Papers Accepted and Virtual Conferences

Very recently I have been so lucky to have two papers accepted – on the same day even – at Formalise and AST respectively. They are both co-located with ICSE and both are in South Korea – fitting perfectly with my taekwondo :-). The conferences were supposed to be held in May, but has now been delayed until October due to the corona-virus. It was considered by the chairs whether it should be attempted to have a virtual conference. This was deemed impractical. Other conferences are opting for the virtual concept, and I start wondering whether virtual conferences become standard in the future.

Two Travel Thoughts

Short story, I travelled to Oslo to meet up with my girlfriend, in order to attend the weeding of a friends of hers. Normally when talking about my travels, I usually end up talking about all of my travel trouble. Not this time though, as my travel went absolutely perfect. I did have some thoughts during my travel:

How easy it is to have your items stolen at security

A little backstory may be in order here. In Oslo my girlfriend had bought me a digital picture frame (thanks a lot), which I had put into my hand luggage. I had forgotten about it in security, thus when I took up all of my electronics on tray, I left that in my luggage. Naturally, I put my suitcase on another tray and my jacket on a third one. As luck would have it, my suitcase was taken out for inspection. As I was talking to the security officer, my electronics was down at the other end of the table. A thief could easily have snatched all of my electronics, and I could do nothing about it. I wonder if my insurance would actually cover theft from the airport.

Priority Deboarding

As I am sure most air travellers have tried, airlines have priority boarding. I never quite understood that concept. The priority guests board first, but they are stuck in the aircraft until everyone else has boarded. They are not getting to their destination any quicker. A concept I would pay money for is “priority deboarding” – i.e. giving me priority in leaving the plane. The reason for this is, that I often have short trasnfers and I often want to catch a bus from Hamburg. A bus I always have to run for, because other passengers take too long in leaving the plane.

The quest to reduce paper usage

Quite some years ago, while I was writing my PhD-thesis I bought my first tablet. Not an expensive, but it was decent at the time. My plan was to use it for proof-reading my thesis on. Reading on a computer screen never really worked for me, so I always ended up printing material when proof reading. One could imagine how much paper I would end up using when proof-reading a thesis, so the tablet seemed like a good investment. Unfortunately, it never really panned out as a success because the flow of annotating the thesis with corrections on the tablet simply did not match the flow I had when reading with a paper and pen. I naturally kept my tablet and used it for other purposes and my paper usage continued. Until recently.

A New Attempt

As I had to proof-read an internal report for a project, and read bachelor students thesis several times, I once again realised how much paper I used. I again turned to my trusty tablet and tried replacing pen and paper with it. It did not work, but this time I refused to fail and decided that my tablet needed replacement – after all 5 years had passed and some progress must have been made on the tablet. To my horror the apparent best tablet – for my usage – is an ipad (yikes). Luckily, Samsung has an alternative – Samsung Galaxy TAB S4 – which I bought.

I have now had this tablet for approximately a month and quite happy with it. The big difference for me is, that it has a proper stylus making it possible to write notes by handwriting. That brings me much closer to a pen and paper workflow. I have one small annoyance with the tablet: it came with a styules, but the tablet itself has no holder for the stylus, so I had to buy an expensive cover for it from Samsung (which has the stylus holder).

General Data Protection Regulation

Last weekend I spend a long time writing a policy how we handle personal data
in Aalborg Taekwondo Klub. We required to make such a document due to
the new EU regulations.

I think it is good that companies and associations have to make such a
policy, and I think it is a very important subject EU has put focus
on. However, I fear it becomes a joke as people do not read the
policies and blindly accept them. Exactly as they do with EULAs.

First Skate of the Year

Spring has officially arrived and I have been eager to start skating again. Today I did it, I got home from work, picked up my skates and went out skating. I came to two relisations: 1) The streets are covered with an awful amount of sande, 2) It was really cold. I am not quite sure why the streets are sandy, but regarding 2) I know what went wrong. I did not dress properly. It had nothing to do with it being windy. I had just not dressed properly – cause as all danes know:

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only wrong clothing”.

Missing add or push => No work evening

At the moment I’m working on a few papers. One of them is a rewrite of
a recently rejected paper (that’s life right?) and the other a brand
new one.

For both of the above mentioned papers I am naturally using LaTex for
text processing and a version control system – git. I am big fan of
git – well any version control actually. The number of times I have
been saved by version control is uncountable by now. However, there are two things version control has never protected me from: forgetting to
add a file to my repository or forgetting to push to the
repository. In fact, the only reason I write this post right now is
because I around 16.00 today forgot adding a file to my repository at work —
making it impossible for me to work this evening.

Oh well, I will just sit down with a cup of coffee and relax.

A small daily struggle

In the past week I have been visiting Rennes for collaborating on research. Workwise everything went fine, but in the airport I encountered one of my daily struggles: the colors used to indicate if a toilet i occupied or free. What colors make sense? well, obviously red for occupied and green for free! Right? No! As color blind, I can’t see the difference so I have to try the door and see. Okay okay, it’s only a slight inconvenience but it would still be nice I didn’t have to disturb the person occupying the toilet.

The “Real World”

Over the time it seems a phrase has manifested itself in the danish language: “Den Virkelige Verden” (“The Real World”). It is often used when talking about education; to signify the difference between academia and the non-academia – and especially in the discussion of whether the syllabus in the public education is relevant in the “real world” (non-academia) and thus whether public education pushes people towards academia.

Last time I stumbled upon the phrase was today in a sentence: “Grades are irrelevant in the real world”. I don’t object to the fact that life requires so much more than good grades, and good grades is not mandatory for doing your job well – but I am honestly getting tired of calling life outside academia for “the real world”. To me that devaluates a job in academia. Academia, is just as relevant as a job outside the university – but the value of our work is maybe only discovered years, decades or centuries later (especially true for mathematicians). Today, I’m writing this post on my computer, something that is only possible because researchers took their time to develop the silicon inside it. Because researchers played around with computers looong before they were relevant for the public and loooong before they were even close to being as portable as today.

Please, do debate the syllabus in public school. Please, do debate whether we have down-prioritised non-universiy degrees, but please: Stop calling it the “Real World” vs “Academia”….

Being in Flow

Flow is a state where you are fully immersed in your activity; and you feel energised by your work. You lose track of time and space when you are in flow.

In order to gain a state of flow some conditions must be met; firstly the challenges you face must be matched by your level of skills and there must be a well-defined goal for the task. Being in a state of flow is fantastic, you feel like you accomplish something. Today, I was in flow when working on the taekwondo clubs homepage. How can I be sure about this? Well, I was so immersed in working that I forgot about dinner and I started working at ten in the morning.

Flow is a fantastic feeling, but what happend to my sunday?

First Post

Yay, first post. And about time people could say. I have had this domain for quite some time without really using it. Since 2013 to be exact. The period without using the domain lasted until a year ago, where I decided it was about time I used my domain – by creating a static HTML page containing only my list of publications.

Well, I have finally installed a WordPress blog. It will mainly be used as my online resume but I will (probably) also use it to write some of my thoughts on various things: computer science, living abroad, taekwondo, inline skating and perhaps something completely different.