Sucked into image processing
The project at CVPR unit over last winter was one of the best learning curves I ever had the benefit of traversing. The sheer independence and effort needed in learning something – an almost unknown topic – in a short span of time involved a lot of things. Things whose edge we tend to lose being cooped up in classrooms and curricula over time.
This was programming the way I liked it! This was the “thing” I had been missing for ages: the sheer joy of computing, of “leaving the machine as something more than what it was when you were first led up to it.”
The project itself was quite basic, something that a second year student of Information Technology would not have much trouble grasping. But the way linear algebra, statistics and wave-transforms all churn together in the pot-pourri of extracting text from outdoor scenes was well worth the effort (with the expectedly eccentric prof calling up at midnight about results).
Basically I have a student paper and a certificate to show at the end of the day, along with an advice to work again on the project this summer. Needless to say the last part was the thing that excites me the most.