Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Next Gen Cars ...Gaming Platforms

Slashdot has an article about nissan and microsoft trying to integrate their next technologies together. The nissans' new concept car would come equiped with an Xbox 360. When the car is parked, you can just bring up the flip LCD monitor and play the game 'Project Gotham Racing 3' by controling the real steering, accelerator etc. Hmm.. one question.. why use the LCD instead of trying to project something on the front glass??, I think it would be a really good experience for the gamer if there were some provision for projecting the video output onto the front glass.
"http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/12/28/microsoft_nissan_urge/"

I have been looking at the review i got from NCC and was wondering.. does blender really have such good api support which would allow simple python scripts to create depthmaps etc. So just to clarify that and find out if any work has been done so far for using blender in Computer Vision. To my surprise found some work related to getting camera calibration for blender. The api was another shock to me.. it provided support for using opengl calls directly, creating widgets (buttons, dropdown boxes etc) and api for accessing the scene details as well. I included about this in the jgt paper and informed my prof about the same. Have to see how it goes...

Monday, December 26, 2005

To Go or Not To Go

I've been waiting for a job so that i could go home.. and enjoy.. Nvidia is good enough for me.. and so i wanted to go home.. but the deadline for first week in Jan has put me in a dilema. I dont' want to seem like an a$$ in front of my prof asking him if i could go home just when he sent me info regarding the deadline and helped me out with the job. I've decided to wait till the ACCV thing gets over.. we (myself and bama) realized that Nvidia pune is a recent aquisition of PCA or some company like that... not sure if we are doing the right thing by getting there. We sent a mail to the director nvidia pune to find out more about the work they do.
I was trying to meet my prof all day.. to talk to him about the progress, but he was quite busy with some guests and meetings. I really want to complete my Masters as soon as possible. I hope my prof would help me do that.
Yesterday gave a party to my juniors in CVIT at Chutneys' the food was really good and we really had a lot of fun there.. Hyd is really chilling these days.. ive' never experienced such chill since years. I dont' remember if it was ever this cold.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Chronicle of Nvidia

21-12-06
I meet my placement officer at the main building, to my surprise, she remembered my name.. not only that she knew that i was waiting for Nvidia :) Deshaw was on campus that day... Nvidia was supposed to give a preplacement talk and conduct their test. Nvidia did not arrive.. so some more misery preparing for the exam and the interview.
22-12-06
Nvidia comes to campus, conducts written test, Test was conducted twice (due to delay in the arrival of the question sheets and answersheets). During the test we were specifically asked not to write anything on the question paper and that we would be disqualified for doing so, but due to exitement and carelessness i had accidentally written on the question paper.. i really thougth i would be disqualified. The final list of the candidates who got selected for the interview was sent to us through an e-mail. I could not find my name in the list.. (which was quite surprising coz we were informed that the cutoff was just 10marks out of 40). Well there was this name "P.Vamshi Krishna" in the list that was sent. I was unaware of any person with that name.. thought it might be somebody from the MSIT. Dejected and disappointed i returned to cvit where suman was consoling me.. some how he thought that there was no person with that name who has written the test. We checked it out with the previous mails, then checked for user logins on students account. It was clear that there was something wrong.. i wanted to find out and started off to find about it. I met our placement officer, who was very eager to find out how i missed it.. (she kept saying that i had a good chance for this company. She even did some publicity about my work). Any way we got to the msit block where the interviews were being conducted.. the person who typed out the list in the mail had corrected the list he had with him by then.. and was brilliant enough not to intimate the same through an email. I was lucky to decide that i would go and find out about it.

I was very exited that i was shortlisted for the interview, called up home (which my friends discouraged but i did any way), told them about the situation and that i had an interview at 11.20pm. There was a note from my prof on my desk,.. so i decided i would meet him and tell him about nvidia.. went to his office and informed him that i got to the interview for nvidia. He did not seem to be interested in what i was saying.. so i told him that i would do the work he had specified in the note and returned to my room to prepare for the interview. After about 15mins, i recieve a call from sk saying that my prof was waiting for me in the lab along with nvidias' director. I had to rush back to the lab.. I was really delighted.. i gave the demo of the tool i have been working on.. and the nvidia person seemed pretty impressed. I was really awestruck i never thought that my prof would help me out to this extent.. my confidence boosted pretty much for which i did say thank you to my prof (which by no means is enough).

The time passed by as i was rushing through various data structure programs (reversing linked list, binary tree operations, Graphics basics, GPU etc). By 9.00pm i decided to close the prep part and get ready for the interview.. i had a big plan.. ( bath, press shirt, collect cv then go ) but just as i was getting ready.. i got a phone call from MSIT saying that my cv was required immediatly. I did not want to rush and spoil all the pleasentness in my mind, so took my time to get ready and arrived at the MSIT block. There were not many people there, interviews being conducted by two people and they were lagging behind the schedule by an hour. I decided i would not make myself tense by spending time outside the interview room. I straight away followed Harsha's lead and joined him in an age game (which i won very comfortably) .

