Headlines for Tuesday:



1. Research report: The value of meetings: 22:37

I had several very helpful meetings today. =)

The first was with Greg Wilson about a really interesting experiment in social bookmarking for software engineering. I wish I could have the brainspace to do it justice, but my research supervisor feels I should concentrate and get my primary research out the door first. Greg Wilson is way cool, though, and I should definitely share ideas with him. =)

I discussed my research plan with my supervisor, Mark Chignell. I described the waterfall-ish division of time that I blogged about yesterday, and was relieved when he suggested that instead of holing myself up in a library and reading everything that's ever been written about the topic, I should instead capitalize on my strength at prototyping things. I can build all these little systems and watch what people do with them. When I see something unusual, then that's the time for me to go and figure out a theoretical framework to use in order to explore and evaluate the situation. How nice it is to have a research supervisor who knows how much I like to hack--and how hard I sometimes find it to focus on something purely theoretical!

He also told me that he'd be happy if I could go for maybe one conference and one journal paper. That'll probably be CSCW, then. This means I don't have to worry too much about breaking my project into publishable things. Think simple master's thesis, not PhD dissertation.

My original plan was to be almost done by April of next year. He thinks that's doable but ambitious, and that we'd both be better off (read: less stressed) if I target June instead. From his experience, masters students generally take two months to finish writing - April and May. I need to have something reasonably promising by October in order to convince IBM to keep funding me. My nearest milestone is August 17, the intern day at the Cambridge lab: must have something cool to talk about then.

Mark also suggested that I take his statistics course ("Every educated person should know statistics"). Knowing my interest in business, he also suggested the course on the business of software. I wouldn't mind crossing over into Rotman for a business course, although it's also offered under CS.

The last meeting was with Steve Easterbrook, Greg Wilson and Mark Chignell. We talked about CASCON. I like Greg's suggestion of a Ruby on Rails + mashups hands-on session that leads naturally into a student-oriented Hack Night. That would be great! I'm excited again. =)

If all my meetings could be like the ones I had today... wow!

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2. Too warm: 23:16

According to http://www.theweathernetwork.com/:

Toronto 30'C, feels like 43'C
Manila 30'C, feels like 44'C

That's not right. That's just not right.

At least in Manila, we know about airconditioning and fans. ;)


I love the comparison btw Manila and Toronto. Make sure to do another one in February! What a crazy climate here.
- Neil

E-mail sent

  1. Mark Chignell: Meeting again tomorrow?
  2. Jody Klymak: Re: uvic.ca
  3. Pavel Zaitsev: Re: russian food
  4. Khalid Ghaffar: Re: Absent tonight
  5. Jackie Achonu: Re: Toastmasters
  6. carolanne graham: Re: sachawiki: 2006.08.01
  7. Alain Londes: Re: Toastmaster sighting in Kensington Market?
  8. Aadisht Khanna: Re: The W-Files #515: StanChart, Staying Alive, Salacious Stories and Socialising
  9. Sacha Chua: Toast I.T.
  10. Simon Ditner: Re: Potluck this Friday!
  11. Greg Wilson: Re: CASCON / social computing / getting together
  12. Steve Easterbrook: Re: CASCON / social computing / getting together
  13. Greg Wilson: Re: CASCON / social computing / getting together