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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lanny's New Year Resolutions

At the beginning of the year of the rabbit, I wish you all a very productive and happy Chinese New Year!! 春节快乐!


I'll be visiting Lausanne, Switzerland to attend a conference for about a week in early March, 2011. Anyone reading my blog from Lausanne Switzerland? Anyone knows a cheap hotel near EPFL? If so, please kindly leave me a comment or shoot me an email! Thanks!


It's that time of the year again, time to make plans and resolutions.Although I know every single year should be just as valuable as the others, somehow I know this year is going to have particular importance in my entire life. So here below are the things I'd really like to accomplish in the next three hundred plus days:

1. Post two blog posts each day

Many people are still very confused by the dates of my blog posts. For example, you'll see this very post I am writing at this very moment be dated at March 24, 2009, when today is actually February 7, 2011. I think the dates of my posts are less important than the contents of my blog posts, therefore, I'll stick with this imaginary existence of the parallel university, and use the past dates to remind myself of how many blog posts I have fallen behind of my ambitious goal of one blog post per day. The only way to make up and catch up is to post more than one post per day, therefore, I'll try my best to stick to this resolution. Two is the minimum. Maybe I'll even get lucky some day and post more than two for that day. Let's wait and see. :)

2. Translate one page each day

There are simply too many good Chinese books I'd like to share with non-Chinese readers but too little time. Translating a novel well is quite a challenging and time-consuming task. I feel very sorry for keeping my readers waiting for so long, so I'll take the advice from one of them and make it into a habit of translating a little bit every day. This will also be a very good exercise for self-discipline, which I am certainly lacking these days. Note that the one page here is for the English text. I am thinking about posting a translation blog post about every three days (so three pages worth of translation). Bug me to death if you see I am lagging, by email or by leaving comments, because your support is the best force to keep me going.

3. Complete the majority of my dissertation work
In just a little bit over two weeks (February 24, 2011 to be exact), I'll be taking my PhD Oral Exam and defend my Dissertation Proposal. After that, it's just a matter of implementing code, run experiments, collect data, and then write quite a few papers. Hopefully I'll be able to get the majority of my dissertation work done in the next 12 months and shoot for graduation for Winter 2012. The good news is that my advisor agrees with the time line; the bad news is that there are plenty of planned work ahead. Work, here I come!

4. Build a robot of my own
I've always felt that my PhD would be incomplete if I didn't build a robot myself (here "build" means mostly putting off-the-shelf parts together, but with my own design, not simply assembling a kit), since my research is about Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. I've already acquired some of the main parts to be used. Hopefully by the same time next year, I'll have a working robot that's capable of some low-level intelligence. I have high hopes for this robot. I envision a long-term companion/assistant/tutor as I keep improving it for the years to come, as that famous says goes, "build your own friend!"

That's it! I wish myself and all of you a very productive year ahead. But also don't forget to take a break once a while to enjoy those small beautiful things and moments you might normally overlook. Also don't forget to visit my blog once a while and send your encouragements this way!

Key to success: Set high goals. Even if you can only achieve half of what you set out to do, it might still be a great achievement! -- Lanny

Video of the Day:

Despite not being able to score a single goal in the South Africa World Cup, Lionel Messi was still elected the winner of FIFA Ballon d'Or 2010 because of his excellence performance throughout the year. What a great way to start a new year!! I am so happy for him! He totally deserves it! I hope I also have a great start of a new rabbit year!