28 June 2005

So, what is it that you do again?

This is it folks, this is what I've wasted spent the last three or so years of my life on:

I've been working on a technique for automagically creating volumetric meshes from medical imaging data, and the above images are a snapshot of reasonably significant results. I used grey and white matter identified in a pre-labeled 3D image of a head from those crazy folks over at McConnell Brain Imaging Centre to initialise my volume mesh generator. Currently the algorithm is going to be used in surgical simulation work, but I hope to have it used in other medical applications, such as generating meshes for Finite Element Analysis for mechanical modeling.

For the more technically inclined, the above object is a 3.5 million element tetrahedral mesh; the first image is the whole brain from a couple of angles; the second image is a cut-away octant of the mesh, showing how it is graded from having small, high-resolution tetras on the surface, to larger, lower-resolution tetras in the interior. I won't (can't??) go into too much detail about how it works, but a Journal paper is on the way (yes Yurgi, it really is) and that will explain it in much further detail.


OMG LOL :) Right up there next to my plate of roflburgers :)

25 June 2005

Laters, homie

Today my awesome brother Hiren is off to Heidelberg for a couple of years to do a PhD in proteomics and sugars at the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg. We are all really proud of you dude; you've worked like crazy for this and if anybody deserved this break it was you.

Good luck dude, but I know you won't need it :) Be good, be safe, and we'll always be thinking of you.

21 June 2005

I can see my house from here

No, really, I can. Google maps now indexes Sydney.. you can see my house, you can see Central station, UNSW.. for Sydney residents, be careful if you click - it's a real time-sink ;)

For the local crowd, I've made a high-resolution PDF of the local area. Click here.

Update:Yeah Hiren, I think we may indeed think similarly :P

20 June 2005

Here comes the grammar Nazi

Ever since I embarked upon my PhD, I've become increasingly fussy about language. Despite having grown up in the UK, I have never really had any formal teaching about the semi-random rules of grammar in the English language. Sure, I've learned the basics - nounds, verbs, adverbs (madlibs being a superb teaching aid), but I am never able to give a formal reason why a sentence must be written in a particular way.

I'm planning to wrap up my thesis in February next year, and have a couple of journal papers in the cooker, so formal writing is going to be a central part of what I am doing for the next year or so. I've been scratching around, looking for a good guide to formal writing. The one that receives the most critical acclaim is The elements of style, by Strunk and White (1935). It's a short guide to concise and clear writing (i.e. everything that this blog isn't) and I was pleased to find a recent edition of it available for free online - last revised in 2003. It's a great reference, and a highly recommended read.

So, for the future - more grammar, less grammaticide :P :P :P

16 June 2005

I walk, therefore I am

So I'm under the illusion that I can do the City To Surf this year in an average time (two hours). Not being terribly fit, I'll be the first to admit that I need to spend some time on my health so I won't end up too overweight. As such, I've embarked on a semi-insane program of walking a sizeable distance three times a week so I don't choke and die ten minutes into the aforementioned half-marathon later this year. I've already started on this nefarious plan, thanks largely to prodding from Ray to get started. I walk from home in Marsfield down to West Ryde - about 5.5kms (thats 3.4 miles for the metrically challenged), roughly directly south. It goes a little like this:

Don't be fooled folks. At 6am in winter in Sydney, its absolutely freezing. It's damn cold; I step outside and get a couple of lungfuls of freezing air before I get going, and start trudging along in the twilight. There aren't any joggers out at this time; they are in bed, sleeping. Lazy buggers!! :P

What is impressive about this walk is the hill on Ryedale road, just past the hospital. The top of the hill provides you with a fantastic view over inner-west Sydney (that's Homebush bay and the Olympic stadium on the right), and is particularly nifty at night. Just over the crest, however, is one of the steepest hills in the area (if not in Sydney). It's got a bunch of uneven concrete steps running down, and it doesn't take too long to get down if you are confident on your feet.

At the bottom of the hill is West Ryde, and the leages club (my destination). However, once you go down the steps, the fun starts when you have to get back up the bugger:

It still takes me a good 5 to 6 minutes to get up them, and I usually end up just about crawling toward the top, out of breath and oxygen. A couple more weeks of this and I should be nearly ready for City to Surf :) At the moment, the round trip takes about two hours for the 11km travelled. The goal is to be able to do 14km in two hours, so there is a fair way to go yet :)

Its aliiiiiiiive

Finally, cow.mooh.org is back up and running in an alive state ;)

Much thanks to hiren joshi (yes - he's an SEO whore) for setting up the html and getting it up and running for me (yes, I'm lazy).

Superb ;)