Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Last post of 2012

I can't believe I have left my blog for several months without a single post. It shows how busy I was in the last 2 or 3 months. Achieving my first objective wasn't easy at all especially someone like me who doesn't have an image processing background dealing with clustering in medical images. That's all a little bit very unfair and of course I was struggling to achieve my first objective. But then I chose this way and this path of my life. I only have two options to stop it or to carry it on. Giving up of something that I have started is not my nature at all so keep running the option that I'm holding at the moment. The moment I'm writing this post, means I have achieved my first objective and just finished my first conference paper after 5.5 months being a PhD student. I took almost 2 weeks to write my conference paper together with the experimental results, evaluation, comparison and the most tedious part which is the reference. I thought I could finish the paper in a week. I have underestimated how difficult it is writing a technical conference paper. I remember when I did my master degree last year (2011), it took me about 5 days to write the paper (6500 words) but not the one I recently wrote. I need to give my brain a full rest before I want to do a final reading of my paper. Then I will email it to my supervisor. I would assume there might be a few corrections but that's something I have expected since I'm not sure a few sections of the paper. I hope this paper will get accepted so I could have the chance travel to Germany. After this paper, I have something else to do which an abstract for the International Conference on Prostate Cancer in Milan, Italy. But I think this doesn't need much time. In fact, I can do it within an hour or less to do the abstract. So basically there are two events that I will be looking forward next year. First is a conference in Germany and then a conference in Italy.

At the moment I think I have worked hard and achieved what I wanted pretty quick. I've asked several PhD students about how long did they take to publish a conference paper and most of them said after one year. If my paper get accepted then I would say I am on my way to finish my PhD in 2 and half years. I then should be planning to write two conference papers in the first 12 months of my PhD (this sounds very ambitious though). Anyway I could do a second conference paper if I want by taking a "safe way" which is doing a review of my research area and looking at its possibility. But then doing review doesn't sound very sophisticated or technical. For me it's just like doing a literature review which is pretty easy? (I think so). Unless you are doing a review and you have to show the different results of different methods. So basically you have to implement several methods by yourself and  compare the results. This probably sounds more technical rather than just explaining the theory parts of different methods.

Well, after that I should be getting ready mentally and physically (LOL) to apply the algorithm I developed on medical images. I don't know how well the algorithm can work. If it doesn't work at all then basically I need to redo 50% of the algorithm otherwise it should be pretty fast to achieve my second objective. If this is achievable in 3 or 4 months then this could be the second conference paper of my first year PhD. But I doubt this is the case because doing a PhD is so difficult and nothing comes easily. I probably need to create a new "engine" of the algorithm by using the existing features. I would expect I will have to do 30% modifications of the algorithm. For me doing a PhD is like merging pieces of puzzles and you don't know how and where to start. Sometimes you thought you are almost there but then in reality you have just started it. Doing a PhD is not about cleverness though. For me it's all about how strong you are mentally. I know several people who are brilliant but did not manage to finish their PhDs because they cannot take the pressures. On the other hand, I also know some students who are not clever enough but managed to finish their PhDs in 5 years because they are so agile fighting every single pressure. Being clever of course will give an advantage to the students but then depending on one factor is not enough to be a PhD student. For example, I wouldn't consider myself as a clever person but I would say I am tough when it's dealing with pressures. As far as I can remember I never gave up so far. I accepted things that happened but it doesn't mean I give up.

Anyway, Christmas is on its way and everybody is busy getting ready for one of the biggest events in the world. But I was busy writing my conference paper. I did put lots of effort to do that actually. Having said that I cannot miss my badminton sessions and I love playing badminton. I have missed my running sessions as well as my volleyball sessions but never badminton session. I know I am busy but then I always believe that no matter how busy you are if you take a break by spending an hour doing sport and get back to what you were doing you will find a fresh new idea and this helps a lot. A few days ago my niece told me through facebook that her mum which is my sister wants to sponsor my return flight ticket going to Malaysia from London. That sounds very tempting of course and I feel like I should be going back but taking a two week holiday is not enough and definitely isn't worth the money. So I decided to stay here and probably next year Christmas I might be going back. But that is still uncertain because it depends with my conference paper. One wonderful news is I managed to maintain my weight since I came here in June, 2012. I am really pleased with it. I am still 65Kg and to be quite honest I really want to be 63KG or 62KG. I need to get rid of my 3KG so I can run faster and have a better endurance level. I don't know when I can achieve that...probably end of next year. The problem is I do a lot of sports but then I eat a lot. LOL!

This is probably the last post of this year (I hope there are few more posts next week or this week). I will be having two days off on 25th and 26th but most probably will be back on the 27th to the office. I should be started applying the algorithm on medical images after Christmas and see how the initial results look like. This will give me the initial overview of how much work I would need to do to achieve my second objective. Then early January I should be ready and put as much effort as I can to achieve the second objective of my research. I can feel the pressures at the moment writing this post. But I'm sure I can do that it just the matter of how long I can do that. I just hope it's not too long. Hopefully within 4 or 5 months. I hope I can get some feedback from my supervisor regarding to my paper by early January. So any corrections can be done as soon as possible before the submission date on the 10th of January.

Okay peeps..I think I'm finished with today's post and see you again in my next post.

P/s: The weather is getting cold and I just hate it!!!!! Someone used to say this to me "People who love cold weather are boring" LOL!

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