Weekly Status Update #31: Crankiness-driven Development

Another week, another ‘weekly’ status update. And I use the term weekly loosely here 😉 This week featuring: algorithm expectations vs. reality, academia vs. industry, the Virtual Surgical Pelvis: Ultimate Edition, the new laptop and Googling people:

  • Earlier this week, I finally finished my improved algorithm implementation for the anatomical variation work and found out that, well, the results suck. Big time! My expectation was that it would be all sunshine and rainbows once I got that implementation done and that reviewers would soon be throwing a parade in celebration of this awesome work, but instead I got unusable results. Now, as you might expect, during a PhD this is not an invitation to just give up and go do something else, but to rethink your approach and try to see it from a different perspective. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t moping for days to anyone that would listen of course 😉 But, later on in the week, I had a House-style epiphany, broke out into confusing metaphors (so if the graph is like a hovercraft…), and suddenly there was light again. I talked things over with my promotor and it looks like we can rework the idea to make something cool. I really love these meetings where one cool idea after the other gets farted out, just by having two people talk to each other about something. Future work: get to these solutions without being all cranky about it first 😉 Or maybe the crankiness is what makes it stay in the back of my mind until I can find a solution? Crankiness-driven development… A new programming paradigm that potentially gives female programmers superpowers once a month 😉
  • In related work, eh, I mean more work-related news of course, the eternal question of academia vs. industry is weighing heavily on my mind lately. As I am heading into the final year of my PhD, decision time is getting closer and closer and I just can’t seem to decide. I think it’s such a clusterfuck combination of personal values, per research group and per company differences, that it could really go either way. I think a PhD does teach you a lot about yourself and your preferences, but not so much on the alternative options of a career outside of academia. My current plan is to think about my options some more and then ask people in the know about either or both about their experiences.
  • My awesome co-PhD in Leiden has finished work on the final segmentation work of the Virtual Surgical Pelvis. I can (and should) now commence reconstructing the Virtual Surgical Pelvis: Ultimate Platinum Collectors Edition. This VSP:UPCE (Sounds like crap? Too bad, I’m keeping it!) will feature all the surgically relevant anatomical structures and surgical risk zones, so it will be crucial in the final phase of my project, developing methods for surgical planning of the TME procedure. Maybe it should be the VSP:UPCE-TME? ^^
  • The new laptop arrived and it is glorious. I do need some time to get used to Windows 8, but I have to say, it was really made with touch in mind and I can’t imagine using Windows 7 with a touch screen. Of course I’m typing this blog on the keyboard and not using tablet mode, but tablet mode is really amazing for reading and browsing and impressing friends and family with the flippy-action.
  • And now onwards, to the personal issues! I have a thing about people telling me ‘I was Googling your name and found <insert personal stuff here>’. It’s not a good thing either: this really creeps me out to no end. It feels to me like the digital equivalent of saying, ‘I went into your house without you knowing and looked in all your drawers and found this’. Since when is it socially acceptable to say this? There are sometimes extenuating circumstances of course and I’m not saying you should never Google anyone ever, but at least don’t tell the person you’ve been Googling, for unclear reasons, that you did and what you found exactly. You know what would be nicer? ‘I read your blog and <…>’, which sounds far less creepy and more interested. Maybe I am being too sensitive… Maybe people are being creepy… Possibly both 😉

Alright, I don’t know about you, but I think that just about constitutes a weekly status update. Thank you for reading! I’ll get back to my regular program of playing Disgaea on the couch 😉 Have a great week! Bonus video, just because it’s a fitting title for me this week + I.C.S. Vortex clean vocal love towards the end of the song:

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