TL;DR Hank Levy isn’t looking too bad these days.

On Sep 22, 2017, I began my grad student life by attending the two-day-long CSE New Grad Orientation at UW. Usually for orientations that last more than one hour, I would skip at least half of it. But the school did a great job inspiring the students and somehow I ended up trying as hard as I could to actively participate. As a reward for not skipping anything, I earned a canoeing trip on Lake Wash on a sunny, breezy afternoon!

One thing I really liked is the prank and chill feeling throughout the orientaiton. I was glad to listen to a talk that focuses on the most important thing in life: fun (especially for academic life)! The opening talk highlighted pictures and videos from professors and past students that made me laugh very hard. These silly things made me feel more happy to explore the “presumably serious” research in the next five years : D

A dozen professors came to brief us about their Quals courses in the upcoming year. All of them seemed very interesting and I planned to enroll in five core courses in my first qual and live in hell happily select carefully among the following courses:

  • Machine Learning
    • It’s ML, what else do I need to say?
  • Computer Graphics
    • I’ve always been fascinated by the “seeing what you are playing with” aspect of working with Vision/Graphics.
    • Though I have took Machine Vision course at UCL, which focused extensively on probabilistic and graphic models, this course might address more specific problems in Vision, e.g. color, shape and surface.
  • Computational Biology
    • This is an unknown field to me and I am curious what would I learn here.
    • This is supposed to be a “problem-orientated” course. I love the implication that I could work on projects (and a lot of them) in this class.
  • Special Topics: Adv Robotics: Manipulation Algorithms.
    • The lecturer, Sidd, is super cool.
    • I love Reinforcement Learning but have only played with OpenAI Gym, would love to see things working on a real life object.
  • Special Topics in Vision: Medical Image Analysis
    • I have seen some naive works in Medical Image Analysis. Most of them were about classifying symptons using CNN. I want to know more.

In summary, it looks like an encouraging start for my grad life!

PhotoCanoeing Trip on Lake Wash