Wednesday, November 23, 2005

My Thesis: (Finally)

I've been putting off writing my Masters Thesis for a long time, but this fall, I decided to do it. I'll be building a framework for policy driven information exchange between entities. For example, in a disaster/emergency situation, a control room could gain access from resources that otherwise don't allow access.

Prof. Winslett gave me this idea last summer. I'm coding like crazy right now to finish it within this week, so that I can start writing it up.

If it's implemented, it will probably be included in the City of Champaign's control room.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

ACM StorageSS 2005 in George Mason University

I'm just back from a trip to ACM StorageSS 2005, co-located with ACM CCS, in George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. I had 2 papers published in this conference. The first one, was on Storage Service Providers, and the second one was on Storage Threat Models.

3 members of our StorageSS group: Bill, Suvda and I went to the conference. Bill was also the program chair. The experience of attending the conference was a good one ... I met a lot of people in the Storage field. For example, I met Kevin Fu, the MIT guy. designed of SFS, now an assistant prof at U Mass. Amherst. Yongdae Kim from UMN was there, and so was Ethan Miller from UC Santa Cruz. I also met other grad students from StonyBrook, UMN, and UCSC.

Many of the talks were insightful. Since I work in the area, I knew about most of the topics, and had discussions/chats with the bigwigs during the lunch and coffee breaks.

Mine was the first presentation of the day. I had practised extensively, so everything went smoothly. Bill (Yurcik) was happy with the talk.

Prof. Winslett, my advisor, came to the talk. She also introduced me to Will Winsborough (Prof. at UT San Antonio) , Prof. Ning Yu (from Purdue), and some Italian researchers (Bonatti, Samarati).

George Mason University is one of those traditional east-coast schools, about 30 miles away from Downtown Washington D.C. Not too big, but the campus was nice.

Monday, November 07, 2005

AnHai Doan's Academic job hunting talk

Today, AnHai Doan gave a talk on Academic job hunting. Now, I've taken AnHai's class, and he is a very good speaker. At first, he doesn't seem impressive ... but as soon as he starts to talk, he just has everyone listening. He is very very funny, and even makes jokes at his own expense.

Anyway, AnHai talked about how we should proceed when looking for an Academic job in a talk school. Lately, UIUC is lagging behind other schools in academic job placement of its graduates. AnHai says the key is to get into the habit of "people watching", network with people, and know who to impress. Interestingly, AnHai says that paper count is NOT the main thing ... rather the quality of paper and how it's closely related to research area is important.

Another thing is to generate "buzz" and have a presence. Academic recruiters look for people they can hire, and a good word from a high-placed person can mean a lot.

I was impressed by AnHai's talk ... I hope I'd be able to incorporate some of that into my own life.