A Practical Guide to International Academic Conference “Etiquette”

The joy of being a researcher is to get your works published in an international conference or journal. This is a first-order approximation to quantify the contribution of one’s progress, weighted by both the number of publications and quality of the conferences that accept. Depends on the field of study, some value journal over conference, some do the other way around.

It is a controversial and interesting topic to talk about, yet it is beyond the scope of this post. A short answer lies on the speed of development of the field under consideration: if the gap is measured by year then we go with journal; if the gap is measured by month, conference is a better way to keep updated with the latest trend.

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Hej Sweden!

It’s been 2 weeks since my trip to Sweden, so it’s time to sit back and write down those memorable experiences of the very first European country I have ever visited. This post is divided into 3 sections: VISA preparation, Trip planning, and Personal Experiences. The first section is geographical-dependent, namely Singapore, but I believe it’s still applicable in other countries.

When writing this post, what I had in mind is not a mere tourism guide that is indistinguishable from those similar thousands of blog posts you can find on the internet, but also did I want to give you an idea, a starting point for a first-time traveller to plan your first trip abroad.

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Information Theory A Tutorial Introduction – James V Stone

Our hero, Shrek, was just one step away from saving princess Fiona and getting his beloved swamp back.  However, the gate to the highest tower in the castle, where the princess was imprisoned, was guarded by a mighty Dragon. Fortunately, considered herself as an intellectual, Dragon refuses a battle of life and death, instead, she gave Shrek a puzzle to solve in order to pass through the door. It is as follows:

Given a 4×4 square (a) as below and a palette of 4 different colours represented as 4 different digits, can you produce the shortest sequence of digits such that I can perfectly reconstruct the square from?


With coloured box is encoded as a digit, can you encode the 4×4 square (a or b) as a sequence of digits such that it is the shortest and one can easily reconstruct the square from perfectly?

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Linear programming – A powerful problem solving method that works effectively in practice but is provably hard in principle

There was a time, scientists had to predict nature with pure reasoning and looked for affirmative from observations. There was a time, practitioners could barely scan through all the possible solutions to analyse the correctness of a problem, and thus had to ask for help from mathematicians. And, there was a time, when mathematics listed a method as hard to solve (in terms of polynomial time) in principle then it came out to be a good fit in practice. Among those, there is Linear Programming (LP).

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The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch

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Sometimes, a push in the back is what one needs to move forward,  regardless how she is fully aware of what happening surrounding her or the right decision to make. The astonishing voyage of Professor Randy Pausch is that kind of catalyst, a sequence of childhood dreams come true, and an optimist man shares his life in the racing with the death sentence of pancreatic cancer in no more than six months.  Read More

Coco – The repetitive story that is never obsolete

This movie makes me feel like riding a roller-coaster of emotions, from ‘ehh’ to ‘wow’ then ‘nooo’. For the same reason as Inside Out, I feel have got enough of those new animation styles, which is no match for the era I was born, when artists used actual paint to create Snow White or Robin Hood. Besides, who cares how feeling feels, or a heroic young boy chases his musical dream,…pft, whatever. I can close my eyes and instantly tell you numerous patterns which a story could follow, from my experience in competing my dad to see who can guess what comes next on usual TV show. Therefore, I could proudly challenge people to tell me a story that I can barely know the end before it explicitly stated. Read More

Craig Federighi did not lie about FaceID and what it’s capable of

After September 12 Apple-event, the news of the new iPhone X and its cutting-edge facial recognition technology, namely FaceID, run all over the place. Besides a big leap in price in mobile-market making people suddenly be aware of their internal organ value, an inevitable question pops up about the reliability of FaceID. On one hand, it’s totally convenient to look at the screen and the phone automatically unlocks itself. On the other hand, such kind of privacy protection was proved to be imprecise from time to time and could be faked by a whole bunch of simple (or not) tricks: a photo of the owner, her video, or even a 3D model. Read More

Vietnamese students are more stupid than they think

While writing these lines, I feel extremely disappointed and outrageous at the same time. Before coming to any conclusion, let me remind you that I am a Vietnamese as well, so this means no offence in any sense.

I now in a middle of a Bioinformatics summer school, in which fortunately I was accepted to be a TA. Needless to say, this means a lot to me – one of the first steps in my academic career and helps me to explore what I am capable of and do best. Read More

Bayes’ Rule A Tutorial Introduction to Bayesian Analysis – James V Stone

Last week was such an unforgettable experience, thus I want to get my hand dirty right away to prepare a solid foundation for the ahead journey. And there is nothing better to start with than one of James V Stone’s books: Bayes’ Rule A Tutorial Introduction to Bayesian Analysis.

This book review is about my overall evaluation after finishing the book. In addition, not only do I summarise the key ideas in each chapter to provide more insightful of the lessons I have learned, but I also try to share my thought relating to personal experience. The book consists of 7 chapters, which I spent 1-2 hours for one chapter per day, though the contents vary in difficulty level and some require basic prior knowledge about probability.  Read More