Chicago: Fourth Year and a Quarter

I wanted to write an annual review in August like the first three years of my PhD program, but there seems like a lot was happening at that time that I was not in a mindset to sit down and reflect. From my calendar, I see Valeria de Paiva’s talk at the Topos Institute which forced me to rethink directions of my main research project and ICFP in the last week of the month, where I had interesting conversations with Ohad Kammar and Alex Kavvos that also reinforced the changes in that direction. [Read More]

Year Three in Chicago

I wanted to continue the tradition of writing an annual review post reflecting on how another year in my PhD program went. Links to previous posts are at the bottom of this page. Also, I am using a somewhat different format this year with the following sections largely highlighting what went well this year. Research In the professional arena of my life, this was quite a good year. I submitted three first-authored paper drafts for peer review and another two with collaborators. [Read More]


My granddad (Bawaji1) passed away early this week. My mom broke the news early Tuesday morning. He was getting weaker and weaker over the last couple of years. I have some of his pictures in my Google Photos collection spanning a decade that show his body frailing over time. Here’s a photo from December 2009: And here’s another from April 2018: Most of the recent pictures that I have of him are from celebratory times such as those from my parents’ 25th anniversary, weddings in the (extended) family, etc. [Read More]

Chicago: Year Two

I wrote an annual review last year celebrating and looking back at my first year in Chicago. A year later, I feel obligated to review and write down how things have turned out since. What went well I am done with my coursework requirements in my PhD program. The next milestone is a master’s thesis. It might be my second master’s in CS but this time it will be more rigorous. [Read More]

Chicago: One Year In

Today marks a year since I moved to Chicago to begin my PhD at the University of Chicago Computer Science Department. It’s the end of an illustrious year full of new challenges, opportunities, friends and experiences. It’s also a new beginning as the Department has just finished its move from the ~125 year old Ryerson Physical Laboratory to the new space in John Crerar Library and we officially begin to use the new building today. [Read More]

Results: Virtual Flip Phone Challenge

My challenge is officially over. Here are some observations:

Time spent during the Challenge Week (#24) vs past 5 weeks

The following table shows time spent on the top 10 apps on my phone sorted in decreasing order of those used in the challenge week:

[Read More]

I Can Type Again Now

As I wrote earlier, I had broken a finger while ice skating. It will be three weeks since the accident later this evening. Time passes fast. I have not been productive all this while. One of the reasons was that since going to orthopedics the Monday after the accident, I had a large obstructive splint on my right hand which restricted my wrist motion and made typing using the right hand next to impossible: [Read More]

Broke a Bone

I went ice skating last night for the first time: After enjoying it for two rounds, right about when I was about to exit the rink, someone crashed into me from behind and we both fell down. I immediately felt that the little finger of my right hand probably got twisted in the opposite direction of what is natural. A few hours after that: A broken bone is among the many firsts of the weekend, sigh. [Read More]

2017 in Reading

Stats I technically managed to finish my 2017 Reading Challenge (26 books) but not in its full spirit as I really only read about 13 regular sized books, the same as last year (using my improved metrics). This major discrepancy can be partially attributed to my counting the 6 audiobooks I listened to under the challenge just to keep track of them. Some imprecise stats from the challenge here. Similar to last year, I believe the amount of content I read increased this year, even though I read and finished a relatively fewer number of books. [Read More]

2017 in Review: Overview

Note (added on Jan 2): As I started composing this year’s edition of my year in review late New Year’s Eve, I came to realize how I overwhelmed I was to compress a whole year of learning and new experiences into a single post and in a single evening. After procrastinating for a while, finally deciding to welcome the new year in good company of friends, and regretting my decision to stay awake until 3 and hence losing enough sleep to be not productive on the New Year’s Day, I decided to break the task in to manageable chunks and spread them over the next few days. [Read More]