a journal of a researcher

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Now I am more relaxed with my students. I was very serious to my role as a thesis supervisor. I was keen to see the students perform well. I was disappointed when I was the students do not behave as my expectation. But now I do not think in the same way.

I had some discussions with the students in IJCAI who are supposed to be the best and the potential faculties in AI. I found that all the students told me that their supervisors do not watch closely to them. Some even can’t meet with their supervisors often because the supervisors are too busy. They probably more rely on the organization and atmospheres in a good university, like courses about profound topics, the qualification test, readings in one topic, group discussion, and the research traditions in a direction in a certain environment. They all acknowledge that their supervisors can point them a right direction and judge their proposals and ideas. And of course, the supervisors know how to publish their results.

So there is no need to give pressures to students. Either they like research and can find a way by themselves, or they have no interests in pure research and should be let go. My observation shows that there is no need to give assignments to students. Some students are enthusiastic in research, so they do it anyway. Some do not work even if I force them. It is really painful for the students to do something they do not have desires. So I can only give suggestions. Anyway, it is their theses, not mine. Actually I am not responsible for the success of my students. They make themselves. So I can relax about my role.

Hopefully, I never encourage my master students to get Ph.D., though some have the talent. I know that a Ph.D. does not gain a lot more happiness in one’s life. I even find that normal people enjoy better life than researchers. So why impose “research” to my students?

Back in Fredericton

It is like a stack, I poped out IJCAI and France. Now I am in Fredericton.

Fredericton is so green. The trees are deep green, and the grasslands are light green. The river is in beautiful curves surrounded by the greens. The temperature is all right that I can sit outside in the campus for my lunch. It is a place that I call home, because I have all the freedoms here.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Back from IJCAI05

After 7 days in Edinburgh, I finally came back in Paris. IJCAI05 is the most prestigious AI conference happening every two years. This year, I am proud of both China and Canada. Two out of the three best papers are from U of Albert. The Excellent Achievement Award is to Geoffrey Hinton in U of T. It shows a strong position of Canadian AI community. The Chinese is on the stage now. The first best paper is from a Chinese girl in University of Albert. We are around 30 Chinese people in this conference and about 10 papers are authored by Chinese, including 3 papers from Chinese universities. I can predict that China will become a very strong country in research.

On the other side, I want to absurd this career a little bit. Some people might think they are too smart for their surrounding people, and some people look like not so happy. I perfectly know how the research people want to be excellent and how they push the limits to extreme. It is like Olympic game. Sport is for fun, competition makes sport ugly. When one’s research career is evaluated by publications, publishing is like a game to play. I do not think some of the papers are interesting. They are just technical blabla, though this kind of blabla needs a lot of training. For me, scientists should do something better than that. Even though, I still prepare my guns and bullets for the next shoot. Big laugh.

I am thinking about my two co-authors. They are my favorite collaborators. Smart people, and also wise. I am thinking Daniel is with his baby in the garden and Martin is playing his cello or playing the million dollar toys in his studio. They are cool guys and found their very true life. I am interested in looking around and being stressed in the trip. But now I am going to leave for my vacation with my chaton.