Recent updates

I haven’t got time to update this site for a long time, because of the busy work with NEC Labs, and the recent paper submission to USENIX ATC’15 (reviewers, don’t be too harsh…). Now it’s time to reflect, and plan for the future.

Looking back on my experiences in the past one year and a half, one of my major achievements was to have successfully registered my car with three states: North Carolina, Illinois, and New Jersey! I left North Carolina in August 2013, and stayed at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from September to May 2014, then worked at NEC Labs in New Jersey from May to December, finally returned to North Carolina in January 2015. What a roving life!

I really appreciate those experiences, which have given me a clear mind on what I should pursue, what person I am willing to become, as well as some important counterparts, such as what person I should never become. There were successes and failures, up and down, all strengthening my determination of being a successful PhD. I promise to present memoirs discussing details of those experiences later, probably when I graduate (“Memoirs, alas, are an occupational hazard” – “Sir Humphrey Appleby”).

Anyway, a new journey has started. Once again I can work with passionate people on such a beautiful campus of NC State.

A takeaway for myself, and for anyone who is reading this post: always remember to work with right people, and look forward to a fruitful future.

Expanding your knowledge of sciences with fun

Every young kid has a dream of future. When I was a kid, I once hoped to become a scientist, which was not a computer scientist like what I am pursuing now, but a scientist that solves puzzles of the nature. From the starring sky to the mysterious atoms, all things were so fascinating to the younger version of me.

Apparently the later part of the story did not go as it was planned originally. I somehow realized that computers were more fascinating, and they could bring me a better career path, compared to becoming a scientists in nature sciences. In other words, I became realistic as most people around expected. However, those dreams had never gone. They were concealed deeply in my heart, and waiting for a fire to let them be shining again.

After years of search for the fire, I have read many scientific books, and watched various scientific TV shows. Here are the top two items that I would like to recommend to all of you who are seeking for answers of the nature in a casual way 🙂

A Short History of Nearly Everything“, a book written by Bill Bryson. Actually I do not remember when I first started reading this book, but I do know that I have read it for many many times. It does include nearly everything: from tiny things like atoms, to large things like the earth and other planets; from old mysteries like the origin of life, to the nearer ones like the evolution of humans. The use of many history stories and metaphors can clearly explain scientific facts and concepts in an easy-to-understand way.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey“, a TV show presented by Fox and National Geographic Channel. You will be exploring the universe and the histories of many other things with Neil deGrasse Tyson, an American astrophysicist. This TV show is actually very similar to the Bill’s book in many aspects. They both refer to some history stories to explain why and how people finally found answers, such as the public-health concern on leaded gas. And they use similar metaphors, such as imagining an atom as a church to demonstrate the sparse space between electrons and the centron. That is the correct way to explain complex concepts to the general public.


The Empire State Building


I’ve never been to the top of the Empire State Building, but passed by it several times. Every time the building reminded me of the Daleks, a fictional extraterrestrial race in Doctor Who. In the story, the Empire State Building was actually built under the supervision of the Daleks, who later used the building as sort of energy amplifier to evolve their race to be “more human”. Maybe later I should go into the building and learn its real history. 🙂