alexr_rwx: (jumping)
This is not nearly as iconic as the January one, or as NATIONAL ROAD RUNNING MONTH.

But! For March, every day:

- either bicycle at least 6 miles (eg, riding to work counts), or
- elliptical for 45 minutes, or
- go for a run, of any distance

- pick a half marathon and sign up for it.
alexr_rwx: (mighty penguin)
Just little bits of kindness, reaching out to somebody, can matter a lot.

I'm close enough with one of my coworkers that we talk about some pretty heavy emotional topics, relationships and etc. I've brought up my anxieties about the state of the world, climate change, etc, and the state of my own personal freaking out. And he took it upon himself to get me a book to try to cheer me up! It's this one: The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley, and I haven't dug into it yet, but I really liked his book on evolution, The Red Queen, so I'll probably read it. Thanks, helpful coworker <3

One of my local Tekken buddies reached out to me to see if I wanted to play an online tournament this afternoon. And I tried to sign up, but it was full, but he reached out to the organizer to see if they could get me in! The result of whether I got in the event or not really didn't matter -- I wasn't heartbroken to not play in an event that I didn't know about until today -- but it's really nice that my buddy thought of me and tried to get me in there.

Speaking of connecting with people and Tekken, I've been streaming a bit recently, on Twitch, and a few acquaintances from Atlanta and Portland have come through and chatted with me while I was playing, and that is super nice and super validating. They don't even particularly care about Tekken, they just wanted to say hi and give some support.

Any good bits of kindness on your end recently?
alexr_rwx: (Default)

Every day in January, I did this workout:

- elliptical or run 5K
- 50 squats
- 50 push up
- 50 sit ups

For the last 10 days (week 4, then the subsequent 3 days), I went on the elliptical every day. I meant to do more outside running, but it didn't happen. Did a lot more sets of 30 strength things, though! (30 reps of each thing, followed by 20 reps of each thing). Elliptical times ranged from 23:38 to 25:25.

Feeling rather stronger and more energetic than when I started. I think I look a bit more lean and buff too. Although I'm excited to not do this workout again tomorrow :D

Maybe I'll come up with a month-long challenge for February before the end of tomorrow!
alexr_rwx: (mighty penguin)
still ongoing! (log for 15-21 January)

started doing more sets of 20 strength things, or occasionally, one set of 30 and then one set of 20! (for context: I am doing 50 squats, 50 push ups, and 50 sit ups daily).

Elliptical times for "3.1 miles" ranged from 24:36 to 25:36.

On Friday, ran outside for 3.1 miles with a time of 26:14.

Feeling pretty good. Mostly energetic, feeling stronger. Little bit sore, which is perhaps to be expected.
alexr_rwx: (Default)
January 8-14: did the TWO PUNCH MAN workout every day again!

running outdoors on Sunday the 13th, 25:40 for a 5K.
otherwise, elliptical every day: 24:48, 25:18, 25:37, 25:43, 24:52, 26:15
some cycling. did the full 17-mile-ish round trip (daycare, work, back home from work) on Thursday the 10th.

Doing more sets of 20 rather than sets of 10 for the strength exercises.

Will keep at it! (need a better surface for doing all these sit ups though)
alexr_rwx: (Default)
As mentioned previously, I'm doing a little workout every day for my "do a thing every day for a month" thing.

- elliptical times for "3.1 miles" on the machine's little screen: 27:30, 27:00, 26:05, 25:01, 26:04, 25:47. I'm doing mostly elliptical to start. It's cold and wet.
- ran outside on Saturday, despite it raining! 27:06 around the neighborhood
- every day: 5 circuits of (10 squats, 10 push ups, 10 sit ups)
- also: on 1 January, carried Sylvia around a charming local park/zoo. 7 January, did a bike commute, roughly 17 miles.

I can do this! Gonna run outside more! Gonna cycle more often! Gonna get back in race shape!

(probably not tomorrow; I am sore.)
alexr_rwx: (Default)
You might be familiar with an anime called ONE PUNCH MAN. It's about a superhero who's so strong that he can defeat any opponent, including giant kaiju monsters, with a single punch. I've never seen it, but I've become familiar through memes, etc.

