7 December 2006

HDR tomfoolery

Last post for the day - I've really got to head out soon. Big hello to both my brother-in-law and water-fowl obsessed brother who are in town visiting from Europe.

After handing in the draft, I walked from Gladesville to Pyrmont. Along the way, I upgraded my photo geek level by going from panorama to HDR imaging.

There are oodles of filters out there to tone-map acquired 32- or 48-bit images back down to formats viewable on ordinary screens.

On the left is the Fattal filter, on the right, the Drago filter. The awesome thing about all of this high-range geekery is that the images above were 100% processed under linux, which makes a refreshing change. I'll write-up how that was done in a post in the near future. More images here.

Future employers: click here!

Well folks, for the benefit of future employers, whom I am sure are carefully combing this site right now - hi. Note the special care I've taken to avoid posting any incriminating or controversial material. Isn't that nice.

Using a search engine to vet future employees does seem to be a de rigueur pre-processing step for hiring individuals for jobs. Even if you aren't active online, participation in a wide variety of activities in the real world do leave a traceable, online footprint. In the time I spent working at CSIRO, I've read through a good few CV's and sat in on a number of interviews, and this footprint was critically important.

The first step taken for every applicant was a quick trip to Google. Common names, often considered immune to casual googling can be quickly narrowed down using the information on a CV - universities attended, sporting clubs and the like. Instant death for many applications came from loony posts to message boards. New graduates especially can be tainted by poorly constructed, overly revealing posts on social networking sites (for example, myspace, which I consider the visual dysentery of the modern era). Posting stuff and pulling it later isn't going to necessarily save you either - there's always someone, quietly taking notes while you aren't paying attention.

That said, there's plenty of room on your actual CV to make a mess too. There was the one guy who applied who had a fantastic set of qualifications, but put down "I like girls" in his list of interests.

He didn't make to the interview stage, funnily enough.

My immediate future is starting to finally come together, and I don't think I have to worry about future employers trawling this site at the moment. It has been a fun few years at the lab - though squeezing in working and PhD stuff simultaneously has been a bit of a trial at some points. I can't really divulge what is going to happen next as it hasn't really formally been put together yet - suffice to say, I'm looking forward to it :)

chapter 7: conclusion

Burning the candle at both ends, dousing it in kerosene and then taking to it with a blowtorch helped me sail past the deadline only 24-hours late. My thesis draft (beta2, 'MC-Hammer' edition, for those that take an interest) has been sent to the supervisor-A for reviewing and editing. That will come back to me, endure a few days of fairly heavy fixing and corrections, and will be bundled off overseas and locally for final assessment before the end of the month (this will be beta3, 'Fresh-Prince' edition).

In Australia, unusually, there is no PhD defence process - you write your thesis, and it's sent off for review overseas. A few months later, it comes back with requests for corrections, and then you can go and wear the silly hat for graduation (I'm going to keep that hat, probably nailed above the doorframe of the lavatory of whichever house we finally end up getting).

The most tedious part of my PhD work is now well behind me, and I'm slowly resuming normal life. I can't quite describe how it is not having that nagging feeling in the back of your mind all the time, telling you that you should be running an experiment, or writing up. I don't think I'll be able to fully count it as 100% over until I send my final version in, but it's extremely close and I'm sufficiently unwound now to enjoy life. Five years is an awfully long time to have been doing anything, and with this whole combined working and PhD thing, I seem to have been doing a bit of everything. It's good to be done.