In this week’s research group meeting, I asked my supervisor if I could finally release the source code that I’d written during my masters for my thesis. Generally, research code is kept private until the papers related to it have been published. Since both my papers have been accepted at conferences coming up in the near future, my supervisor said it was OK to finally turn the code public. I haven’t picked a license for it yet – all I’ve requested is that my papers be cited. The data bags that I’d used to generate my results are too big to upload – sometimes a couple of Gigs, so I haven’t been able to upload them.
Day 2, or the final day had quite a great session list too. The spotlight before lunch, obviously, was on Richard Stallman’s talk. We’d seen a GNU booth turn up next to our Fedora booth. Quite a lot of GNU stuff was on available there – Stallman’s books, stickers, soft toys etc.
I’d skipped Lennart’s systemd talk to get some work done. Emily had been good enough to get us a room to work in. Most of us Fedora folks were sitting there, hacking away. I did a couple of package updates that upstream release monitoring had pointed out to me.
Much to our surprise, Richard was brought into the same “hackroom” we were sitting in. In a few minutes, a volunteer brought in a lady that wanted a picture with him. She said she was a fan, and Richard promptly replied that he didn’t want fans, he wanted people that will help him in his goal of completely free software. It was the first time I’d seen him in person, and the response, somehow, didn’t surprise me. When Richard was ready, he walked to the main hall and we followed him to our seats there.
His talk was quite how I expected it to be. He was idealist – Aditya and I discussed that he had to be it, as the face and primary driver of Free software. Richard spoke of the advantages of Free software, where he pointed out the numerous back doors that have been found in proprietary software to spy on users. He spoke of the GNU time line, how he had started it, how Emacs and other things came about. At some point of time, he expressed his annoyance to the fact that people confuse GNU and Linux, and free software and open source software. He spoke of how people think Linus is the father of free software etc. I quite enjoyed his talk. At some points, though, I couldn’t help but think that he didn’t really need to use negativeness to put his point across. He didn’t just differentiate between free and open source software, and he didn’t just say how free software is better than the open source philosophy, he went on to stress on why open source wasn’t good enough. If you’ve seen his sessions, you’ll probably understand what I mean.
I do respect him immensely, but like a lot of others, my philosophy does differ from his hard lined one. I think that’s quite expected, though.
The end of his session was an auction – for the benefit of free software. A GNU soft toy went for about 600 CYN, I think, and an autographed book went for a similar amount. I didn’t bid, of course. It was quite amusing to see his fans outbid each other. He is quite the celebrity in that sense.
After lunch – GPG key signing party!
I spent the entire after lunch session at the key signing party. A few attendees already had GPG keys and knew how the party functioned. However, as is expected, there were quite a few that didn’t have GPG keys, or in fact, Fedora systems. Robert and I helped them set up their keys. We explained the importance of a web of trust. Everyone then went to each other, had a little chat, verified each other’s photo identity, and exchanged GPG keys. I think there were about 20 of us, which is quite a good number. All of us Fedora folks signed each others’ keys and send them to the fedora key server. Hopefully, as time goes on and we meet more of our friends, our web of trust will get stronger and stronger.
Unfortunately, I was so busy at this session that I haven’t any pictures to put up!
We’d thought we’d sit through the session on Gnome Shell Extensions. When we got there, we were informed that the session would be in Chinese – we went back to the hack room until Nitesh’s open discussion on Fedora women began.
Fedora Women open discussion
Nitesh has been quite active with the Fedora Women SIG. I do peep in at times to see if there’s anything I can do to help.
The idea was to see how we can make it even easier for women to join the community. One of the ladies suggested we come up with cute soft toys as swag, like the Suse lizard. I don’t know how serious she was, but I certainly think it’s worth discussing :D.
A general take from this session was that we need to first increase our user base before we work on increasing our contributor base. This makes perfect sense – people that don’t use Fedora are a lot less likely to contribute to it.
Ending ceremony and celebration dinner
The ending ceremony was similar to other events that I’ve attended. The organizers thanked all the volunteers without whom, the event wouldn’t have happened. They thanked us speakers who took the time out to come down and participate in the event. Lots of clapping and cheering.
Jaroslav talked to everyone too. He reminded everyone that “friends” is a core Fedora foundation, and that at the event, we had made many many new friends, and finally met many of the people we talk to frequently over the Fedora communication channels.