Part of the joke is that he got this strong by doing the following workout: 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and 10km running. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

And that's a very achievable workout for a person in pretty good shape. I have been in good enough shape to do that, at times. Seems like you could hurt yourself through overtraining, though, esp. running that far with no days off.

For January, I'ma do what I'm calling the TWO PUNCH MAN WORKOUT, which is just half of that. 50 reps of strength things, and 5K of running (or elliptical, depending on how I'm feeling -- we have an elliptical machine at our house).

Hope you're ready for the rest of my hair to fall out due to my IMMENSE POWER.
alexr_rwx: (removal of signs)
Thought I would try to play a REAL VIDEO GAME, so I picked up the BATMAN: RETURN TO ARKHAM package, which has the first two Arkham games, when it was on sale a few weeks ago. It was like $5, can’t lose! And everybody loves these games, right?

I can’t remember which of the trigger buttons does what.

I can’t figure out the first puzzle room, like how to get out of the room with the STRUCTURALLY UNSOUND WALL and the VERY SOLID VENTS.

Divekicking a dude from the ceiling while he’s completely unawares is sick as heck though. Feels very Batman.

Am I... bad at video games? I think that’s what we’re learning here?
alexr_rwx: (pace)
Just handed outgoing mail to our mail carrier by hand!

He had already visited our house, but he was making the rounds on the other side of the street.

Feeling citizen-ly. Thanks for your service, Postal Delivery Man!
alexr_rwx: (mighty penguin)
I've been meaning to write about this!

I had my doctoral defense earlier this month, on election day!

It was really good. It was on the Tuesday, so I showed up in Bloomington on Sunday evening, with the intention of scouting everything out and getting some administrivia handled on Monday.

My parents came! They stayed in the same hotel as me, which is built into the student union, conveniently also where my talk was.

But it went really well. So many people showed up; some people I know from Bloomington (including Prof. Paul Purdom!!), current computational linguistics students who'd never met me (but had maybe heard about me?)... we mostly filled the room, actually!

And the talk went pretty smoothly. It was fun, really. We got good questions!

Maybe one of the most beautiful things -- my mouth kept getting really dry, because I was up there talking for so long, and I had started with a bottle of water, but I ran out pretty quickly. And my mother noticed this, and she kept on handing me cups of water. That's like... what one would hope one's mom would do, during your doctoral defense. I was *so tired* after the talk.

Here are the slides, if you're curious.

That evening, Sandra hosted a party at her house, which was super nice of her <3 And my parents came with!

I was so glad they were there. Especially my dad, y'know -- considering how he very nearly died just a few months ago. All kinds of thankful that he's still with us.

The next day, I gave a talk for a machine learning seminar, and that was really nice -- that room pretty much filled up too. Kind of amazing, considering I was really not super prepared for that one; mostly it was just ad-libbed and answering questions as they came up. I think it went pretty well too, all things considered. The audience didn't know much about MT, and I'm more than happy to explain MT ideas to a receptive audience.

So like... all that's left now is a little administrivia, very very few edits, and formatting. And we're done.

I'll have a PhD for real at the end of the semester.
alexr_rwx: (Default)
There's a new album from The Prodigy.

alexr_rwx: (removal of signs)
Announcing the Final Examination of
Alexander James Rudnick
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science
Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 2:00pm
Indiana Memorial Union, Walnut Room
Cross-Lingual Word Sense Disambiguation for Low-Resource Hybrid Machine Translation

This thesis argues that cross-lingual word sense disambiguation (CL-WSD) can be used to improve lexical selection for machine translation when translating from a resource-rich language into an under-resourced one, especially when relatively little bitext is available. In CL-WSD, we perform word sense disambiguation, considering the senses of a word to be its possible translations into some target language, rather than using a sense inventory developed manually by lexicographers.

Using explicitly trained classifiers that make use of source-language context and of resources for the source language can help machine translation systems make better decisions when selecting target-language words. This is especially the case when the alternative is hand-written lexical selection rules developed by researchers with linguistic knowledge of the source and target languages, but also true when lexical selection would be performed by a statistical machine translation system, when there is a relatively small amount of available target-language text for training language models.

