Sunday, December 16, 2007

Gaslight-- yummy cuban sandwiches

I got to hang out with Jim's friends for once. I haven't seen A & Y in a while, and it was very nice to go out and do something for Jim's friends. They were so happy and cool that I really enjoyed myself. Jim has really cool friends... :) I feel like I spend a lot of time concerned with my own issues (grad school) and it was nice to just step out for a while and enjoy the company of friends and food. We went to Gaslight, I had a Cuban sandwich. I really look forward to going to Miami at the end of the month and having my dose of Arroz con Pollo, Ropa Vieja and of course, Media Noches. Que Rico!

Snow fell on Thursday, and it was a lot of snow. It covered up the hacks around the school and the Tute closed early, a rare occurrence. I had a nice time, and it was picturesque. I really like the beautiful silent falling sounds of snow-- so quiet and serene. Nothing like a good cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows in times like these.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Apples & More

Dad's been sending me pix of the shindig in England. here's one of me and my college twin, Julie.  She is so creative and I just love how spontaneous she is. We backpacked through Europe together, and we had a wonderful time in Marseille, Paris, Barcelona, Belgium, and Zurich. I promise I'll get around to posting pix from the Wedding and other trips eventually. I'm sure I will be the only one to actually look at them :)

We recently had the apple bake-off at my dorm, and I was impressed! our students did great, the best tasting was an apple upside down cake. There was a 3D apple sculpture "Susan's apple house". There was even a giant eyeball "apple of my eye" by Kathy and Sarah. Apples & creativity go well together.

Other than that, life has been super busy. I'm working on my oral exam slides right now and hope to do a test run on Monday and later that week. eeks.

PS. I also heard that a certain fightin frog will be having another baby! What?! Congratulations and wow. Also, a congrats to my friend Tad & Isa for their new addition, FT. wow! Must be something in the water...

PPS. I just bought a new steamer

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sarah & Joyce

I am cleaning out my way-backlogged inbox, when I get this link to Sarah's pictures. It was from when
Joyce was visiting. These good times were filled with our newest friend, Violette! We had our trip to Hahvahd square, a nice little lunch at Shilla, and a terrific time hanging out. Here's to Sarah for becoming the first soccer mom of us Miami gals! :)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

First week of classes are over!

It's been a very busy week. Classes have just started, Jim and I are still getting used to the new lofted library he built, lots of new people on the hall. Its been exciting, and overwhelming at the same time. Meanwhile, I am working on a CHI paper and usability study. It will be the roxxor. I have started ta-ing the same class I TA every fall-- Tangible Interfaces with my advisor, Hiroshi Ishii. This year's class is oversubscribed, again, so it will be a challenge. Looks like a lot of good talent in the class, so it is exciting. I am looking forward to working with the new folks at the lab and building great things!

I was surrounded by consultants! We had a brief visit last week from alumni Paul Yarin, who was passing through town after finishing a documentary film project. It was very inspiring to meet and get his insight on my work. I am also pleased to have met his friend Eric, who was at the lab almost a decade ago. Those were the cool start-up times at the lab. I also got to try a nice restaurant, Cuchi-Cuchi, where we had tapas with Rich, it was entertaining and I would definitely go there again. Nonetheless, it has been a very very busy week. I have been designing my user study, and I hope that it will be a good one.... remains to be seen, no?

Anyway, I thought I'd put up a nice picture I found from our recent trip to England.
Its of my two cousins, Ray and Joyce, in Hereford. We're enjoying ice cream, and I have taken this picture with Ray's super camera. I'll be putting up more pix later of course, but there are just so many pictures.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

back from england, in time for Rush 2007

Jim and I just got back from a terrific vacation with our families in England. There were tons of Castles and Cathedrals, and also lots of berry picking. The countryside was beautiful, and it was fun to spend time with my new family. There were also exciting fireworks and bonfires, to celebrate our new families! More pix soon!