There was a lavish dinner set up at the Vision hotel. There was a lot of food – sea stuff, breads, dessert, beer, sake. We had quite a fun time. I talked to Martin for a bit before he left. We met the volunteers with Emily and wished them all the best as we took our leave from the dinner.
This was the end of the FUDCon for us. The next day, we were to head out to a tour of the Great Wall.
We didn’t quite make it to breakfast on Day 1. We’d overslept and headed straight to the conference. Registration was swift – the volunteers had everything already set up already – project booths, registration booths with our IDs, t-shirts, swag and the rest.
The conference begins
We headed into the main hall for the opening sessions. Emily introduced Kat and Jaroslav who welcomed the attendees and officially kicked off the conference. The hall was quite full, which was really good to see.
Once the welcome sessions were over, Tobias talked about Gnome 3.12+. He informed the audience about the planned features in future Gnome releases, such as Wayland support and colour tinting to improve accessibility. Jaroslav and Jiri introduced Fedora.next – the different products, a little bit about COPR and the new ring system that we’re using.
This gave way to the track sessions that we’d all registered to present. The Fedora track was in conference room 8.
Nitesh started the track with a session on Fedora Videos. The idea was to introduce the project to people. We had quite a good discussion too. Here are some things we found we could work on:
Can we translate the captions to our videos using transifex?
Can we also place videos on a website that would be available in China?
Both should be quite doable really. We hadn’t really thought about these before.
Robert introduced the Fedora websites project next. He discussed how it was set up, and the ideas on Fedora.next. He intended to show the audience a quick session on submitting patches to the team, but the limited bandwidth didn’t permit us (The Fedora websites git repo is quite large).
We did get a few tasks from this session too:
Completion of the Ask Fedora skin, so that it can be better integrated with the new Fedora.next hub style website
Someone asked if the Fedora easy fix page could be translated into multiple languages
The Ask Fedora skin is almost complete, but it still needs some work. We discussed how the easy fix page could be translated, but it doesn’t seem to be straight forward since it harvests information from the trac and bugzilla instances. The static content could be translated. We need to bring this up with infra, see if anything can be done.
Zamir took a quick overview of FirewallD. He discussed both the command line and the GUI interface. I knew most of it, but it was quite a bit of information for new comers.
Fedora infra is switching form puppet to ansible. Aditya introduced ansible with a quick tutorial. He discussed the logic behind the switch and answered a couple of other questions that the audience had. The infra team is planning a FAD to convert the remaining puppet modules to ansible. There’s quite a bit of work to be done if you’re looking to get started with infra.
Martin spoke about Conary. In spite of it being around for quite a while, I’d never heard of it before. Martin discussed the usefulness of conary. It was quite interesting. I met Martin later during the celebration dinner and talked about it a bit. I told him about rpm os-tree that I’ve been reading about on the mailing lists. I don’t understand them much, but they did seem slightly similar to me. Martin said he expects to work a lot more with Fedora in the future.
ROS on Fedora
The last session for the day was mine. I introduced ROS and why we’d like to get it packaged up for Fedora. The audience wasn’t using Fedora on their systems already so I couldn’t really do the hackfest that I’d intended. I ended up showing them how to make a hello world package on my system. The audience was quite interactive, and I received quite a few interesting comments and questions.
End of a busy day
All in all, it was quite a busy day. The talks were most interesting. We, all the Fedora folks, decided to head out to dinner. I managed to find a nice little Mexican pub on Google and we took the train out to it. We weren’t really sure if navigator would get us to the right place, but it luckily did. We had some food – Aditya and Nitesh ordered a gigantic pizza. Jaroslav, Robert, Jiri, Somvannda and I got ourselves burgers. They were quite good. Of course, there was beer – an entire tap. It was quite a good place. The waiters understood a bit of English too.
We got back and went straight to bed. It was quite an amazing, hectic day.
I flew out from Sydney on the morning of the 22nd of May. My plane departed at 0640 and I had pretty much kept awake the entire night. After two flights, the first of which I mostly slept through as a consequence, and a quick lay over at Singapore’s brilliant Changi airport, I reached Beijing at 2300 local time, right on schedule. The flights were pleasant enough. My family had insisted that I fly Singapore Airlines – their service is always above par. I ate and drank well. I tried out a new cocktail – the Singapore Sling, had a beer or two. I watched a couple of films – I watched “The secret life of Walter Mitty” again; I gave this new TV series, “True detectives” a try (It’s pretty good); I finished a Poirot, “Cards on the table“, that I was in the middle of reading – it’s an excellent book.
