Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Classes are finally over for the term, and possibly forever for me. Sunday night, I submitted my final project for 6.866 (Machine Vision). It was on using photometric stereo [edit--fixed link] in the real world, where there aren't handy infinitely-far point sources of light to use. I got to run extension cords down to the basement and lie in the dust, and I even got some almost-decent results at the last minute. More impressively, the last minute only came on only 4 days' extension, instead of the three months it took me last fall.

And the next morning, I took the 6:20 (AM) train out of South Station down to New York to visit Google's office there. It was small, especially compared to the Mountain View office, but somehow bigger than I'd imagined. Lots of good people there, but still small enough to actually know everyone. They also gave us lots of time to explore the city, which I spent walking semi-aimlessly and then napping in my hotel room. (Staying up late and getting up early don't mix.) Then there was a Brazilian dinner with "meat spigot" cards to flip over when you wanted them to start or stop throwing meat onto your plate.

Google also announced that libraries are getting in on Google Print too. I personally think this is the exciting part, since (I assume) Amazon would never bother scanning out-out-of-copyright books because they would be out-of-print too, so nobody would be selling them. But libraries have lots of them, and if Google can show them, it's an immense amount of Stuff that nobody else has.

(As an aside, it turns out that my page-numbering code was probably rewritten twice after I left. Ah well. I still did it first.)

In other job-hunting news, Oracle's now out of the picture. First, the recruiter called and said they would make an offer, and I said I'd consider it if it was competitive with Google (which was true at the time). When I called my potential future manager, though, we both agreed that I wasn't especially interested in the company, and he said they wouldn't match Google's offer, so that was the end of that.

... Which leaves Microsoft. I went out and interviewed with them in Seattle (they put me up in a two-story "executive penthouse" hotel room) and was actually quite impressed with what they had to say for themselves. Looking back on it though, I feel more ambivalent about the people I talked to and the projects they're working on. (This may have to do with my visit to Google yesterday.) Ah well... they say they have an offer for me but they haven't said what it is yet. If I can win the phone-tag game, maybe I'll find out tomorrow.

In other job-related news, I'm going to be a 6.001 TA in the spring. Yay. Adding in my time as an LA, I'll have 6.001 in some form for 8 out of my 10 terms at MIT.

And that's about it. This is my week to do all the things (like, say, research) that classes and job-hunting have pushed to the side, plus to watch the extended RotK that arrived today. Then comes a trip home to Virginia, then following my advisor to Singapore for two weeks, then back to Boston for Mystery Hunt. Maybe I'll even update before then.


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