On Research Visits, Paper Writing and Club Mate

First up: a little In Memoriam for The ‘Weekly Status Update’. Remember those? I vaguely recall wanting to post weekly updates with five bullet points each. Ain’t nobody got time for that! I’m following up on excellent advice by cpbotha:  “when under-achieving, lower your standards”. I’m no longer setting any expectations here, I just post whenever I want, whatever I want from now on. So what’s cooking?

  • Last week I briefly visited the University of Koblenz · Landau, in, you guessed it, Koblenz to work on a EuroVis STAR paper (time to shine) with the newly minted J.- PROF. DR. KAI LAWONN, who you may remember from:
  • I’m currently visiting Bernhard Preim‘s excellent visualization group in Magdeburg to:
    • Meet the lovely group members
    • Work on the aforementioned paper (deadline: 14th of February, I can’t even…)
    • Oh and I also gave a talk last week. It was all over the news ;), but in case you missed it, check the group website
  • We are writing the aforementioned paper in Overleaf. Which is pretty awesome. I might do a little comparison post on ShareLatex vs. Overleaf when deadline season is over (estimated timeframe: never).
  • I’m getting a notification for a EuroGraphics Education paper I submitted next week on Monday. Will this end my paper rejection streak? Time will tell :)
  • I should probably get back to, oh writing a paper or two, but I’ll leave you with a nice action photo:
Club Mate
Drinking Club Mate and writing a paper. Kind of a big deal!

I didn’t realize when I bought it, but apparently, Club Mate is/was totally the hacker tech-startup drink of choice and I am now officially totally cool for drinking that.

Did I just write out five bullet points? Is this a Weekly Status Update in disguise?

2016 is here! A time for looking back and looking forward.

If cpbotha can post after a four month hiatus, then so can I ^^.  First of all, all the best for 2016 to all of you! I hope it’s a good one.  The start of a new year is as good a time as any (if not better) for a look back, or review if you want to get fancy about it, of the previous year and to look forward to things happening in the time ahead.

First up, looking back:

  • I didn’t blog so much, because a) I was crazy busy (final year of the PhD anyone?), and b) personal issues that I will not discuss here. Maybe I will increase the update frequency, maybe I won’t. Wait and find out?
  • In September, I presented at VCBM! My favorite conference in the world (eat it, VIS!). It was in Chester, UK this year (full report here) and I presented work festively entitled “Illustrative Multi-volume Rendering for PET/CT Scans”, which does exactly whatever you think it does. To make sure it does, check the full paper and pretty pictures here.
  • In September/October I went on a month-long research visit to the Bergen Visualization group in Norway, which was great for several reasons:
    • I met soooo many cool new people as well as cool people I knew from conferences before. It’s really an excellent group in all ways possible.
    • Bergen itself is really heaven on earth. It has it all, mountains within walking distance, a harbor, waffles and lots of metal. Also, VCBM 2016!
    • A little more on these mountains…. I’m not much of a sporty person, but on my first weekend there, I was invited to hike up Ulriken (only the highest of the Seven Mountains they have, luckily):
      Ulriken Bergen
      Ulriken as viewed from the airport bus

      Talk about life-changing experiences… Mind=blown by the view, experience and sheer exhaustion.

      View from Ulriken, Bergen
      View from Ulriken, Bergen. Hi, Bergen!

      It’s quite addictive really. I hiked up there once more during my stay. I could definitely see that becoming sort of just a thing to do on the weekends while living there.

    • I presented at a medviz seminar, check the flyer here. Yes, there was a flyer with my face on it!
    • I got some great PhD advice and started collaborating on a paper together. I can really recommend a visit like this, if it is at all possible, to anyone doing a PhD.
  • 2015 was definitely the year of collaborations. Good ones too (for me at least ^^)! I worked with people from Leiden, Magdeburg, Bergen and recently Koblenz, and they are all awesome and I hope to do more of that in 2016.

Then for the looking forward bit:

  • I hope to have more awesome collaborations in 2016.
  • I have approximately a million, ok four-ish, papers to wrap up and then…
  • I don’t want to alarm you or anything, but 2016 could be the year I get my PhD (correction sent in by cpbotha: get doctorified) . After which I’ll have to change the subtitle of this blog into something yet unknown. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of change, but let’s just say, ‘it is time’. I’ve been walking around at the TU Delft since 2005 (yes, really…), first as a bachelor student, then master, then PhD, and a decade is more than enough for me. I’m looking forward to starting something new somewhere else. Anywhere else 😉

Alright, I just spent my full two week holiday working interspersed with family visits, the first part of which is not really my style, but hey, desperate times, desperate measures. So I guess I’d better go finish 1 out of those million papers. Till next time!

VCBM paper ‘Illustrative Multi-volume Rendering for PET/CT Scans’ accepted!

Our full paper on Illustrative Multi-volume Rendering for PET/CT Scans[1] was accepted for presentation at the always awesome VCBM workshop. I will be presenting it in Chester (UK) in September. For now, a teaser image of our technique:

lasmprvi_vcbm2015
Illustrative Multi-volume Rendering for PET/CT Scans teaser image

Even cheaper standing desk at IKEA

As I previously mentioned, IKEA used to sell reasonably priced automatically adjustable standing desks in the IKEA Bekant series. They recently introduced a new series though, that is even more affordable. For 200 euro, you can now get a Skarsta adjustable sitting / standing desk. You can also upgrade to a slightly larger version for 30 euros more. I think this is the smaller version shown here:

Ikea's latest standing desk: the Skarsta
Ikea’s latest standing desk: the Skarsta

What’s the catch, you may be wondering? Well the catch is that the Skarsta requires manual, eh, cranking? to adjust the position:

SKARSTA Bureau zit/sta IKEA
You crank that desk, boy!

We have tested the desk for about two weeks now here at home, and it’s working like a charm! Bonus points for the arm workout involved ^^.

Update: For those wanting more tech details on this table (which seems to be a lot of you, judging by the comments section 😉 Cam Dore just shared this useful link to the manual in the comments. Thanks!

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