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Showing posts from 2012

Rethink about Dreams

"We already walked too far, down to we had forgotten why embarked."——Kahlil Gibran

It's my forth year here in Singapore and it seems that I am a bit lost.  Maybe it's time to reexamine myself before moving forward. Where am I heading?

The first time I wrote down my future plans was five years when I bought a time management book named "How to get control of your time" written by Allan Lakein. The book requires us to list down the top goals for 3-5 years, 3months, etc. It also provides an efficient way to organize and prioritise daily tasks. The methods worked great for me for a year before I came to Singapore. I started to realize that by noting the dreams down, dreams become step-by-step plans and are no longer difficult to accomplish. 

Fortunately, most of the so-called dreams I listed 5 years ago got accomplished. For instance, getting admitted by a good university, being able to cope with the new environment in university,traveling overseas, buy parents s…

About Memory

Today, I went for an Evernote Sharing event in an incubator named Blk71. The event is more on user feedbacks and marketing. There are three thoughts to be highlighted.

1. Attending this kind of entrepreneur events is a very good approach for reaching out more contacts. Many people who have their own businesses or plan to build their own startups will come and attend this kind of events.There is one entrepreneur who shared his experience of how he used Evernote to design his own app. He got the chance to advertise his own app while sharing the experience. Another software developer shared how his company integrated Evernote's public API. He indeed shared a lot more on his own product rather than Evernote. During the break, I talked with two entrepreneurs. One is a NUS computer engineering alumni. He is now running his own retailing company on baby products. It works well as there weren't competitors in Singapore when he first started his business. Though there is no relationshi…

About Religion

Today, I invited some of my friends to the Christmas Gathering in our home church. By"our",I mean the church is at the apartment where I live and I've been attending the church for a whole semester. I cannot claim myself as a Christian as there is still one key fact I cannot accept at this moment, which is "Is Jesus God?". I've been seeking for the answer in Bible for weeks, but the conclusion I can draw is that "Jesus is the son of God" or "Jesus is part of God",but Jesus and God are not completely identical. However, I do believe it beneficial for people to know more about God. In fact, I invited five of my best friends who are non-believers, but only two managed to come.

This time, a Deacon in another Church came to our church to share God's words. It is very persuasive and I cannot pick significant flaws out of his words. At the end of the preaching, the Deacon prayed to God for guiding us to God. I prayed with the Deacon line by…

Time to Write sth about the NOC Israel

After more than a month's waiting, I received an email today from the Financial Aid office saying that I am not permitted to go for the NOC Israel programme. 

Dear ShaohuanI refer to your appeal to participate in NUS Overseas College (NOC) Israel.As spoken on 6 November 2012, we understand that you are very eager to attend the NOC and we had submitted your appeal, together with the appeal from NOC to the sponsor.  However, we regret to inform you that your appeal to participate in NOC Israel is not successful.   The sponsor has advised that you look for an internship locally instead, if needed.We wish you all the best. 

Actually, I was informed by the NOC coordinator that she has been informed by her colleagues that the sponsor officially rejected my appeal(together with Prof.Ben's and NOC's appeals) on 21st Nov. She tried to confirm with her colleagues whether the decision is final or not, hoping to help me for the last try. However, I guess the result won't be positive…

Up and Down

Finished two exams and I did them pretty badly. Yesterday, I chose to ignore and forget the failures. However, I guess I shall draw some lessons from the failures as suggested by Prof.Ben.

Firstly, there are probably some problems with my attitude. I seem to pay more attention to get things done than to ensure a good quality of the work, especially when the work is not of my top priority. 
There was a famous saying"一屋不扫何以扫天下" which means "how can you clean(conquer) the world when you even do not clean your own room". However, when I first read the story behind this famous quote, I favor the opponent's opinion which says"Man should care more about cleaning(conquering/managing) the world than cleaning his own room",or another similar quote"大行不顾细谨,大礼不辞小让" which means "When you practise big actions, you should not care so much about the details".

I keep the opponent's opinion as a principle for years and it really makes me focused on …

Living a More Balanced Life

I had a short conversation with a doctor yesterday regarding health.

He said it would be good to do exercise at least 3-5 times/week. I normally go swimming weekly, however, no more than 3 times a week. He said a good option would be running which doesn't need any facility. I tried to go jogging yesterday and today. It went out really well. Thus I think it would be great to form a good habit of doing exercise every day. 
The doctor also mentioned that the best time to go sleeping is before 11pm, however, it doesn't seem to be feasible to me. I feel more sober coding late at night(after 12pm) and I normally sleep after 1am. Working long hour doesn't mean working hard or great efficiency.I don't need to follow 100% on the doctor's suggestion, but I'll really need to pay more attention to my lifestyle.

It's thanks giving day:-)
Good night.


