Continue reading

Posted in Communication skills, Creativity, Humor, Public speaking, Tips and tricks | 1 Comment

What Is Harder: An Ironman Or A PhD?

I recently ran across a curious question on Quora: what is harder, completing a PhD or completing a marathon (a 26.2 mile run)?

Having done both [ PhD, races ] , hands-down, the answer is the PhD – there is simply no comparison.

What about Ironman races though? What is harder, completing a PhD or completing an Ironman (2.4 mile swim + 112 mile bike run + 26.2 mile run)?

IronmanPhoto phd-survivor
  Continue reading

Posted in Achievement, Ph.D., Races, Sports, Triathlon | 3 Comments

Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016: Does It Affect My Purchasing Decisions?

Coming to the Consumer Electronics Show is like stepping into a geeky adults’ version of a candy shop, except that some of the candy you see won’t be on sale for several months (if it reaches the market at all), and some is priced at several multiples of what a reasonable person would pay for it.

A lot of what I liked at CES I will not truly consider buying at this time. For example:

Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, Consumer technology, How the world is changing, Industry, Industry trends, Internet of things, Sports, Technology, Travel, Wearable computing | Leave a comment

Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016: First Timer’s Impressions

The legendary and glorious Consumer Electronics Show. A congregation of more than 170,000 people (for comparison, I grew up in a city of only 30,000), in the shiny artificial Las Vegas. A happening that takes over tech pages in all the media for the week before it and multiple weeks after. An almost 50 year old event where a camcoder, an HD TV, and an Xbox were first shown to the excited public.

I dreamed of going for the last 3 years; I served as a judge for the CES Innovation Awards this year; and I finally made the trip happen.

CESIt was all I expected, and more. I expected big — it was bigger. I expected the coolest new technologies — there were more technologies, and they were even newer and even cooler than I anticipated.

Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, Consumer technology, Exciting! News and updates, Hardware, How the world is changing, Industry trends, Internet of things, Technology, Travel, Uncategorized, Wearable computing | Leave a comment

The Onion At Its Best: ‘Seek Funding’ Step Added To Scientific Method

The Onion spots a much-needed addition: ‘Seek Funding’ Step Added To Scientific Method.

Quoting from the article: “After making an observation and forming a hypothesis as usual, the new third step of the scientific method will now require researchers to embark upon an exhaustive search for corporate or government financing,” said the group’s president, Gordon McBean, adding that the new stage of the process, which will be implemented across every scientific discipline, also entails compiling and forwarding grant proposals to hundreds of highly competitive funding sources.

Posted in Academia, Creativity, Good reads, Humor, In the news, Ph.D., Research, Science | Comments Off on The Onion At Its Best: ‘Seek Funding’ Step Added To Scientific Method

Ironman Triathlon

I did it!

The face of a person at the finish line of their first Ironman:

MariaGorlatova_Im2016

I found the Ironman different from all the races I’ve done before.  After ~20 major races and more than 50 races in total, I thought a race experience would not be a surprise for me. But Ironman is different. It is Ironman is a full-day affair, sunrise to sundown, and past that (I started at 8 AM and finished just short of 10:30 PM). And more than a handful of moments in the race made me feel downright certifiable. I’d never imagine saying to myself “no worries, I only have about two hours of cycling left” and “all seems to be going well, right? I’m almost done, now I only need to run a marathon.” An experience like few others.

Continue reading

Posted in Achievement, Exciting! News and updates, Races, Sports, Travel, Triathlon | Comments Off on Ironman Triathlon

Projected Ending of Moore’s Law: Can Engineering Creativity Sustain The Rate Of Progress?

The projections of the ending of the Moore’s Law are nothing new — seemingly, they were being made for many decades. For example, back in 2009 an NSF director Jeannette Wing had the following graph in her ACM MobiCom talk slides (click to enlarge):

moore_sl_endingWhile the projections are not new, media reports on them have seemingly been intensifying. Within the last month, both The Economist and The New York Times chose to run articles on Moore’s Law coming to an end:

Continue reading

Posted in ASICs, Creativity, Hardware, How the world is changing, In the news, Industry, Industry trends, Research, Science, Technology | Comments Off on Projected Ending of Moore’s Law: Can Engineering Creativity Sustain The Rate Of Progress?