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Comment: Re:Baloney (Score 1) 710

by docmordin (#47321929) Attached to: Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

You're not in IT, then, because they're salaried. No extra pay for extra hours.

You're correct: I'm currently not a salaried employee. I also hope to never be salaried again, let alone work for a company that bars me from overtime simply because I'm considered a "computer professional" in the eyes of the government.

As an aside, I can definitely empathize with those who are salaried employees. I had to deal with being labeled a salaried employee all throughout graduate school, despite my contract saying otherwise, and basically miss out on $100k to $125k/year (USD) in overtime; pretty much everyone else in the EECS department was in a similar situation. Suffice to say, when I had the chance to join a start-up company as a fairly compensated employee, I jumped at the opportunity.

Comment: Re:Baloney (Score 1) 710

by docmordin (#47311891) Attached to: Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

The whole image of the 60 hour a week death-marching 'murican worker is a fiction.

When I was a graduate student, a 50- to 60-hour work week was basically a vacation, given that I routinely put in 70 to 85 hours per week. Moreover, it wasn't unheard of for students to basically not leave the lab for an entire week, let alone only sleep 5 hours per day on a couch during that time, while some important experiment was being conducted.

Nowadays, a 60-hour work week is the norm for me, and I've come to enjoy it. I have around three "productive" days where I work a total of 39 hours, two "semi-productive" days where I work a total of 18 hours, and an additional 3 hours that I spread out over the week for administrative tasks and meetings. While it would be nice to cut back to just 40 hours per week, I nearly double my salary by working those additional 20 hours.

Comment: Re:They've been pushing this angle for a while (Score 1) 362

by docmordin (#47022165) Attached to: Should Tesla Make Batteries Instead of Electric Cars?

The base Model S is $69,990 (USD) according to Tesla's website and Wikipedia, not $35,000 to $40,000 (USD). With federal tax credits, the base price comes down to $63,570 (USD). With state incentives, it becomes a bit more difficult to qualify the final price: essentially, you can either get a $2,500 (USD) rebate (California), a $6,000 (USD) income tax credit (Colorado), a $5,000 (USD) income tax credit (Georgia), or a $4,000 (USD) rebate for the car and a $3,000 (USD) rebate to offset the cost of electric vehicle charging stations (Illinois).

Considering what I paid for the Model S P85+, I do wish that the base price had been as low as what you originally claimed.

Comment: Re:And much better than others (Score 3, Informative) 72

by docmordin (#46934249) Attached to: The Exploitative Economics of Academic Publishing

As an academic, part of the problem with starting wonderful open journals and conferences is the fact that there are very few incentives for us to spend our time to build up the reputation of the publication. Although being editor-in-chief or associate editor of a journal is nice to have for a tenure review, some universities weight it less than the number of publications produced, the prestige of the publication venue, how many students you have advised, how much grant money has been brought to the university, and how much publicity your work has received. Since so many of my colleagues are focused on maximizing these metrics, they have very little time for much else when starting their careers. Moreover, even when they have tenure, they still have to chase grant money to sponsor all of the students in their labs; when I was in graduate school, my adviser seemed to be flying around every two or three weeks to meet with program managers to get even more money.

Another item of note is that it is much easier to get support to start a conference if you align yourself with one of the major academic publishers, e.g., IEEE or Springer. Provided you can meet your attendance quota, these publishers provide much of the infrastructure and initial funding to host such events.

Comment: Re:Equations (Score 4, Interesting) 191

If you're using Word or OpenOffice, that might be a problem. If you're using LaTeX, it's not, provided that you're a reasonably quick typist and have memorized the standard mathematical commands. I ended up typing all of my lecture notes for my statistics Ph.D. classes without much of a hassle. In fact, most of the students in my classes came to me for portions of my lecture notes, as I was able to capture all of the important comments that the professors would make in haste while continuing on with a derivation or proof.

As for a comment on the article, since very little information was given about their testing protocols there may be some inherent bias in their findings. Specifically, their testing methodology seems to hinge on showing that short-term conceptual recall rates decrease when using laptops. That is, the authors don't bother addressing long-term retention and generalization.

Comment: Re:Could it be cause of the open-access mandate? (Score 4, Informative) 111

by docmordin (#46442149) Attached to: Up To 1000 NIH Investigators Dropped Out Last Year

As an actual researcher, let me state that your post has little to no bearing on reality. That is, open-access journals do not prevent an individual or group of individuals from artificially inflating various publication metrics. Moreover, agencies look at much more than those metrics, e.g., research output, research impact, past publication venues, and the number of students who are supported and are expected to graduate under a grant, when deciding how to dole out funding.

Comment: Re:It's not about innovation (Score 1) 219

by docmordin (#45486287) Attached to: Samsung Ordered To Pay Apple $290M In Patent Case

In an age where you can patent a rectangle, is it really about innovation anymore?

I just wanted to notify you, informally, that you've infringed upon my patent that details a process for complaining about patents. I'll make sure that my lawyers send you the appropriate notice paperwork by the end of next week.