Do not love the world

"Love your neighbour as yourself." VS "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

These two scripts looks contradictory. However, they are not indeed. The word "world" here doesn't mean people, but "the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions". 

Love the people, but not the world.

"It is more blessed to give than to receive."



A New Week

As predicted in last week's blog, quite a number of deadlines have been finished by today. A NLP assignment, an algorithm tutorial, a project demo, a FYP CA report. Some are accomplished successfully, while most of them are built from a scratch in one or two nights. The outcomes are fine, but not 100% as good as I could have accomplished, especially for the FYP report. Most things need to get polished several times before they look OK. The FYP report contains a lot of flaws, which will probably take too long to count one by one. e.g., language, grammar, logic, etc. I guess I shall ask someone else to read the report before submitting it in the final assessment. One good thing in my FYP report is that my charts are created quite nicely, which is mainly the credits ofLucidChart, a web based drawing tool.

Today, I attended a talk by Saul Singer, the author of Start-up Nation. I get inspired in two of his points. One point is that the world is now getting more connected, every country…

What's Left

It's the end of October. There's only one more month to go before this semester ends. I just finished one project demo and one assignment this afternoon for a high-level database course. There are a few other things left.  Tomorrow, I'll meet my Final Year Project Prof. Then this Saturday, I'll demonstrate a mobile project to a start company.Next Monday, a natural language processing course assignment due; next Tuesday, an algorithm tutorial due; next Wednesday,the FYP report due. A similar deadline circle has been going on and on for the past few weeks. It will stop for a while sometime on December and then continue again.

There are some problems with my time management. I stayed up late at nights in COM1 for quite a number of times to catch up with deadlines. It was actually a good thing that my bicycle was stolen last week so that I'll have to catch up with the last bus@ 11pm. One flatmate told me that "If you didn't finish sth nicely, you'll end up…

Having a Thankful Heart

I was very sad last week after negotiating with an financial aid officer about my eligibility of the NOC(NUS overseas college) Israel programme. He argues that the scholarship sponsors disapproved my request to go Israel but he refused to give me the sponsors' contact information to talk with them personally.  I told him that I'll go to Israel by all means, even in the worst conditions.  But he said that I won't be able to go without the permissions. Challenging the authorities just won't work.

I felt so bad that I cannot continue the conversation. I returned to my lecture theater for an algorithm class but tears cannot help dropping. That was the saddest moment I've ever experienced in the last 10+ years. No one noticed that I was so sad. After the class, I pretended nothing bad had happened, and then I turned to the NOC Israel coordinator for help. The coordinator was encouraging. She knew that I might not be able to go, but she encouraged me to keep on trying. M…

Thoughts on Education

I feel a bit down when getting informed that one of my mid-term test is below average. Honestly, I didn't master that course solidly. I know roughly how it works, but the lack of practice make the foundation very vulnerable.

I recall one of the courses I am currently taking online, a machine learning course taught by Stanford. Surprisely, I master that material much better than the school courses though the difficulty levels between these two courses are similar.Two very important aspects worth highlighting is the weekly online tutorial sets&programming exercises+ the active peer forum learning. I feel uncomfortable if I didn't finish the tutorials&programming exercises with 100% accuracy.This feeling never occurs in the university tutorial classes as I didn't get timely feedback on how well I am doing in the tutorials. But this feeling came very often when I was still in high school in China. Teachers will announce tutorials after each class and we'll have to …

Consistency Matters

I didn't post anything last week, which means consistency has been broken. There's a need to reflect the task management skills, otherwise I'm very likely to driving the wrong road

Priority changes.
A good exercise would be to list the priorities down everyday and assign reasonable time to the tasks. Then never second-doubt. 100% focusing on the task when doing it. Priority changes from time to time.  Human minds are single-threaded, thus, we'll need to keep focused when doing one particular task.

Be Grateful.
I received the confirmation from NOC Israel that I got admitted by the programme and I'm heading to Israel next Jan:-) Thanks a lot for Prof.Ben and Karl's help. Ultimately, it might be a plan from God. Thanks every one.

The additional interview from Google went well, however, I didn't get the winter intern opportunity this time. Though it's a bit too greedy to ask for too much, I still feel a bit sad after informed that I didn't get the chance…

About Interview

I went for three interviews these two days. Tuesday morning with Microsoft, midnight with Google for the first round, and Wednesday midnight with Google for the second round. Though the intention for applying those internships is not to get the offers but simply to gain some experience for technical interviews, I still prepare hard for the interviews, hoping to learn as much as possible.

The first round Microsoft interview was conducted in NUS where one HR and one technician flew over to Singapore to give the interview. I had 30 mins with both the HR and the technician. The questions with the HR is the standard interview questions like project experiences+ some brain teasers. The questions are not really that challenging. In case you are interested, I attached the questions in appendix1.

