back from the dead

I haven't been posting as much lately and for that I apologize to my readers (all three of you). I have successfully defended my thesis proposal (CS298) and I am now in thesis proper (CS300). I plan to do my final thesis defense 2nd week of October.

What have we learned during the Marathon?

  • Sign language recognition is hard. Sign language linguistics are decades behind spoken language linguistics. The field is wide open for different approaches to the problem.
  • Data! Data! Data! A lot of data is needed. Collecting and documenting FSL, its many variants, and the local signs are of vital importance if we hope to understand the underlying structure.
  • Focus the work. Far too many times we want the paper to be perfect when we are finished; and we don't start writing until we have all the pieces. Guess what? That's not going to happen. The papers and reports will always have something missing. We should always keep the big picture in mind, and focus on our little corner.
  • Keep writing. Edit later. This applies to many things, not just reports and papers. In free/open source software terms, release early and release often. That's what your editor is for (and if you don't have and editor, your adviser). They tell you what is clear and what is not; what needs reworking; what's missing.
  • Matlab is expensive. Too expensive it turns out. Since I don't have access to the Matlab installation 24/7 in the lab, I am forced to look at alternatives. Octave, Scilab and R are my candidates.