Comment: Re:If you don't like the game, change the rules (Score 1) 189

by docmordin (#45249475) Attached to: Why Johnny Can't Speak: a Cost of Paywalled Research

Actual research is a wholly unintended side effect of academia. Only naive fools even attempt real research and inevitably fail.

Come tomorrow, I guess I should stop by the Department Chair's office and let him know that he should revoke my endowed scholar position, let alone the positions of my colleagues, as we're all apparently fools.

Comment: Re:Not the only ones either (Score 1) 341

by docmordin (#45041943) Attached to: Lockheed To Furlough 3,000 On Monday, Layoffs Also Kicking In

Good, their work is best done by private contractors anyway.

Private entities rarely, if at all, focus a majority of their efforts into pure research, unlike the national labs. Funding pure research, which is one of the few actions that the US Government at least does halfway correctly, is ultimately essential if we are to progress the state of the art and thus create new fields and products that are ripe for commercialization.

Comment: Re:In other news (Score 1) 489

by docmordin (#43376147) Attached to: Getting a Literature Ph.D. Will Make You Into a Horrible Person

It's also important to remember, as in any major discipline, that mathematics has numerous components, some of which aren't commodious for many real-world problems; as such, it could take a fair amount of time to train someone so that they would be able to make a worthwhile contribution.

As one example, I have a friend and colleague who focused entirely on abstract algebraic topics for his research and enrolled in an ordinate number of analysis, topology, and algebra classes whilst eschewing ones deemed more practical, like those dealing with differential equations, optimization, numerical analysis, and applied probability; further, despite graduating from an Ivy League institution, let alone being incredibly smart, he has yet to find employment, as most of his knowledge does not translate well to solutions for any of the burgeoning fields, such as data analysis, computer vision, or robotics/autonomous systems. Consequently, in order to even consider a position out in industry, he's looking at spending the next two years diving into a sea of applied math.

Comment: Re:Yawn (Score 5, Interesting) 525

by docmordin (#43323223) Attached to: Fighting TSA Harassment of Disabled Travelers

I'm normally not one for coarse language and insults, but, given that the atypical neurogenic tic disorder that the individual suffers from can lead to both life-threatening asphyxia and tachycardia, I would have to say that you are a massively apathetic twat. I hope that you never become afflicted by any debilitating condition, let alone wind up in a similar situation and encounter someone insouciant who denies you access to medicine or necessary sustenance, as I doubt you'd have the fortitude to stand up to your ilk.

Fortunately, your pococurante attitude served some purpose beyond broadcasting your own inadequacies: it spurred me to pledge several thousand dollars for this guy's legal fund.

Comment: Re:What's next? (Score 1) 124

by docmordin (#43186495) Attached to: Video Inpainting Software Deletes People From HD Video Footage

As you noted, the project was fun to undertake, even though it was only a sub-component to a much larger endeavor. I may yet go back, visit it, and submit an extension as a nice stand-alone article.

To answer your questions, though, I relied on a pool of around seventy subjects, equally distributed across genders and with a tri-modal distribution for age, many of whom were nudists that had heard about the data collection through some friends of mine. I also had a couple of adventurous fellow students and peers sign up to contribute; even my girlfriend at the time had no qualms about being filmed.

In any event, while there was some inherent selection bias in who I chose, mainly because I needed footage of as many different body types as I could capture, so as to allow the underlying model to generalize well, I do admit to being elated whenever people with certain body types were incredibly eager to help. Granted, I did, at the later stages, have to turn some people away, since I was spending too much time acquiring data.

For the experiments themselves, people had multiple options for what to wear for the various training phases, aside from the different changes of loose- and tight-fitting clothes that I'd ask them to bring and don. I did my best to provide multi-sex body suits of different sizes, which provided more than sufficient constraints when coupled with manually-derived measurements of quantities such as chest circumference, stomach circumference, and so forth. Others opted to strip down to their undergarments and a fair amount, surprisingly many of them women, wore nothing at all.

Regardless of what they wore or didn't wear, each subject executed a series of actions, such as walking, sitting down, standing up, skipping, and climbing. I used six pairs of stereo vision cameras to record the events. I had hoped to use Vicon cameras for the ground truth, but the professor that had them in her lab, even though they hadn't been turned on in a year or so, was aghast over my intended application and barred me from borrowing them.

Comment: Re:What's next? (Score 5, Interesting) 124

by docmordin (#43180485) Attached to: Video Inpainting Software Deletes People From HD Video Footage

What you proposed isn't that far-fetched, as I ended up having to contrive and implement the equivalent of this, i.e., passive, automated estimation of body shape under clothing, either from a single image or from multiple video frames, for some work I did in action recognition that required a fairly accurate representation of the person's proportions. Others, e.g., A. O. Balan and M. J. Black, "The naked truth: Estimating body shape under clothing," in Proceedings of the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), 2008, pp. 15–29, have come up with solutions too.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.