Stanford sent me an email about “intent to bill” for damages in the room I used to stay. They must have been confused because when I moved out of that room almost 4 months ago, they came to clean/inspect and everything was fine. Then somebody else moved into my room right after that and stayed until now-ish.
As I wrote back, I felt an intense desire to end my email with “Much love”. Continue reading “[Day 800] A thought experiment”
.. but it’s over now.
I finished the last exam of my Stanford career today. Halfway through the last exam, I kept checking my watch to see how much longer I had to pretend to care. Looking at the tense, sweaty faces around me, I had that strange out-of-body experience of looking at my past self. “Whatever is happening now, it’s already in the past.” The outcome of this exam wouldn’t affect my future self one tiny bit. It was over. I’d already checked out. Continue reading “[Day 683] It must have been love …”
Last week, I was being a bad person.
One, a girl living in my house wasn’t very nice to me and my friend. She wanted to explain herself, but I just walked out on her mid-conversation. I wasn’t even that mad at her. I just don’t like people who aren’t nice to my friends.
Two, there’s that one American English teacher in Vietnam whose story has been upsetting me for a long time. First, he made a condescending video showing how his parents react to the way Vietnamese people speaking English to prove that Vietnamese English teachers can’t teach English, together with another video instructing Vietnamese people on how to dine with westerners. Dude, if you make your living in Vietnam, you’d better learn to dine with us, not the other way around. Continue reading “[Day 636] Instant karma”
Today, I was invited to give a guest lecture for the class CS224N: Natural Language Processing with Deep Learning. I was excited. First, I’d never given a lecture to such a big audience before – there are 400+ students in the class. Second, it’s Richard Socher‘s class. He’s hands down one of the most chill professors I know. For some reason, he always looks like he’s just got out of bed and we occasionally catch him biking down the stairs to the classroom. Third, I’d always heard that speaking at NVIDIA Auditorium is lit and I want to try it out before graduating. Continue reading “[Day 626] I gave a lecture to 400 students”
Today, Tucker had an extra ticket to “Mads Tolling & The Mad Men.” Tessy thought she should be the one going instead because it was almost her birthday and she *thought* she knew more about classical music than I did. “Do you even know what jazz is?” she asked. “Yes,” I answered.
I was excited about the show because Mads Tolling was a two time Grammy winner and I had never consciously been in the same room with a Grammy winner before. I was pleasantly surprised by how classy everyone in the room looked. Men were all wearing shirts or suits or both, and women were wearing dresses. By everyone, I meant everyone except Tucker. He came in jersey, tech hoodie, shorts, and sandals. When I was biking back in the cold I also realized that he was driving back. “You could have picked me up,” I screamed at him. “Yeah I suppose,” he said.
Continue reading “[Day 515] “I’m a pianist/juggler””
The first time I learnt about from Stanford’s Honor Code, I thought it was something too good to be true. “You mean to tell me professors let students alone during exams? How’s it possible that the students don’t cheat?” The honor code is bilateral. If students sign the code to commit to not cheating, professors must show that they trust students by not watching students during exams. It gives students abundant opportunities to cheat, while keeping the probability of being caught low.
I come from Vietnam — a country where cheating in the exam is a challenge rather than a sin. Continue reading “[Day 408] My experience with Stanford’s Honor Code”
Being off Facebook, I’ve been entirely oblivious to my friend Viraj’s famed middle-finger. I knew that he has been on Jeopardy and I knew that he’s had some impressive win — the rock I live under isn’t that big — but I wasn’t aware that there was more to that. When I ran into Viraj this afternoon, he was excited:
“Chip, I’m famous now!”
“What? Did you win that $100k?”
“I can’t say, but google my name!”
So I googled “Viraj” and saw this:
Continue reading “[Day 290] Did Viraj Mehta really flip off American people on TV?”
If you don’t already know, style transfer is the cool, hip thing that has been taking the recreational AI community by storm. It’s so cool that even Kristen Stewart co-authored a paper about it. To quote one researcher who has done extensive work in style transfer that I’ve got a chance to talk to, “it is an utterly unremarkable paper that wouldn’t have been published otherwise [if Kristen Stewart’s name is not on it]. That’s a publicity stunt.”
Some background on why I’m doing this: I’m teaching the course CS 20SI: “TensorFlow for Deep Learning Research” and for the assignment about convolution neural networks, I thought it’d be fun for students to do style transfer as their exercise at home. They, after all, showed a lot of enthusiasm when we did Deep Dream in class.
Continue reading “[Day 276] Detailed instruction on how to do Style Transfer”
I’m reading the Aziz Ansari’s book “Modern Romance: An Investigation“, in which he accused men of being bozos for asking a girl out by texting instead of calling her. According to Ansari, calling a girl is a sign of courage and seriousness, while “texting facilitates flakiness and rudeness.” His observation is consistent with the advice I often see in dating columns (yeah I’m that kind of girl who reads dating columns), and I think it might as well be the most outdated advice ever, at least where I live.
Continue reading “[Day 217] Why people at Stanford don’t call anymore, or in the defense of text messages”
Today, I had a great chat over a cup of coffee with Jon Gauthier, who is, by the way, a delightful human being. When our coffee arrived, Jon remarked:
“It’s a shame that here, in California in general, you have to tell the barista that you want it here, else they’ll default that you want it to go. In Europe, if you don’t tell them anything, they’ll default that you want your coffee in a nice cup.”
Continue reading “[Day 165] Why American cafes have to-go as default”