Our students are back as well, and by the sound of the hammering outside, it looks like Rush this year will be fantastic. Already, I have heard people using a zipline across the courtyard, and the flume looks like it will be fun. Go EC!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Paul Rand

It is a rainy day today. Perfect reading day.Recently, Paul Rand's work has been on the forefront of my mind. Combined with thoughts from Marshall McLuhan, I believe that the tension between parts of media that are mutable with the intrinsic qualities that are immutable (things that can be perceived no matter what alterations have been made by the medium) gives us our experiences. The beauty of experience is that it is so subjective. Why can we make subjective assessments when presented with minimal information? Can we make quantitative assessments in the same circumstance? In general, reading the thoughts and philosophic ideas of those masters before me has been enlightening. I have a lot to learn from their wisdom and it is exciting to find new insights nestled in the pages of an old book. Writing is definitely a beautiful way to send a message through time.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter and the order of the Pheonix Landing

An ideal Saturday. I woke up late (good sleep!), and Jim made me a sandwich. Then I hung out with my friend J, had a latte, and we saw Harry Potter's Order of the Phoenix. I was on the edge of my seat, it was goood!!! We then met up with V & R at Pheonix Landing. As usual, the food did not disappoint!! :) Then enjoyed the night (although a little cold) by visiting my old favorite 1369 Coffeehouse with V. Caught Minority Report back at home and ended the day on the ole compy. I had a full day! :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Determine your bandwith

with Mr. T. Built by Jonah. :)

Rock Band Stage Demo

My friend/student Matt works for Harmonix. He recently gave a live demo at E3 '07 for the release of their new video game, Rock Band. The game is awesome, and makes Guitar Hero even more cool. Now you and your friends can rock out together! Matt can be seen doing his thing (he's the cool guitar player on the right) GameSpot Rock Band Stage Demo

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Back from a beautiful Miami weekend

Jim and I are back from an exciting weekend in Miami. We met with tons of family friends and family, ate a delicious chinese banquet, and had a terrific time on the beach. Joyce helped me shop for my new dress. My friend Dan made it out from California to join us. Jim surprised me with a beautiful new ring, with all the things I like on it. It was quite a terrific getaway. We also got to stay on the beach and swim. I learned a ton of new swimming techniques, such as the prone float and prone float with glide, and we had a relaxing, sun-drenched time. (Maybe these techniques will be useful on my next big trip to an exotic locale.) There was even a small thunderstorm, which Jim really loves. Pix from Dinner Celebration event

Friday, July 06, 2007

Fourth of July Recap

Jim's parents and 2/3 brothers, and Gongke Shen made it up for the 4th of July holiday. We went to Kelly's along with Shannon (congrats to her for finishing her phD!). We also went to Sichuan bay, the Shen's restaurant in Somerville and had yummy spicy Chinese food. It was a food festival.
It was nice to see the Gouldstones, although I missed all the breakfasts because I slept in. The weather was okay, although cold at night when they got here. Then it drizzled rain on the 4th, but we went to see the fireworks anyway. It was the BEST view I've ever had of the fireworks, a full field of vision due to the lack of crowd! The fireworks were thunderous, and I was ecstatic. Pix coming ofcourse *wink*. We had just enjoyed ourselves with sushi and ice cream before, so we were quite happy. Despite the rain, I felt it was one of the best fireworks shows I've seen in years. I couldn't hear Mellencamp sing except for "Unchained Melody", but its due to our proximity to the fireworks. WHOAAA! Go America! Go Boston! NiCE! Of my favorites this year were the 3D cube, smiley face, and parachute lights. The other bifurcating tails and long-shimmer tails were also good, as were the slow motion trails. Simply amazing what fireworks can do.
Side Note: We could have done without the street drama later that evening, some kids had a rumble in front of the Biogen Path on Binney & Ames. They fled like ants when the cops came. I'm sure they made all the noise in homeroom. Kids today!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

back from camping

This weekend we joined our students at their campsite in N Andover. That's me with a burning marshmallow. I'd never been to Harold Parker State Park, and it was nice and green. The stickmen went swimming, and even caught some fish at Field Pond. We made fire, yay! There were hotdogs and hamburgers, and lots of s'mores. I got to sleep outside under the sky and stars for the first time... it was nice until it started raining! Then we went and slept in the car. This morning I learned how to play Rummy and we drove back. Others pedaled back, and others stayed behind for more camping. It was fun, although we got bitten by mozzies. Still, lots of good memories and exciting happenings. Pix up later... props to Anand for the picture here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Congratulations Miami Springs MAO!