Eye lids becoming heavier and heavier.. time seemed to have paused ..i was eager to get it over with.. i found out that there were only 10people more to be interviewed and i was one among them. I was pretty sure that the interviewer would be in a dull, sleepy frustrated mood and i had to be exited and show some activeness.. I had to be loud and clear and most of all not rush to get out of the interview room (Lessons learnt the hard way from Sarnoff experience). I freshened my self up and prepared for the interview. I was being shaken by other's confidence and their reaction after the interview.. but managed to keep myself above that stress. I had this hidden confidence that i would make it through.. i guess the prof and plaement officer effect had some role to play in it :). Walked into the interview room and ...

I as usual shook hands with him and sat in the chair.. "So you have worked on intermediate view synthasis.." i was like.. what the hell.. this is my fyp.. any way i did not want to straight away say that i did not do the intermediate view part .. so i explained him the view morphing algorithm, assumptions it made etc.. (stated them as if it were our algorithm). Any way.. the guy seemed to be happy he asked me what an intermediate view was and what the inputs were. I managed to take the interview from the Intermediate view to the "Editor"(mentioned about presentation i made to Mr.B) and then slowly to the "Teddy" tool explained him about the tool and explained the implementation part as well. I told him that i was really very much interested in graphics and that i had coded many games. I even mentioned about the GPU programming that i had learnet in the workshop.. told him how i liked implementing water, fur and other effects. "how do you implement water" I gave him a brief overview of the whole process and how vertex shader is better than cpu doing the same thing. He seemed impressed... then out of no where he jumped to "1)int+int, 2)int+float, 3)float+float" which of the following takes max time. I thought for a while and decided to take option 2) reason.."int" has to be converted to "float" and then floating point addition. Then he started off asking me about how a floating point would be represented mantessa, exponet etc etc.. which i could not answer very well. That was the last question and i really felt bad for myself for screwing the interview. The results were evaluated for about 15-20mins and then the list was released.. I was really shocked to find my name among the six people selected.. I and bama intend to stay together at pune.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Twists

Ncc2006 paper rejected and the comments were awesome.. did not know how to react to them (oops sry there was only one comment). I guess i was too stupid to assume that it would be accepted. I guess this and my B grade in CV had something to do with my bad performance the other day at Sarnoff's interview. Still thinking about the great loss.. i could not concentrate on anything.. could not talk to my parents coz i knew it was a gross mistake to let go of sarnoff chance. I did not have anything to cheer me up.. Tejo to the rescue.. the came along to my lab as usual.. and started bugging me asking why i did not submit my resume to "Dhruva" well thought it was not a bad idea and decided to go for it.. and sent my resume to them. They seemed impressed with :) I was shortlisted for the interview. The contact person informed that he would like to know when i was completing my course. I informed him about the same and he responded asking me to remind him after im' done with my course. That was quite an achievement given my current state of mind. Besides that my prof and I had a look at the presentation regarding the tool, came up with some changes and put them on paper. Im' still supposed to implement that Teddy paper which keeps getting me into problems due to which i have a hard time completing it. Its' far from complete and i think my thesis is based on that.. hope i dont' extend my thesis for another sem.
Nvidia and M$IDC have become my prime targets besides completing my thesis this sem. They will be coming to campus soon and i hope im' well prepared for them. There is too much competetion and more over ive' managed to sucessfully screw my cg to just above 7.5 so an added disadvantage :)) "Oh GOD HELP ME GET THROUGH THIS".

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sarnoff

Sarnoff is a company which works in the areas of Object tracking etc. Essentially all their products are based on computer vision. I made it as a dream option because we were informed that they are looking for vision students exclusively. With my bleak knowledge at Computer Vision i was sure i would not be able to make it even through the written test (which by the way was a test asking basics of vision). Thirteen of the graduating students (including me) went to attend the test. The people from sarnoff were surprised to see such less turnup, they were expecting around 40 people. So we wrote the test and (which started about 1 and half hours late due to their delayed arrival), and wandered away to the hostel. None of us had any hopes about qualifying the written test due to the obvious fact that we were not sure if we knew CV :). The results were
out and we were shocked to see that twelve of us were shortlisted for the interviews. We went back to the main building. I had to wait for the interview (believe me it felt like eternity). When my turn came.. i went in and was really eager to get out of there..I did not feel comfortable sitting there and talking to the interviewers. I did not know what i was talking.. i was stammering. "What are the sequence of OpenGL calls that have to be made so that i can specify light relative to camera?" This question was the beggining of my downfall at the interview. I did not have any answer to this question.. and for some reason i was reluctant to think about the answer to this question.
glMatrixMode( GL_MODELVIEW );
glLoadIdentity( );
glLightfv( .... );
gluLookAt( .. );
would work for this but i did not bother to think about it and told them straight away that i did not know the answer.
"What is an image Pyramid?" Second Question for which i had no answer ..
"What are Open and Close Operations?" Morphological operators.. well could not recollect the answer for this either. After such an astonishing performance at the first interview I knew there was no chance that i would be called for the second interview, but miracle again.. I was called for the second interview, I had to run all the way from the hostel to the Interview room... this time the panel had 4 members.. series of questions flowed and my answers to most of them... "not sure" I could see the diappointment on their faces, I could not help it.. I was not thinking right.. they had to catch a flight at 6.45pm and it was already like 6.pm so i though if i delay my answer they would not be able to make it to the air port in time and so on so forth.. So if i knew the answer i just said it out.. if not, did not bother to take time and think about it.. just said my magic words "not sure". I'm repenting for having done that.. felt like i dropped the oppurtunity of my life just like that without any fight. Hope i do not repeat such silly things again.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

