Once again, I’ve left this site for faaaaar too long without letting you all know what I’ve been up to of late (oops). Needless to say, a fair bit has happened in the past few weeks, and it’s probably worth telling you all about this.
Honours, Semester 1 (during semester 2)
Uni study’s been going quite swimmingly of late: both my units of study went pretty well (insofar as I got HDs in them); thesis on the other hand, has only really just started to take off. My research is into the computer vision task fo object detection (for example, finding faces in images), in particular, I’m working on improving the scheme built into the Intel OpenCV Library (Haar Classifier Cascades, if you’re at all interested) by having them consider colour.
One of the deficiencies I’ve discovered during my research is lack of sufficient real-world colour face datasets to perform detection upon: whilst I need in the order of 2000 faces (1000 to train upon, 1000 to test upon), the largest useful academic set is an order of magnitude smaller. For this reason I’m developing my own set. My current intention is to assemble the data set entirely from Creative Commons-licensed data (e.g. from Flickr and Wikipedia) and to release the resultant set under CC licenses too. I expect I’ll give a lightning talk at LCA on this, I’ll also dump a blog post here somewhere about what sort of data I’d like donated.
Summer of Google
One thing that’s looking like it will derail my Honours work slightly happened not too long ago. I applied for a Software Engineering Internship at Google Sydney back in July, and didn’t hear much about it. In late October, however, I very suddenly got contacted about it, and interviewed for the position, and quite happily, I was offered a job. This, amongst other things, involved dropping (almost*) everything for the summer, and moving to Sydney within two weeks, which I guess I’ve done somewhat successfully.
So I’m now working at Google until sometime during the first two weeks of semester (!). My current project involves working on [redacted], to make [redacted] do [redacted]; in related news, the new Sydney offices are pretty damn cool, the food is excellent, and the work is fun. I’m really looking forward to the rest of my time here.
*I guess the most important thing to mention here is that I’m still spending my week-and-a-bit in Wellington for Linux.conf.au 2010, and that I’ll still be running the Open Programming Languages Miniconf there. I can hardly wait!