In this work, I present the Chipa system for CL-WSD and apply it to the task of translating from Spanish to Guarani and Quechua, two indigenous languages of South America. I demonstrate several extensions to the basic Chipa system, including techniques that allow us to benefit from the wealth of available unannotated Spanish text and existing text analysis tools for Spanish, as well as approaches for learning from bitext resources that pair Spanish with languages unrelated to our intended target languages. Finally, I provide proof-of-concept integrations of Chipa with existing machine translation systems, of two completely different architectures.

Outline of Current Studies
Major: Computer Science
Minor(s): Computational Linguistics
Educational Career
B.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005
M.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, 2007

Committee in Charge
Emeritus Associate Professor Michael E. Gasser, Co-chair, (XXX) XXX-XXXX, Computer Science
Professor Sandra Kübler, Co-chair, (XXX) XXX-XXXX, Linguistics
Associate Professor David J. Crandall, Computer Science
Assistant Teaching Professor John S. DeNero, U.C. Berkeley EECS
Associate Professor Markus Dickinson, Linguistics

Any member of the Graduate Faculty may attend. As a courtesy, please notify the committee chairperson in advance.
alexr_rwx: (mighty penguin)
I successfully did "at least a little bit of strength training" every day in September. Nice.

Mostly it was "do some pushups at night". Feeling a bit stronger than when I started.

Think I'm gonna keep doing that for October. Gonna add some more leg-related exercises.
alexr_rwx: (Default)
scheduling scheduling scheduling

gotta coordinate five variously-busy people and their teaching/travel/being-retired schedules across some time zones

hope we don't have to push this back too far :-O

wanna get it done in October ideally so I can get all the administrivia done in 2018 and officially graduate for reals Fall Semester.
alexr_rwx: (Default)
on my birthday.

awwwwww yeeahhhhhh.

(also, this month I'ma do some strength training every day, at least a little bit)

(also now I will break my github streak -- I've been committing every single day since August 1 2017, except for the week when I freaked out because my dad had a nearly-fatal heart attack.)

(he's remarkably fine! we got super lucky!)

(he's coming to the defense, which I now need to schedule.)
alexr_rwx: (Default)
Sent in a draft of my last "content" chapter for my dissertation.

Now I just gotta write up the outro and finish the abstract and probably update the acknowledgements, and we have a complete dissertation draft.

Doctorate incoming.
alexr_rwx: (mighty penguin)
I went to EVO at the beginning of this month, to compete in Tekken 7!

If you don't know, EVO is the biggest tournament for fighting games. It's considered the World Championships in a sense (some games have their own separate world championships too), but you don't have to qualify. It's all-comers. And thousands and thousands of players and fans come from all around the world to hang out and compete and celebrate their love of fighting games for a long weekend.

From a competitive perspective, my final record was 2-2; it's double elimination. And my first match was broadcast live on stream! Here's my match: I was kind of nervous to play on stream, so my play was a bit off. I pulled it out, though! My opponent was, uh, not prepared for competitive Tekken. But hey, anybody can step up at these tournaments! And I *really* just didn't want to go out 0-2; 2-2 was about as well as I had hoped to do. The other player I beat was fairly competent (but he played a character I'm quite familiar with, and y'know, I'm an OK player!), and the two guys I lost to were quite strong. I still gave them somewhat good matches. Didn't get stomped by anybody. So, good times!

I hung out with lots of fighting game community friends, some from work, and some from the NorCal Tekken community, and some that I've met in other places, like Seattle. And my Tekken mentor from Bloomington was there, always good to see Josh!

Some links to photos I took:

It’s a really cool experience. It’s super beautiful to dedicate a long weekend to a thing you love, and if you love fighting games and competition and the whole culture around the FGC, this is that.

It's in Las Vegas, which perhaps isn't a place that I would go to normally, but I think this event makes it worth it! I don't drink much, I don't enjoy gambling, and I don't get that excited about spectacle. Also food and water and coffee were not optimal for me -- I had to carry a water bottle with me and refill it from bathroom faucets, and I kept going to the hotel Starbucks to stay appropriately caffeinated.