IBM story

With fading confidence due to losses at Adobe and Google, and the feeling of guilt about not attending the Tcs test have created a lot of presure on my mind. Really had to break free of all the anxaiety. Felt like i was going to land up without any job in hand and be on the road.. really needed something for boosting my moral.
I decided to attend the IBMs' test on 10/12/2005, the test was fairly simple.. i was expecting to get through for ISL( software labs ) but could not find my name in that list... i was really disappointed about the outcome. Kirti kiran was really supportive at this point.. he kept assuring me that i would be in for some list. Any way i ended up in the short list for AMS (global services). I was really disappointed about it.. but then.. my pop called up and asked me not to bother about it and to attend the interview. Sounded great to me.. This was my first interview ever for a job so thought i might as well take a shot at it. I was quite confident.. but was still worried about what they would ask me during the interview session. 10/12/2005, 2.30pm we assembled in a room waiting for our chance of interview session.The volunteers were calling out names and taking those people for interviews. Sumanth arrived at the scene (he was among the volunteers) he said they needed 4 people so myself, arvkrishna, balakrishna and some other guy went for the interview. We were asked to sit outside the interview rooms. I and arvind sat next to each other, we had nothing to talk due to the obvious nerviousness. I managed to break the ice and started talking about resumes etc.. one of the employees was very tired and occupied the other chair next to me. I wanted to free my mind of any tension so just started to talk with him.. asked him where he came from, where he was currently working (location) and if the infrastructure for ibm was ready at HYD (i.e office space etc). He answered those questions to the point we shook hands and he left.
I was more confident than ever and was sure i would do great.. every minute passing by felt like an hour.. i was really anxious to get into the interview room.. but then.. i allowed another MTech person to get in before me. I was then called into the same interview room.. i was surprised to see that there were two panels in the same room (ofcourse only one person at one pannel). I shook hands with the panel members,
told them my name was vamsi. They asked me for my resume and were looking at it while i was eagerly waiting for them to ask some questions.
"Whats' this MS/R?" asked one of the interviewrs.. I was delighted to answer that question.. told them about how we are supposed to work on some research project and do courses and publish papers etc.
i told them that its not like MTech where were just supposed to do courses and leave. Then the same interviewer asked me "Why did you opt for MS instead of Job after BTech?" Told him that i was really interested in graphics and that i wanted to know what graphics is all about and that was the reason for me to take up Ms programme. "What were the other options you had other than Ms?" Well this was a fairly easy question.. :)) I told him about the infosys offer that i had before joining Ms.. told him that i had foregone that job just to do my Masters. He asked me if i would do my Phd.. i smiled and said.."Ya ofcourse.. in 3 to 4 years from now.. i would go for it.. well then im' not sure about it.. but i'm really sure that i want to take a break from my acads for now." He seemed pretty impressed with these answers..:)
then about my TA .. he asked me how i felt about it.. and what i would prefer.. Fetching or Satisfacton.. I did not want to screw up so said.. "It's like a tradeoff between both of them" he then asked me if i would be interested in a job at ibm for teaching the newly recruited employees.. I said that would be great...and that i would love to do such a job. He just saw me.. saw the other panel memeber and said "That's all we are through with you". I was like what the hell.. this was supposed to be a Tech interview.. but then.. i just smiled.. stood up shook hands.. said i was glad to meet them.. and walked out of the room. I was asked to wait and then taken to a room where we were asked to fill some forms.
I thought i was in already.. but then there was another interview.. i thought it would be a real tech interview and that i might screw it up. Turned out it was another kinda HR interview. Somesh's manager was the interviewer there.. i was lucky enough not to screw it up either :) and finally i was informed that i made it to the company.
My mom seems really happy about this.. Actually i've got my confidence back and im' sure i will be able to work better from now on :) concentrate well on the things im' supposed to do and all that :).