I was really looking forward to quickly checking into the hotel at Beihang university – to meet the other Fedora folks that had already arrived earlier that day. Unfortunately, the subways in Beijing only function till 2300 and I was forced to look for a taxi instead. This wouldn’t have been an issue, were it not for the 50 minutes I had to wait to get a taxi. I had clearly forgotten to take this into consideration when I had booked my tickets.
The organizers, Alick and Zamir, had foreseen that there may be some trouble communicating with the locals in Beijing. For example, my chauffeur didn’t speak or understand English. The organizers had put together a quick guide for us foreigners, with important information printed in it in Chinese. I pointed it out to the chauffeur, and he acknowledged it with a cheerful “OK!”. He seemed my age. The stereo was blaring what sounded like Chinese rock – the riffs were good. I enjoyed the taxi drive, probably not as much as the driver seemed to enjoy it, though – he had his arm out of the window, and was waving it around in sync with the music. I couldn’t help bobbing my head to the beat myself.
I do remember wondering where we exactly were, though. My 3G wouldn’t turn on – when you’ve gotten used to always knowing your location on Google Maps, it’s slightly unnerving to be driven around a city as large as Beijing without having the tiniest clue about your whereabouts. I spent the half of my taxi ride philosophising how dependent I had become on technology, and how it had made me less of an optimist – I used to take taxis in India without knowing the routes, just on the basis of an unfounded faith that I’d get to my destination in one piece. There wasn’t an option back then. You just had to trust the cabbie. Fortunately, nothing wrong ever happened to me, in the past, or on this occasion. I did have Zamir’s number, though, and had messaged him saying I had landed and was on way to the hotel. He had replied saying that he was waiting up to get me checked in anyway. It all worked out.
The taxi cost me 114 CYN. The subway would’ve cost me only 27 CYN as I found out later.
We were booked in at the Beihang Training Center hotel. By the time I got there, everything had already shut down. Zamir was waiting up, since he had to wake the receptionists to check me in. After finishing up the paper work, Zamir headed back to his room to get some sleep. He needed to wake early the next day to help set up the FUDCon. I went up to my room, 827, that I was sharing with Aditya, who had already checked in earlier in the evening. I hadn’t met Aditya since FUDCon KL. We did a bit of catching up and went to bed – we were both quite tired from our respective journeys.
There weren’t any Fedora sessions on Day 0. The FUDPub was later in the evening and we had the afternoon to ourselves. We headed out to lunch, looking for a vegetarian restaurant so Aditya could eat. I think we spent about an hour and a half walking around the place and finally gave up. On our way back, we discovered a KFC that I ate at. Aditya wasn’t too sure of the oil the fries had been dipped in and didn’t eat there. As we got closer to the hotel, we discovered a Pizza hut outlet. Luckily for Aditya, it served vegetarian pizzas. Both Aditya and I got a pizza each and went back to the hotel to rest a little.
We realized we still had a bit of time on our hands before the FUDPub started at 1800. We decided to check out the Beijing Zoo and see some Pandas. We probably wouldn’t get the time once the sessions had begun. Luckily, Google Maps still worked. We managed to figure out how the subway worked and headed out to the zoo. The first thing we did was head to see the Pandas:
I think there were three Pandas in three separate enclosures. It was quite hot and the Pandas were quite lazy as a result. There were quite a few other animals too. Check out my album on Flickr to see them all. We did a bit of shopping too – Panda soft toys, key rings and the sort.
We got back in time for the FUDPub which was quite near to where we were put up – Sculpting in Time. I met the other Fedora folks there – Alick, Jaroslav, Jiri, Nitesh, Somvannda and Robert. I met Emily (who was heading the Gnome side of things) Kat and David, who had come down to attend the Gnome summit.
The menu for us consisted of a set of pizzas, rice meals and some dessert to choose from. Jaroslav and I took the pepperoni pizza. Nitesh and Aditya had the Margherita IIRC. Unfortunately, the number of people was a little too much for the place to handle. I ended up eating my rice meal before my pizza came in. There was a bar available – most of us got ourselves a beer.
Once we finished with the FUDPub, we headed back to the hotel. The hotel served a local beer that cost only 3 CYN. Obviously, we had a few before we went up to our rooms. It was quite a bit of fun. We talked about quite a few things, including but not limited to Fedora. At one point of time, the waitress came up to our table and said something in Chinese. We thought she wanted us to use coasters to keep our beer on, to not dirty the table cloth – which was slightly weird. Turned out she wanted us to pay first – it had nothing to do with coasters. She got a nice lady who spoke English to come up and tell us. It was quite funny at the time, and all of us had a good laugh over the episode.