For the technical interview, the technician monitored you to write codes on the spot. The technician this year is a tester from Austin-Taxes working 10 years in MS. I did three questions during this i…

Machine Learning

Machine learning seems to be a big trend for either today's research or the IT industry. There are quite a number of business ideas hanging around my head, most of which require machine learning for a good outcome.

First idea is a products-comparison application which help consumers to better compare similar products from different online retailers. This is going to solve the pains for the consumers who would like to buy certain products from all the possible overseas retailers and ship to their homes. The consumers need to spend a lot of time comparing different solutions(including the price of the product and the price of the shipment) and the solutions are mostly not optimal. The idea is not new. But with the evolving development of mobile clients, this idea has a very big market. As is shown in one survey, 70% of the smartphone users use their smart phones to compare different products. The comparison service itself can generate a fairly good revenue from ads, even we only foc…

what kind of role would you like to play in the company

I did the second round NOC interview this afternoon. It went well, but a bit overtime. One question made me think further, that is "what kind of role would you like to play in the company".

I paused a little bit and told them that I would like to work as a software engineer and further train my programming skills and hopefully learn some business along the way. However, the NOC interviewers think that my technical skills are good enough and what I really need is to train the business skills. I thought for a while and then responded,"I believe the importance of the distribution of different competences/abilities in the team. It's no good to have someone to know a bit tech and a bit business but not good at either of these two. I envision myself to be a CTO in the future but my programming skills are not good enough. So I hope to further train my programming skills. Of course, it would be good to know some business stuff so that I can better communicate with my partne…

Week2

Multi-tasking is not easy. Doing everything in parallel may not be efficient. It reminds of some algorithms introduced in the algorithm class like the greedy algorithm, however, the real situation is not as simple as a deadline first approach.

I'd better do some analysis here. I've got two major-requirement courses to read. One database course and one natural language processing course. 1.***The natural language processing course seems to be the most challenging among all the courses I'm taking. But I didn't spend that much time reviewing or previewing that course last week. I still don't fully understand the course yet(probably only 60-80%). I shall set it to the top priority from next week onward. (8-10h/week) 2.**The database course is fine. The topic itself is not that hard, but I shall pay more attention next week.  (5-6h/week) 3.**I read one algorithm course to enhance my algorithm analysis ability. It's not challenging, but good for logic thinking. I'd s…

What kind of work is the best

My Google Summer of Code project is going to end soon. Yesterday, I met with my mentor Ashish again on Skype. He told me that if I planed to read PHD in the USA, he can help write a recommendation letter. Two very possible options would be Emory(his university) and Georgia Tech(in the same city Atlanta). That's very nice of him. I've never thought about that. Now, It might be a good timing to think a little bit about my future career.

My opinion on reading PHD changes from year to year. When I first started my undergraduate study, I thought it would be so rewarding to become an expert in one field of study. Honestly, I was very eager to read a PHD in the States at that time. However, after noticing that most PHDs and researchers are not really doing very remarkable things, and some are even not very passionate about their own research, I started to doubts. I also realize that theories are not making me excited and I'm not so strong in academics, I doubted again. However, t…

I bought sth from a Jew

This evening, I went to Marina Bay to watch the Singapore National Day helicopter and firework show with my brother(one of my best friends from my hometown) and his mum and auntie who are from China for a short visit.

After viewing the fireworks, we visited some stores in the Marina Bay Sands shopping center. One Turkish-like sales guy approached us for a hand-cream product test. Since it was free, I just tried the product,nothing special. I asked whether he was a Turkish, he said no, he was from Israel. I was astonished. I admire the Start-up nation a lot and that's the second Jewish people I've ever talked with. The first one was in MIT when I visited the school during my summer vocation three years ago. His view about reading a PHD really opened up my minds. He said "PHD is the last chance for doing something that you are really interested in at a low pay".That's very true. This time is a sales man from Israel. But why he is selling the hand-cream product here…

Time Reminder

As one of my friends said in his blogger, "Time goes fast when you don't record things in your blogger", blogger reminds us something we has been doing and changing. It makes time count. After half a year away from Singapore, I move back here and continue recording tiny things that happen in my mind and my life.

First part would be briefly summarizing the past half a year. Then the thoughts about future.
The past half a year, I was doing exchanging programme in KTH(royal institute of technology) in Sweden. It was really a great experience. I previously didn't want to go for SEP as I heard it's money consuming and won't gain practical experience except for traveling. However, I did find it a really very rewarding experience after trying it on my own.  I didn't spend that much money and I enjoyed a lot meeting new friends and experiencing different culture. Thanks to Prof.Ben who suggested me to go for SEP while I strongly doubted whether to go for Internsh…