My HS alma mater, Miami Springs Mu Alpha Theta, recently came back from State Convention with 39 wins, placing them 7th out of 56 in Florida. Great Job, Miami Springs Mu Alpha Theta! Special kudos to the amazing group of parents, teachers, and volunteers who were there to assist in those weekly practices and competitions. Good luck at Nationals next month!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

End of May, June travels

sweet memories
Congratulations to the Class of 2007 Graduates! Particularly my 1W seniors, I will miss you all. Its such a nice time of year to reflect on how hard people worked, and how much they have achieved. Finals breakfasts are over, and so are finals! Its been nice to know you, my Stickmen, and I hope to hear great stories from you now and then. Carpe diem stickata. *sniffle*

I had to miss the graduation this year due to attending the NIME 2007 conference. I gave my paper to a terrific audience of fellow musicians/artists. There were many New Interfaces for Musical Expression-- and much of it was refreshing. The level of enthusiasm and mental energy in the work shown was quite high. I believe the Saturday jam lasted until near dawn...
I was also very pleased to have made the acquaintance of new friends and notable people from the field (from places like LOGOS, Penn, CMU, Stanford and Tufts-- you know who you are, I won't mention by name). It was terrific to see old friends and collaborators, and I enjoyed the brief moments, the sheer brilliance of some of the work I saw, and the enthusiastic crowd of conference goers. This year's conference was hosted at NYU at the ITP-- and it was a funky crowd. There were artists, hackers, and engineers and everyone was extremely psyched about their work,and psyched to see other people show their stuff. It even had a session on philosophy, which is normally absent from the other conferences I've attended. I will be posting my conference photos soon. NIME ROCKS. You should go.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Friends from Stanford

Spotted old colleagues and new at CHI last month. Not only are these talented technologists from Stanford also great kazoo players, they also take requests. Mike Bernstein, Dave Merrill, and Monzy from Stanford performed impromptu kazoo renditions of popular songs, like "Wipe Out" to entertain Wendy Ju and other CHI reception partygoers. They were definitely the highlight of the closing CHI ceremonies.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Toasty friends

It was fun to see Elwin and Mandy again at Legal's yesterday. Since Elwin was visiting from LA, it was a real trip to hang out and talk about life outside MIT. Mandy has returned from India (and doing artistic things). Also met Frank, who is the head of UCLA's alumni group. Missed Zahra and LiWei, but maybe next time!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Engelbart & Clinton

This week, our group met with Doug Engelbart, the inventor of the mouse. He gave a talk about his new vision. It was terrific to meet a living legend. It was great to spend time listening to him talk about where HCI should go and how representing knowledge in different ways would be useful to mankind. He was very positive, and just enthusiastic. The best part about meeting great people is how nice they usually are, and how happy they are about the work that they do. Usually they are very generous with compliments and his thoughts on what was interesting about the work he saw. For example, Doug also invented a chording keyboard, and he brought it out and talked about how people were able to use the keyboard effectively/efficiently even more with chording and how amazed he was by that. His enthusiasm for this chording feature was clear.
Reminds me of the time I met Douglas Dayton, from IDEO (and before that Hovey-Kelley), who drew the CAD drawings of the mouse for commercialization. Always cool to meet people who worked on a seminal project, and listen to their stories.
I'm rambling now, cause its 5:30am, but I recently caught Bill Clinton on TV talking to the Potomac school. It was great to hear such an articulate leader who had thought about the pros and cons of world situations. Again, his strong convictions on what America should do in Iraq and other places was clear, and he showed his understanding was more than surface level. He identified that Democracy is not just majority rule, but an idea based on respecting the greater good and minority viewpoints. The best thing I learned was that different ways of seeing things (e.g. multiple identities/sympathies) are good. He applied this to religion: we can have many different religions and celebrate their differences, but also having alternate identities than just a religious identity helps people understand their fellow human beings and celebrate mankind. By understanding differences in different ways, we can understand that there is no ONE correct or dominant way of doing things. As long as we respect each other and seek the greater good, humanity will always triumph.