That’s all we did. We went to bed quite excited about the conference the next day!
This will generate a pretty time sheet for you, like the one threebean hosts, or the one I host. Taskwarrior is quite the same as gtg. I’ve moved to it because I prefer using the terminal as much as possible, and it lets me create sheets where I can keep an eye on my tasks. Yes, I’ll continue to maintain gtg in Fedora. Don’t worry
Customizing your time sheet
You can customize your time sheets and other options by creating a ~/.taskrc file. More themes are available in /usr/share/doc/task/rc/
Play around with it. There’s quite a bit you can do.
Some more: taskserver
I haven’t tried this out myself. I don’t need it yet. However, you can run a taskserver on your host and log tasks from anywhere over the internet. Documentation can be found here. If you do figure it out, please write a blog post documenting it for Fedora. threebean’s working on the taskd package already.
I intend to take a ROS RPM packaging session at the upcoming FUDCon at Beijing in May. With that in mind, I’d like to take a couple of workshops to help interested parties learn the tools before the final hack session, so that we can get some actual work done at the event. A
workshop a week should be fine:
Week #1: Introduction to ROS – what is ROS, why it’ll be good to package it up for Fedora
Week #2: Introduction to RPM packaging – a basic introduction where we’ll walk through the hello world package
Week #3: Introduction to SCL and ROS packaging
Week #4: Q&A session
The FUDCon is still 7 weeks away. That gives us enough time.
Please forward this announcement to the regional mailing lists, and anyone interested in the topics, *especially* people that plan to attend the FUDCon and contribute to Fedora as package maintainers.
If you’d like to attend the sessions, please fill in the whenisgood event organizer before Sunday, April 13. We will begin next week.
So, the Fedora Desktop SIG have been discussing how Gnome 3.12 should be made available to Fedora users. Generally, Fedora discourages major updates to packages. The ideal scenario would be if Fedora 21 and Gnome 3.12 released close to each other, but it isn’t going to happen this time. As a result, there’s talk of provide Gnome 3.12 as an update in Fedora 20. The initial builds have been put on COPR for volunteers to test. I took the leap today, with two of my machines. The upgrade was quite easy, and didn’t require a lot of manual intervention. The one issue you may run into would be multilib errors since the COPR repositories do not provide multilib packages (an x86_64 COPR repo will not contain any i686 packages at all.). So, if you’re on an x86_64 system and have some i686 packages that also need to be updated as part of Gnome 3.12, you’ll run into errors with both dnf and yum.
DNF doesn’t provide proper error reports at the moment. I got this unhelpful message when using the --best flag:
> Error: cannot install both gdk-pixbuf2-2.30.5-1.fc20.x86_64 and
> gdk-pixbuf2-2.30.3-1.fc20.x86_64. cannot install both
> glib2-2.39.90-1.fc20.x86_64 and glib2-2.38.2-2.fc20.x86_64. cannot
> install both libwayland-client-1.4.0-1.fc20.x86_64 and
> libwayland-client-1.2.0-3.fc20.x86_64. cannot install both
> libwayland-server-1.4.0-1.fc20.x86_64 and
> libwayland-server-1.2.0-3.fc20.x86_64. cannot install both
> pango-1.36.2-1.fc20.x86_64 and pango-1.36.1-2.fc20.x86_64. cannot
> install both vala-0.23.3-1.fc20.x86_64 and vala-0.22.1-1.fc20.x86_64
The solution is quite simply to manually grab these i686 packages from the COPR repo and update them before running the complete Gnome 3.12 update.
Once the update is done, you log out and back in, and you have a new Gnome version to play with. First things you notice: broken extensions.
Upstreams will slowly begin to update their extensions as 3.12 gets closer to release, but it’s always good to test extensions and let upstreams know if they’re working or not. In a vanilla install, no extensions will work, since the version string in their sources only specifies that they work with Gnome 3.10. Gnome devs, quite intelligently, provide a hidden option that gets the system to skip this version check:
# gsettings set org.gnome.shell disable-extension-version-validation true
Please only use this if you’re testing extensions. It isn’t meant to be enabled for daily use. It’s for debugging purposes only.
Some of my extensions work just fine, others don’t. I’ve filed issues upstream for caffeine, hamster-time-tracker-extension and the MPRIS2 extension. If you’re using extensions, please let the upstreams know if they don’t work with 3.11.90. That way, they’ll have time to update their extensions before 3.12 is formally released.