EVO is rad, though. Your favorite FGC personalities and top players are just wandering around. You can say hi, they’re nice. Actually pretty much everybody is nice – everybody's here together, and you can usually just strike up a conversation with somebody who looks like they’re here for EVO. Most players seemed to wear their tournament badges in the hotel, to mark themselves as part of the tribe.

In addition to the competitive matches, it's a great opportunity to play with people that you wouldn't normally run into -- there's some etiquette around this. You go up to a station and you say "hey, lemme get next". And then you're in line, and you can play until you lose! That's it. But it's important that people know this etiquette. I played just about a zillion fun sets with Tekken players from all over the world.

Also I tried out new games that haven't released yet! This is a great opportunity for that.

SUNDAY FINALS ARE SO WILD. They’re held in this giant arena, inside the Mandalay Bay event space like the rest of the tournament. It’s like the size of a college basketball arena, at least. It is *so loud* in there. The sound system just hits you in the chest with the bass, well before you’re in the actual stands. Note that you can’t bring a backpack into the arena. Same issues with water and buying drinks apply in the arena. It was so hype, though. One of my favorite players (Qudans from Korea) almost won it, and Lil Majin, a Real American Hero (tm), got 3rd, which was amazing. It was absurdly hype, watching him play. I only stuck for the Tekken finals, but I was super glad I went. (Majin's EVO highlight reel -- probably worth watching to understand the excitement. Look at this man. Look at his *beard*. Look at his *smile*.)

So... overall... EVO is pretty great! I'd be happy to go back for future ones. Glad I took the time to do this :D
alexr_rwx: (removal of signs)
I *love* discovering new music. I can listen to (certain) music while I'm working, and streaming services have been super good for this, for me. Ten years ago, I would usually be listening to Pandora, but nowadays it's Google Play Music. The catalog is huge, the recommendation engine and curated stations are both great, and I can explore new genres all the time and it rules.


"Stoner metal" is a thing. It is *fabulous* music for working. Do you like downtempo but not a long tedious drone, heavy distortion, a lot of grump, a pleasant blues-ish bass groove, and a vocal style more like "yelling" than the typical death-metal growl? And many, many songs that are about weed, and wandering in the desert, super-long time periods, and wizards? DO YOU LIKE LONG BEARDS.

Some bands I discovered that I love include San Jose locals SLEEP (who just released their new album on 20 April 2018!!):

Also consider bands HIGH ON FIRE, WEEDEATER (holy shit look at these dudes: hang on I'm growing out my beard right now), and ELECTRIC WIZARD.

Maybe something with a slightly broader appeal is this cluster of bands recently that have come out of kind of a 70s proto-metal/occult rock place (think early Black Sabbath); I especially the ones fronted by women, and there are a bunch!

One of my very favorites in this camp is the band CHRISTIAN MISTRESS: . I can't get over how good the delivery is on the vocals; the vocalist, Christine Davis, sounds like she just got over sobbing, and it's metal as heck. (they're up outta Portland)

Also consider LUCIFER, who have extra-charming videos: , and the vocalist's previous band THE OATH. (they're so very German)

ALSO! BRIMSTONE COVEN. This band is a bunch of dudes, but this *rules*. It's so heavy. And so smoooove.

There's so much wonderful music in the world. I'ma share more of it with you. Seriously, get ready for me to effuse about Cuban jazz, about klezmer and klezmer-infused jazz, about 90s British techno...
alexr_rwx: (removal of signs)
I have just registered for EVO, considered by many to be the world championships for fighting games, held every year in Vegas. Gonna play Tekken 7.

We’re gonna do this.

I’ma put in a complete draft of my doctoral thesis before I go. I’m so close.

Mishimania will run wild in Las Vegas, NV, USA.
alexr_rwx: (Default)
There’s a new NIN album coming next month.

Trent is unstoppable.

Also I’m gonna finish my PhD.

This is not the darkest possible timeline.
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