It is impressive the amount of background knowledge this man had in his impromptu speech. Here are some interesting quotes that came from the Fairfax Times news article:

"...Study something they love, and to challenge themselves, make it difficult ... spend some time getting to know people different than you."

"Globalization is inadequate. Our world is too small, we all need each other, and divorce is not an option. You cannot escape each other."

"Everybody needs an opportunity to participate. People need to feel responsible for the success of an endeavor, a sense of belonging."

Other than that, I had a terrific time seeing my friends who I have neglected in a while. Lily and Ben, Rich and Virginia showed up for dim sum, along with Jim Barabas, Betsy, MayLin, Lily and Jordan, and new folks Jo and Nick. It was a terrific time, and I learned about what was going on with everyone's lives it was good to appreciate how hard everyone works and enjoys their jobs.

Congratulations to Lily & Ben for getting married! They are very happy and i'm sure it will be a motivating factor for Lily to finish her thesis so she can go on a honeymoon!

We went shopping at Costco today, too, and bought finals breakfast food. It will be an exhausting week but I'm sure we'll have a lot of good times as well.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Flowers everywhere

Everywhere around campus, there are azaleas blooming. Pleasant breezes and nice weather were the norm until today. Today it is rainy and full of thunderstorms. I'm going to go out in it, to have dinner at Penang with Aileen.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Post Sponsor week catch-up

Its been a looong week. After flying the red-eye back from San Jose, it was time for sponsor week. I think I must have slept a total of 8 hours the whole week. I took advantage of this weekend to catchup and see my friend Sarah (and my cousin Joyce) who was visiting from Miami. Sarah has a baby, Violette, who is ultra cute and quiet. It was nice to get our mani-pedis in Harvard, and just catch up. So much has happened since we were last together about 3 years ago. Its nice to know that things are going well. When you're in school it doesn't seem like time is moving. Its like a vacuum, or as TadT says, its a bubble that reflects in on itself. Still, it seems like life is good. Otherwise, things in school are coming to an end of a semester. Students are getting their plans together for summer, and all the end of year events are rolling by. It will be a busy end of semester, as many of the seniors on my hall are moving on to bigger and better things. We'll be doing some end-o-year events and as usual, it will be a busy but fun time.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Back from California

Me, Tom, Julie and Duff are having desserts at Mel's diner in SF here. I am back from a great time in california, after hopping off the red-eye to partake in Sponsor week at the Lab. I started off at CHI (flickr posts coming soon), then LA and SF. It was very nice to see a lot of ML alumni, get a sense of what they were working on, and give me perspective on what life could be like after MIT. The work that they're doing now out west seems satisfying and deeply meaningful. I was amazed at the level of detail, quality, and robustness of the engineering work being done at Oblong and BlackDust. Lots of startups. Tom's got Whooptones and some secret ones that will be announced soon...*hush*. These guys have visions on on the future of technology, and you can buy/play/live with it. More on this in a later post, after I get the pix up. I also had a terrific time meeting with old MIT friends, and soaking up the rays on a hike at Penitencia Creek Park with c/o 97'ers Julie and Duff-- its been too long. Here's a shout-out to the i-dogs "Arrouuuu!"

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A recap of good things Summer 04

We have have all the good things here. I found my Summer Pix from 2004, and am seriously looking forward to this year's round of BBQs, outings, and Fairs.