So, what’s new?
Quite a few things, really. The complete release notes are here. I noticed the gnome-software update. It now lets you rate your applications. There’s even a shell search provider for software (Please excuse the large image, I was on my dual monitor set up at the time)
Another update is gedit. It’s been ported over to GTK3 received major UI update and fits in better with the environment now (I was already using GTK3 as pointed out in the comments):
There are quite a few other changes too, like the Wayland support. I haven’t checked them all out yet.
You can help!
Well, of course you can! I’ll advise setting up a test vm and not using your work machine for this, just in case. Update, test, file bugs at relevant places and help make Gnome 3.12 a better experience for Fedora users, and all users in general! Cheers!
The builds work, as the screenshot below will show. I’m still new at NEURON myself, so it’ll be a few weeks before I’ll have all the functionality tested out. There are tutorials strewn over the interwebs, please just search for them yourselves.
NEURON in action
If you’re a computational neuroscientist using Fedora, this is a little bit of good news for you! Cheers!
Being a research student is really tough. I mean tough. The most difficult part is keeping up the self discipline, day after day, week after week. As a research student, you make your own schedule, you even make your own syllabus pretty much. I handle the syllabus part just fine, but I struggle with maintaining a disciplined schedule. It takes a while to get into a stable rhythm where you work according to plan and remain focussed on the task at hand, for however long it takes. On the other hand, it’s really easy to upset said rhythm: a late night coding spree, a night out with friends, an unexpected task that makes you diverge from your plan for the day etc. are often sufficient to make me sleep late and mess up the next day. Self discipline requires commitment, and a lot of hard work. Luckily, I’m not alone in this struggle. Here’s a helpful post on improving self discipline: http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/self-discipline/. Since I spend most of my day at a computer, I went around and looked for tools that would help me keep focussed on my work; keep me away from distractions (yes, Facebook is a distraction); and help me work according to the plans I make.
Tools I use
Here is my set up. I use the simplest tools, and whatever is available in the Fedora repositories. Some of you might find them useful.
A simple Firefox add-on that serves as negative reinforcement when you have that urge to check Facebook, or your Gmail. I even put Fedora sites in the list during the hours I work at my laboratory on my research. Of course, it can be bypassed, but it reminds you that you need to focus on your work and that it isn’t the time to enter the internet black hole yet.
Leechblock’s really helped me fight what I call “notification slavery“, where I check my mail or social networking website every few minutes for activity.
Getting things GNOME
Getting things GNOME
This is an amazing task manager. I used the Gnote method outlined here in the past, but I made the move to GTG a while back and haven’t looked back at Gnote since. I’ve actually switched to Bijiben for note taking too. I find using GTG to be a much better way of managing my tasks really. You can add tasks as you plan them out, add start and due dates, categories and tags. Your tasks are colour coded so you know when you haven’t finished one on time. A bunch of helpful plug-ins extend the application. For instance, a bugzilla plugin lets you quickly add a bug you need to look at later. Another plug-in lets you communicate with the hamster time tracker (next). Of course, it’s in the Fedora repositories:
sudo dnf install gtg
Hamster time tracker
Hamster provides an easy way of tracking your activities at work for later introspection. GTG and Hamster work quite well together, so you can add your tasks to GTG and track them using Hamster with a single click. There’s also a gnome-shell extension available that makes it even easier to track your tasks.
Hamster GNOME shell extension
sudo dnf install hamster-time-tracker
Evolution calendar view
I use Google Calendar to plan my day. Gnome online accounts works really well with Google services. I keep Evolution open almost all day in calendar mode to see what appointments I have in the day. Gnome shell has a calendar in the top panel too. GTG is supposed to sync with Evolution’s task list too, but I haven’t gotten it to work on Fedora yet. Peter said the back end needs to be updated to use the new GTK3 evolution data server bindings. I need to talk to upstream about this (/me adds to GTG task list).
All the tools listed above help me in the short term. Taskjuggler is something I use to make long term plans. For example, I make my masters research plan using Taskjuggler. I don’t use it quite as much as project managers do, but it does help me decide how I’ll go about my work. I used taskjuggler to plan the Fedora 20 Election cycle too. You can generate ICS files etc. quite easily. It does have a slight learning curve, but you can do quite a bit once you learn how to use it. Jaroslav uses it to plan the Fedora schedule too.
