Resurrection (Penguin Prison Remix)

I’ve been making quite a bit of headway with my PhD project (or should I say projects?) these last few weeks. I believe it is partly due to the fact I’m taking French classes this semester. I’m so aware of the fact I’m doing something I’m not supposed to, I’ve been over compensating my absence at the office. I haven’t even told my advisor yet, although technically I have implied that I’m taking a small course at the language centre, but I don’t think I heard me.

I guess this could be called a win-win scenario: I get to améliorer mon francais AND publish papers all at the same time. I found out a brilliant way to utilize my time. During my MATLAB runs I conjugate and spot the complément object direct or complément object indirect in my exercises – a clear improvement in time management than my previous continuously losing track of time aimlessly scouting for remotely interesting fb statuses.

I don’t even spend that much more time at the University than I used to before taking French. I’ve managed to skip taking my work home with me, meaning I can continue to spend my evenings playing Catan or sewing.

So before I make this post overly complicated to follow, I’m going to compartmentalize it into 3 independent sections, to suit the tastes of my average reader. I know how some don’t like my technical posts and others couldn’t care less about my fashion forwards haute-ness.

I. Working for the Man.
Disclaimer: This is going to be exceedingly technical. Read at your own risk, or skip to the following sections.

My ISDA11 paper is almost camera ready. I’ve gotten my reviews back. Not that bad, although I’m starting to think those who reviewed me totally missed the point of the paper. My advisor still hasn’t read the comments yet, but this is our initial feeling. My paper does indeed fit into the scope of the session I was accepted, however most of the technical chairs are in a completely different field than I. For instance, I had to change all occurrences  of “points” into “individuals” because that is the norm in evolutionary strategy literature. Not exactly a big deal, but the word individual is much longer than point and is mentioned a LOT. Resulting in my paper overshooting the mere 6 page limit, and that’s before I had to add further clarifications on uncertain areas. Magically I found some ways to rephrase my paper, it now fulfils the maximum page criteria. If only I could mess a little with the spacing, life would be so much easier. But I guess you’ve got to have standards; IEEE standards.

You might be curious what on Earth is my this said paper all about, well, I’m more than happy to tell oblige you with that information:

Abstract–In evolutionary optimization surrogate models are commonly used when the evaluation of a fitness function is computationally expensive. Here the fitness of individuals are indirectly estimated by modeling their rank with respect to the current population by use of ordinal regression. This paper focuses on how to validate the goodness of fit for surrogate models during search and introduces a novel validation/updating policy for surrogate models, and is illustrated on classical numerical optimization functions for evolutionary computation. The study shows that for validation accuracy it is sufficient for the approximate ranking and true ranking of the training set to be sufficiently concordant or that only the potential parent individuals should be ranked consistently. Moreover, the new validation approach reduces the number of fitness evaluation needed, without a loss in performance.

Keywords-surrogate models; ordinal regression; sampling; evolutionary optimization

Incidentally, I posted the original version (more like draft) of this abstract last summer, i.e. 2010. I started out working on this project when I was summering in New York, but missed the deadline. At least now I know the importance of having your advisor physically within reach. Strictly counting on emails and skype in rooms with no air-conditioning is NOT the way to be productive and publish papers. I learned that the hard way. Well, no harm no foul, the paper is finally seeing the light of day. Alas, Spain is no India. However, I can make good use of the flights needed to get there. Which leads me to the next topic…

II. Travelling Student

I’ve almost figured out my travelling for the ISDA11 conference in November. It start with a continuous string of reunions with my former housemates (I guess I could call them that) from Valenciennes’ infamous student residency Jules Mousseron. Starting off with seeing my dear Austrian friend Julia in Paris on the 16th. After a couple of days in France, I’m heading off to Spain on the 18th, where I will meet up with ma petite amie Lynn at Barajas airport before heading to downtown Madrid to celebrate Easy’s birthday. Hopefully meeting up with Adrian as well during the weekend (he has not logged on to his fb accnt recently to confirm our rendezvous). Lynn goes back to Manchester on the 20th, which means I will have to get back to work-mode and head out for the conference in Córdoba.

For the way back, I’m leaving after the conference finishes on the 25th and taking an evening flight back to Paris. Hopefully hooking up with my 3 French/Monegasque friends who were filming a documentary in Iceland last May.

Teaser du documentaire “L’INSPIRATION DES ELFES”. from Mathieu Nieto on Vimeo.

Since I will be missing out on the last teaching weeks in November, I will have to make up for my skipping French class by imposing on them to practice my French with me. Hopefully this will give me a better performance edge for the upcoming exam period.

UPDATE! The way back home is all sorted. Gunni, aka NegiNegi, is meeting me in Paris for le week-end. Apparently he’s taking me to a bar “Le pantalon” in the Latin Quarter that sells the cheapest beer in Paris. What more can a girl ask for?

Basically a 10 day fun filled adventure catching up with foreign friends and meeting other researchers, just like me. I’m well looking forward to it!

III. Falling for ARAN

I’m a sucker for fashion e-mail subscriptions. I save pretty pictures on my computer, for the off chance I would recreate it myself one day (ergo all of the sewing of late). One of which was a picture of a gorgeous cable knit sweater in mustard yellow sold from ASOS:

Super chic and super appropriate for the upcoming Icelandic winter. So I’ve been keeping an eye out for a similar knitting pattern. Turns out during my rummaging of my grandmother’s sewing workroom I found a BURDA stricken magazine from 1984. The styling in the magazine is god-awful to say the least, although there are some not that bad. However, the cover depicts a not so dissimilar cable knit (technically the sweater is in the Aran style) I’ve been pining for. Not only that, I even found 12 skeins of royal blue hjertegarn with my name on it. Serendipity? I think so.

Burda Stricken, Arans style

My aunt Gurrý is so pleased that I’m taking up womanly crafts she was more than happy to translate the pattern (which is in German) for me into plain Icelandic (read: no abbreviations). I’m fairly certain I can also convince her to set the pattern for me. I have big hopes for this sweater. I think it will match my new kneehigh socks from Vila. This is where Árni would generally make fun of me, for spending a lot of time and effort in order to match something so trivial, like socks! How cares what he thinks, I’m doing this. Wish me luck!


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About tungufoss

a PhD student that sews whilst her code compiles...

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