We also have the summer birthdays and excursions from earlier that year. Jim frosted all those ladybug cakes! I baked popovers, cause he likes em so. In retrospect, it was a busy summer where people were moving around a lot. There were visits to and from family (UK, NY, and Long Island), Roo's Thermal Spray lab at SUNY, and then there was trips to the beach. We saw the HelloMoto boat and met the captain and enjoyed fireworks on the 4th over the Charles. We baked a lot, and looked out the windows onto the MIT dome from our apartment in central square.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Journey to Cinque Terre

Just looking at the pictures takes my breath away. I've finally uploaded pix of our Journey to Cinque Terre last spring break. It was one of the most captivating hikes I've ever been on, and I would definitely like to return. We had a terrific meal overlooking the gorgeous views, and met many kind people. Next time, we'll definitely go climb the castle and eat more frutti di bosc gelati!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

ML Model Hack

Little green men have stormed the Media Lab Model . Looks like someone's research is causing quite a stir. Hold on to your thumbtacks and resistors, they might be commandeered by the troops.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Rubber ducky, you're the one!

A fun and wacky valentines day on Stickmen where we had some serenading, hearts, and tasty goodness. The last video is of the hall at the housemaster's studybreak. Its been a giggle of a term. The stickmen also rocked the house at the recent Cookie bakeoff. We submitted 5 entries (including a GRT entry), and they would have all won if we had enough prizes for them. Jim's GRT entry didn't get to be voted on, but I thought it was the best one (and I'm not biased at all!). Pix of the Cookie Bakeoff TBA. Congratulations to the power bakers Sarah and Kathy for their award-winning entries of Spagetti Cookies and the Great Dome Hack. We had the most innovative hall, with the spirit of Colin Cross revived in cookie form by Chris's "Colin Cookies"-- a hall secret recipe, and also the spirit of 3D creation from Kelly, which had people wondering how she made it!

Key West pics finally uploaded

I finally put up the pix from 2 summers ago of our drive to the Keys:Key west adventure. There were some very beautiful parts, like the sunsets, the super rainy downpour, and the waterspouts along the Seven Mile Bridge. We visited that Key Lime Pie factory, and ate some goodies, saw some "funny people" at the "ladies night" on the main drag, and enjoyed getting our tans. The drive was long, but it was kind of fun-- only 4 hours from Miami with cruise control. One nice part was hanging out with Jim and my parents, and enjoying the lighthouse views at the southernmost tip of the US. We went all the way to Mile 0 of I-95, the beginning of that beast of a road that makes its way all the way up to Boston! I found that my street is in the center of town, and we even saw a pirate store! Arrgh!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

See Duff talk at Google!

My friend, physicist/scientist/inventor/programmer, Mike Duff, will be giving a talk at google today. Hope those of you in Mountain view can go. Sounsd like he'll be talking about internet security at SRI, one of the coolest innovation companies around.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Congratulations Robbin!

A big kudos to my friend and colleague, Robbin Chapman, for her recent appointment to diversity recruiting in the MIT School of Architecture Planning. She's so positive and energetic, I think that she will make a big impact in the admissions process for our department.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

One See in Four Stages, by Mat Laibowitz

Hey folks, this looks like a cool installation by Mat Laibowitz at EXIT ART. If you are in NYC, this might be a visual experience that changes the way you think about light, space, and time.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy Chinese New year, happy valentine's day!

This is going to be an awesome year! Its going to be terrific, and I'll get to see my friends a lot more this year! I celebrated in style, with dim sum and dinner, with some good friends and my awesome hall. So this year, I know it will be easier to see my friends than in previous years. :) I might have good opportunity to fly to your neighborhoods, friends who are afar (SF, Dallas, Miami, NYC)!
I'll try to blog more this year, that way you can have constant updates! For those of you on RSS readers, you'll know the scoop from the source.
This is from my cousins in China:

As the weather would have it, I was snowed in on Valentines Day and ended up not flying to my conference in Baton Rouge. So I spent the day *working* next to my handsome man, and also hung out with my favorite students! It seems those close to me will also be close to me next year. Yay yay yay!

Congratulations Ian, my Guy101.

Congratulations to Ian for winning a BAFTA. You know you rock. That was the best winner's walk I've seen. Nice bling too! xxoxoxo! Watch him snag the prize!
Here's 2 my favorite Guy 101! *kiss* *kiss* snootchy bootches. *bye cutie*

Congratulations to Jonah

Lucky for me, I know lots of winners! Congrats to Jonah on winning for his entry Alerting Infrastructure, the OpenCall for Labcyberscpaces!