A lot of people use tools to make mind maps that help them work. I don’t use them that much, but they do come in handy when you’re trying to visualise a lot of information, like a research paper. I use labyrinth for my work. It’s a rather simple tool. More serious mind mappers might want to look into vym or freemind.
Introspection is an important part of the self improvement process. I also need to note down my research thoughts from time to time. Lifeograph is a great journal application. that I use to maintain both my research and personal journals. There are a few more journal applications that I tried out. I’ve already reported my findings here.
sudo dnf install lifeograph
These tools are only supposed to aid one in their work. There isn’t any substitute for hard work itself. Over a period of time, everyone tends to settle with a system that works for them. Some of these might be worth adding to your set up. Cheers.
It’s been just about a year since I started my research career as a masters student here at the University of Technology, Sydney. I’m working on bio-mimetic navigation for this course, focussed around computational modelling of head direction cells. This post is a traditional “Hello world!” post and documents my work in general.
As expected, a research course is completely different from any other. Firstly, I have no classes to attend, no assignments to work on, no exams to study for. This doesn’t imply that I haven’t any work. A year into my course, I think a structured coursework degree is much easier to negotiate than a self structured research degree. For instance, in a coursework degree, you know exactly what to study, you have a fixed schedule to follow, you know exactly how you’ll be graded. In a research degree, however, you need to find your own material to study, you need to plan your own schedule, you need to have results that you think will get you a good grade. While students run off on holiday after their exams, I still go back to work every day! The most difficult part, perhaps, is the amount of self discipline that you need to possess. I regularly struggle with this: waking up early, following a fixed schedule, sleeping on time, following my day plan; aren’t really easy to carry out when you don’t have deadlines to scare/motivate you. As a result, I spend quite a lot of time in introspection (refer to my post on journal writing).
An introduction to my research
I work in an area called “bio-mimetic navigation“. As the name suggests, it’s simply about mimicking the various navigational systems found in nature, and if possible applying them to robotics. Modelling biological navigation can be done at different levels, though. I work on a neuronal level with head direction cells. These are specific neurons that have been discovered in the rat hippocampus that maintain information about the rat’s heading. Of course, I can’t go into the details of the system that have been discovered over the three decades of research here. The wikipedia page is a good place to start for any one interested.
Why bio-mimetic navigation?
When I started off with my course, my research topic was much broader: “mobile robot navigation in a dynamic environment”. It was designed to be broad enough to give me the opportunity to review literature and decide for a focus area by myself. Like everyone, I began with classical robotics. I read on SLAM, inertial navigation, sensor fusion and learnt quite a bit about the navigation systems that robots utilize, the concepts that make up these systems. A few weeks into my literature review though, I tried to compare these methods to the way I navigate personally. I found that I hardly used any of the classical robotic techniques. “Why then, should robots use them?”, I wondered. Curious, I began reading on animal navigation, and ran into bio-mimetic navigation. I learnt how animal navigation is very very different from classical robotic navigation techniques. I now belong to a school of researchers that are interested in developing navigation techniques from nature, and in comparing these with classical robotic techniques. I’m very new to the field though, but after this two year masters course, and a Ph.D. to follow, I hope to be right in the thick of things.
My work with head direction cells makes my research multidisciplinary. I need to know a little about neuroscience, along with my computer science basics. Since I’m a computer science graduate, my knowledge of neuroscience isn’t as good as I’d like it to be, but it’s getting better every week.
The goal attached to my masters course is to prepare me for a Ph.D. degree. While I did know that I wanted to work with robotic navigation, with neural networks, an undergraduate degree didn’t give me enough depth of knowledge to make an informed decision on the exact research problem that I wanted to work on. The masters course, therefore, gives me much needed time to read my literature, decide my stream and develop skills for a career in research. While my masters plan is closely aligned to my goal, I’m also going to try and make some contribution to the field, however small. (It’s always good to have a few articles published when you’re a new researcher looking for opportunities to grab.)
At present, I’ve read many *many* papers on head direction cells and their modelling. I’m currently working on extending one of these models, my contribution to the field. I was recently assessed, and my assessors decided my work was good, and that I could carry on my course here for the remainder of the course. If you’re interested, you can read view my assessment presentation and my report here. My assessment report contains quite a comprehensive literature review. The reference list will be quite helpful to people interested in the field. (If you do pick any thing from my report, please do cite it).
I’m now engaged in making some contribution to the field. I’ll post again when there’s something worth reporting. Cheers!