Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Also known as the Research Proficiency Examination, also known as the bane of my existance. This exam is supposed to be basically a giant literature review of your area. Well, what if your area is very broad? Well.. sucks to be you! I was stupid enough to declare that my area is Image information retrieval. It is a new area, so there is not that much literature purely in this area, so what do I do? I go to related literature! How stupid of me, because EVERYTHING is related to image information retrieval, and I have to know it all! And of course on top of that I have to talk about image compositing, because it is related to my project!

They really should have a class on this which is a 9-credit class, funded by the department (and not your adviser who wants you to work on research projects on his or her dime), in which all you do is prepare for the RPE! Heck, it could even be an independent study with your adviser (in fact probably should be), because you inevitably end up being rushed and not doing a good job. The result? Well the exam that is supposed to tech you your area ends up wasting yours and your adviser's time, cause severe sleep depravation, and not really teach you anything of substance! 

But, alas, I still have to study for it!

Monday, April 20, 2009


Hi! My name is Erin and I am a PhD student working towards a PhD in Computer Science in the area of computer vision. I have a blog about my twin daughters and it is a great way to document the first years of their lives, but there is nothing there about me, and I think I want an outlet to express my thoughts and opinions about gradschool, PhD, computer science, and academia, hence, this blog! Stay tuned!