Sunday, October 30, 2005

How to write an SOP/Get a Reco

Nope, I won't give tips, but here's something people from admission committee, and professors tell me. Basically, they don't really rely on recommendation from unknown professors. Also, most of the recommendations from South Asia are likely to be written by the applicants themselves, this is a known fact. Besides, it makes a recommender's credibility very low when every student s/he recommends is "My favorite student".

The best way to improve chances of admission is to write a great Statement of Purpose (SOP). Don't make it sound like you are bragging. The admission committee have no idea who you are ... grades don't reveal a lot about a person. So the Statement of Purpose is the best way of presenting/selling yourself ... you get to show off.

More on this in my personal website article that I'm working on now.....

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My favorite Science Fiction Movies

I like Sci-Fi movies, and there are some which I like more than others. Here is a list of my favorites:

  • 1. Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind
  • 2. Artificial Intelligence
  • 3. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • 4. Gattaca
  • 5. Star Trek (most of the original series)
  • 6. E.T.
  • 7. Back to the Future
  • 8. Total Recall

Well, there are some others, I just can't remember right now.

Photo from Matt Bishop's visit to UIUC

Ok, this is a photo from October 24, 2005, as I have mentioned in an earlier post. I've finally got off the procrastination mode and managed to get the photos dloaded from my camera.

Matt Bishop is at the center of the photo, with other people from our NCSA Security Research Group. I'm standing to the left of Bishop. Posted by Picasa

Matt Bishop's visit

Matt Bishop from UCDavis came to UIUC yesterday. For those who doesn't know him, Bishop is the author of the book, "Computer Security: Art and Science". This is one of the encyclopedic works on computer security theory. Of course the book is highly mathematical, and not one on the practical implementations. Anyway, for any serious security researcher, this is a must-have book.

Prof. Bishop came to our NCSA security research lab last afternoon. He is one of those jolly, friendly professors ... was quite free with us, and affable. I had been studying for the Security midterm since the weekend ... I told him to wish me good luck as he signed my copy of his book. :D. I also have a picture taken at the lab...

By the way, the midterm was quite tough!!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Star Trek

I like watching Star Trek, but I'm not sure which series I like: Star Trek Original Series or the Next Generation.

One thing is that I've seen more of Star Trek TNG than TOS. The TNG is in syndication now, so I watch at least 5-8 episodes per week. Although there are about 63 episodes in the original series, I've seen only the first season.

Of course, I like Captain Kirk more than captain Picard. Somehow I find Kirk more heroic. Picard sometimes look too much pompous to me, too much diplomatic.

Anyway, the characters I don't like would be Worf and Troy.

By the way, among the movies, definitely I like the ones from the original series (Star Trek 1-6). The newer movies are aweful.

And, I definitely don't like the newer serieses, like Star Trek:Voyager, Star Trek:Deep Space 9, and Star Trek:Enterprise.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Crazy weather in Champaign-Urbana

The weather in Champaign-Urbana is totally crazy. Today started with a lot of rain/cloud etc, and remained cloudy. But right when I thought it would end up as one of those cold-rainy-windy days, it became sunny in the afternoon. This reminds me how I was duped last year by the sunny sky, which turned into torrential rains within 10 minutes, and left me all soaked up in my best outfit.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Today was IBM day at UIUC CS department. A Whole day of talks, demos and other fun activities. I attended some of the talks, which dealt with some projects at IBM, and some others at UIUC.

At noon, there was the Pizza session, with Pizza from Papa-dels. A lot of people came, I guess for the pizza. Anyway, there was a poster session too. Adam Lee and I were planning to take our posters, but they didn't have room for it. I looked into some posters that interested me. Joe Tucek had a poster on the paper that's being published at SOSP. I also looked at Qingbo's poster, and some other one that used Game theory for Network security.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Fall in C-U

Fall is in full bloom in Champaign-Urbana. It's fun to see the trees changing the color almost overnight. The weather is surprisingly warm for this time of the year. Of course, there are predictions that it would remain so throughout this winter.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Tagore festival in Urbana

Today, we attended the Tagore Festival at the Tagore Center, Channing-Murray Foundation, Urbana. Rabindranath Tagore came to the University of Illinois in 1911-12, to visit his son, who was studying Agriculture here. Each year, a festival is held in mid-October to commemorate his stay. Interestingly, it was during his stay in Urbana that Tagore learnt about his Nobel Prize for Literature.

The program was great : we didn't attend the session at noon, but others told us that the violin session was great. We reached there at the start of the afternoon session, when local artists were singing Tagore songs. Also there were several dance presentations. It was a well-planned, and well-rehearsed program. Also, it was great to see so many Bengalis gathered together for such a nice cultural program.