Feel So Low

So see how long I can last
You can pretend that I don’t exist for you
And I can laugh about it now
But I hated every minute
I was waiting for your email
And each day that you forgot to call
Just made me feel so low
So low

Christmas 1998
I tried to call
I just couldn’t wait
And your message was out of date
So I left my voice on your machine
But you did not respond
OK OK OK you’ve won
You make me feel so low
So low

A song that moved me very much.

Porcupine Tree – Lightbulb Sun – Feel So Low

Cloud 20/20 Paper Presentation Contest – Third Place !!

It was a fantastic day at Bangalore. The Grand Finale of UNISYS Cloud 20/20 Technical Paper Presentation Contest was held at ITC Hotel yesterday. I was one of the finalists and I presented my paper on cloud computing to an audience of 400, which comprised of eminent personalities and stalwarts from the industry. I won the Third Place and was awarded a Nokia N97 mobile phone !!

It all started mid-November. A friend of mine, Venki, informed me about this contest on cloud computing. I went through the details and thought I could put some effort into it. I was not new to Cloud Computing since I had already conducted workshop on that topic in college. I got into action and learnt more about the topic and the challenges faced by this new computing paradigm. I decided to work on application development on the cloud. I came up with a topic: “Realizing Parallelism and Transparency in Applications Through Idempotence”. Wrote an abstract, submitted it, and waited for the results.

I was one among the sixty students shortlisted for the technical paper round. I had about a month to work on my technical paper. I browsed various papers and articles on the topic. Read about the current trends and what kind of applications cloud computing can expect in the future. I thus came up with a pretty decent technical paper, stating the problems and solutions. even though I did not have much hope of getting through to the next round, I eagerly awaited the results.

One evening I got a call telling that I am through to the telephone interview round. This news made me prepare myself well for the interview due to happen the next day. The telephone interview did not go well, since I was literally running and gasping for breath when my phone rang. I could not answer properly, even though I knew the answers. At the end of the day, I had lost all hopes.

But it was a pleasant surprise to see my name listed as one of the six finalists. I had to prepare a presentation for the finals. I worked a lot on it and prepared the slides. I flew to Bangalore and stayed at HM Suites, an excellent place.

The final round was on 15th. I met the other finalists. We got to know each other and became good friends. We had to present our paper to a panel of judges. The panel included eminent geniuses, Bob Supnik (CTO, UNISYS), Dr. Michael Salsburg (Chief Architect, UNISYS) and others. We all were a bit nervous. But the finals went on really well. Results were not announced until the next morning.

The Cloud 20/20 Grand Finale was a fabulous event. A lot of people from UNISYS, HP, Oracle, etc had been present. The entire day was packed with events, seminars and presentations. We were given a chance to present our papers to the audience, and the experience was really great. We were awarded the prizes by Bob Supnik. Deepak from IIIT-B won the first prize, an Apple Macbook Air Laptop. The second place was won by Kiran from IIIT-H, who got a Sony Vaio Laptop. I won the Third Place.

There was also a media event where the media was briefed about the entire event. Our names, I believe, appeared in quite a few papers. But I could get hold of Deccan Chronicle only.

Overall, it was a really great experience. And this was my first technical paper presentation. All thanks to UNISYS for organizing this event successfully and providing me an opportunity to explore more into the world of cloud computing.

Engineer vs. Mathematician

A thought-provoking short story narrated by my professor in class:

An engineer and a mathematician were asked a question:
“Given a stove, lighter, water and an empty vessel, how would you make hot water?

Both, the engineer and the mathematician gave the same answer:

  1. Fill the vessel with water
  2. Light the stove
  3. Place the vessel on the stove and allow it to heat.

Now the question was slightly twisted:
“The stove is already lighted and the vessel already contains water. Now, how would you make hot water?

The engineer answered, “This is dumb. Just place the vessel on the stove and allow it to heat.”

The mathematician answered:

  1. Empty the vessel by pouring the water out.
  2. Switch off the stove.
  3. Now the problem is reduced to a sub-problem, the solution to which was previously calculated.

Now, are you an engineer or a mathematician ???