Featured

Striving to Keep Your Word

(… continuing of previous post, view original screenshot 1, 2, here) As previous post says, some very important things happened at that night (Jan 2):

First, I asked my friend Liu Ling 1 (who learns computer science at Sichuan University and is going to work for Citibank in Shanghai) a few questions about job interviews, work experience, as well as her attitude towards the job due. A wish to continue her studies was manifested through her talk, which also set me thinking about the old question: which path should I choose – working as a programmer or furthering my studies?

So at this very point, Jiaxi, who is my favorite girl in our class, asked me a small question, which in turn developed into an agreeable & cheerful conversation. Wow, she asked me if I could work or study in Beijing where she would read her master’s degree. And she thought quite good of me, while on my whole life I’d never thought I could be this much important to someone, let alone my crush. I was all ecstatic, appreciated & flattered by her attention. Of all that night I couldn’t get to sleep (maybe a nap at dawn for about 2 hours), yet facing the upcoming exam in the next morning. But it didn’t matter at all since we were allowed to refer to our slides or textbook or whatever; most importantly, my crush seemed to have good feelings for me, which meant tremendously to me. I thought a hell lot of stuff that night… 2

Now I suddenly seem to find out a weird phenomenon (reality), while I was trying hard to search for my so-called soulmate, in which process I encountered Ania and Miss White in turn, I got some point very important missed – maybe we should slow down and look aside because the odds are that the very girl you should love with very beat of your heart is just besides you (is as close to you as she can), watching you & supporting you silently. I dunno, maybe..

Anyhow, I’ll make every effort to delivery on my promises to Jiaxi, as well as to myself, and try to make it to Beijing by Kaoyaning BUAA. There will, of necessity, have myriads of tough problems awaiting me during this journey, but I hope every time when I feel like giving up I could come here to pick up my lost courage, and fight like a man all over again!

Footnotes

  1. Well, yeah, she… is the older twin sister, the other being Liu Li to whom I referred but then broke off in previous post. Ah, there was a small secrete between me & Liu Li, and I promised not to tell anyone. But I’d like to thank her for her enlightening words as well as her great deal of encouragement which helped me realize what I genuinely wanted from the heart. Wish we both success 😉. Besides, I want to thank her older sister Liu Ling who enthusiastically provided me with great support for some trivial but vexing problems.
  2. It was quite lucky of me to run into her at the juncture of the stairs the next morning when we attended the last exam, and I gave her a bottle of orange juice which was of my favorite sort. She accepted it gladly after I told her it was my favorite drink. Amazingly happy! My goddess took my little gift :-)

Why Write a Thesis?

(I found some very insightful and enlightening words about why we should write a thesis.)

The answer “Because it’s required” is not good enough. In fact, the question “Why write a thesis?” is itself misleading, because it implies that what’s most important is the final product: an object that you will print out on acid-free paper, pinch into a spring binder, and hand in.

The more useful question is, “What am I going to get out of this experience?” This question foregrounds the fact that thesis-writing is a process, and that the purpose of that process is not only to produce a great thesis, but even more importantly, to transform you into a better writer, researcher, and most of all, thinker.

As you envision, research, structure, write, and rewrite your thesis, you will encounter complex and important questions, grapple with unwieldy and sometimes overwhelming data, listen in new ways to ongoing
scholarly conversations, confront challenging intellectual puzzles, and struggle to form and articulate your own thoughts. These trials will change you. If you trust and commit to the process, you will emerge at the end of your senior year with new skills and a better sense of your own voice. And as a more powerful writer and thinker, you will be more effective in all your post-graduation pursuits.

In order to achieve the most important goal of self-transformation, a student must aim, paradoxically, for another goal: creating new scholarly knowledge. Imagine that you are trying to spear a fish in a pond.
If you aim your spear at the spot where you see the fish, you will miss, because the surface of the water refracts light. Similarly, if you aim only to transform yourself into a better writer, researcher, and thinker,
you will miss both that goal and the goal of producing high-quality scholarship. You must endeavor, with every ounce of intelligence and strength you have, to produce an original and valuable academic
argument. As you do so, you will transform—inevitably. Aim for the tangible goal of writing a superb thesis, and you will reach the more important but elusive objective beyond it.

The process of writing a thesis can be a glorious adventure. I hope that you will experience the exhilaration of watching your ideas emerge, the astonishment of discovering newly developed abilities, and the satisfaction of completing an arduous but important journey. Now is the time to take your first step.

–Robin Bernstein, Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality and of History and Literature

Wake Up – The Rise of A Brave Heart

It seemed I’d been in a long ass mindless, depraving, dreadful dream in 2020, indecisive, lacking courage, blundering around in the darkness & searching for something unreal, missing the chances, working on things only when I felt inclined to or much motivated. Yet, I did grow a lot from last year, both emotionally & mentally. And I became calmer and more confident. That’s probably how life goes on, I suppose. It reminds me of some insightful words from an amazing girl on Facebook:

There are moments where you pause and reflect on how life has brought you to this moment. You take a deep breath, and…

Posted by The Iveys on Monday, September 7, 2020

(In case you are in China mainland and cannot see it, a screenshot can be seen from here.)

On December 15, 2020, a high school friend named Liu Li from sibling class (class 2, I were in class 1) who excelled (and I believe now she also excels, I were quite a fan of her) at mathematics since I knew her (were classmates) from the last term of junior high school. She is the younger one of a pair of intelligent twin sisters, and of course, the twins were quite lucky, always being arranged in the same class (junior in class 16, high school in class 2). They two are girls♀ of distinction, unusually brilliant & outstanding.


Added on Jan 18, 2021

Above article was unfinished and might have some words which didn’t make sense, for I wrote that almost at midnight; so with unclear mind, and didn’t know where & how to start… But that night DID have some very IMPORTANT things happened, see next post.

Memory & CPU Caches

This week and last weekend I was primarily focusing on memory pools, allocators, CPU caches. I now probably know how allocators work, simply separating memory allocation & objects initialization, for example, reserve() function in std::vector, it doesn’t initialize the allocated data segment, thus permitting better performance when we don’t need initialize the data immediately.

CPU cache is another very interesting & important aspect that can (hugely) influence the performance of our programs, as it’s way faster than main memory (RAM). Smaller is faster. A great resource I found on Tuesday evening was a YouTube video – Scott Meyers’s presentation on code::drive conference 2014, a very humorous & high-quality speech!! Really awesome!

Here are a few slides screenshots, the complete presentation pdf version can be downloaded from here.

There are some interesting tops contained within it: cache lines, false sharing, data-oriented design, etc. Very practical and constructive.

From Wednesday and later, I reviewed my qsort vs std::sort problem in terms of cpu cache and cache lines. I found a hug bug (typo) in my qsort function call (embarrassed). Then I further developed that, added a few more tests (for instance, indirect sort), and drew some charts. The details can be found here.


Supplemented on Nov 24, 2020

About cache associativity: see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCK-0fCchmY, a very detailed & intuitive demonstration.

Additional resource: Gallery of Processor Cache Effects by Igor Ostrovsky.