I’m in the process of completely revamping my portfolio!
If you’d like a peek, click here.
I’m in the process of completely revamping my portfolio!
If you’d like a peek, click here.
I was interviewed at HFES 2012! You can read it here:
Today, we sat down with in Sin Lee Loh, an international graduate student at San Jose State University and first-time attendee to the HFES Annual Meeting. We exchanged a few words with her to get a student’s perspective of HFES2012.
Tell me about yourself and what motivated you to attend the conference?
I’m in my second year in a Masters’ Program at San Jose State University, and very actively involved in the HFES Student Chapter. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend last year’s conference, but I’ve heard great things from my classmates and alumni about the national conferences. Many have said that they were inspired by the talks and papers they saw at the conference and it spurred them to generate interesting research questions for their theses.
Additionally, I had to collect the Gold Award for my Student Chapter as the Chapter President – so that was extra motivation to come!
What did you expect to gain from attending the conference?
I think I was expecting mainly presentations and posters, or maybe meeting professors and other students – but this conference has offered much more than that! Originally, I expected to learn more about the different research topics each university are delving into, but I’m pleasantly surprised that many sessions had industry involvement.
What sessions have you attended and what are you impressions?
In short – many! I’ve actually particularly enjoyed the panel discussions. I found the moderated conversations intriguing, especially when the discussions focused on the future of HF/E, and the industry vs academia question. For students in Masters programs, it’s a topic we often think and talk about amongst ourselves – so it was great to hear industry professionals’ and academic professors’ perspectives on the issues.
What are the main highlights of the conference for you?
I really appreciated the opportunity to meet other students and share ideas with them on improving the outreach of our prospective Student Chapters. I think we’re probably going to implement a lot of new activities from now on!
Besides the networking opportunities, I felt that the UX Day keynote and paper presentations were particularly inspiring and very relevant to the work I’d like to do in the future, focusing on usability and consumer products.
As a student, what would you share with other fellow prospective students to come next year?
YOU MUST ATTEND! (Laughs) Actually, I think it’s extremely important for students to attend, whether they want to end up in industry or academia. It’s a great conference to build networks and gain inspiration, as well as learn from respected names – it’s really welcoming conference, too. There’s something for everyone, and all the attendees are incredibly approachable, they’re easy to talk to and always ready to answer student questions. I’d say, after this experience, I’m definitely going to attend again next year – so other students should, too!
I recently visited the Alameda Flea Market which specializes in antiques “at least 20 years old”. Arriving at 7.30am was probably for the best – some stalls were setting up and we were early enough that there were fewer people to battle with over dusty niceties and rusty oddities. The largest crowd was for the 9.00am entry – so, if you are a morning person, shoot for 7.30am.
I now possess a Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super, an SLR from the late 1950′s. At the time, the camera cost a Mr L. Cole (as seen from a removed punch-sticker silhouette on the case) around $250 – almost $2000 in today’s dollars. And here it is, in my hands, from a flea market. Makes you wonder about your quaint iPads and iPhones.
Of course, the baby didn’t come with an instruction manual. Thankfully, I live in the age of the internet and managed to find a site which had zipped jpegs of each page! The site seems to have been completely inactive since the early 2000′s so I took the liberty of stitching the jpegs into a pdf.
The rest of the camera seems to be working just fine. The whole thing is quite a feat of German engineering. However, there seems to be some speckles of dirt when I look through the viewfinder, and I can’t quite figure out if I should even attempt to remove the front lens for cleaning. Hopefully, the speckles are on the prism or on viewfinder’s window, rather than on the inside of the lenses. Otherwise, my pictures might emerge with charming freckles.
During Christmas break, I had these delicious cookies at Joe’s grandmother’s made of chinese noodles coated in butterscotch. Since I’ve always loved a little East-meets-West, I asked for the recipe and found that it’s one of the easiest snacks to make!
What you need
2 x 12oz butterscotch bits (you can find this in supermarket baking or
2 cups nuts (peanuts work best, but other nuts can also be used)
2 cups Chinese noodles (the crunchy yellow kind)
Toasted sesame seeds
What to do
Melt the butterscotch in a double boiler – that is, bring a pot of water to a boil and sit another bowl in it and whisk the bits.
Stir in the nuts and broken bits of chinese noodles.
Scoop out onto wax paper with a spoon and sprinkle top with sesame seeds.
Let cool, and enjoy!
So… I have to apologize for not keeping this updated throughout my trip. I had very good reasons!
First of all, after Kanchanaburi, I lost the ability to upload pictures. I travelled with an iPad, didn’t have an SD card reader with me, and some of the places we went to did not have internet connections. I had planned to update at the end of the trip.
When I got back after my 5-week backpack-a-thon, I had about 8 gigs of pictures to sort through and a ton of work at the office. And of course, I had to prepare to move across continents for grad school. Grad school started, and I got bogged down with a fuller-than-full load of courses (4 classes!) and 12 hours of lab work a week. Needless to say, I simply didn’t have time to sort through the 2000 pictures I had and to do write-ups on the experiences in a way that would do justice to how simply amazing South East Asia is.
I do plan to put it all up soon – though I expect this semester to be quite busy. Just hold me to this promise and keep prodding me!
Nothing like an overcrowded bus to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok. Good thing I got there early. Some poor souls had to stand in the aisle during the 3-hour ride.
Should I mention that I love the name of this state/city? Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi. It just rolls off the tongue beautifully.
Apple’s Guesthouse embodies the very essence of what a riverside retreat should be. The rooms are spacious, bright and utterly charming. Frangipani trees were everywhere and it just smelled like serenity. Oh, and did I mention the amazing view of the River Kwai from the lobby?
So, me being a Thai-cooking nooblet, I signed up for Noi’s cooking class. She’s one of the owners of Apple’s (the other being, of course, Apple) and wonderfully friendly and open. She took us to the Kanchanaburi market and conversed with the stall owners all around us, letting us sample Thai delights I can’t really name (but that I really enjoyed tasting!). I swear, I must have seen 20 different varieties of eggplant at the market as well as rabbit, alligator, porcupine and turtle meat for sale. All fresh.
Just before we left for the market, Noi gave us an introduction to “proper” Thai cuisine and how to order and mix Thai dishes in order to achieve balance in the variety. Hot dishes need to be paired with cool dishes, salty with sweet – yin with yang. Eventually, my small group settled on four main dishes and I tried my hand at some Pad Thai (failed, since I overcooked the shallots), Massaman Curry (better) and Lemongrass and Vegetable Stirfry (not too bad, either!). My Tom Kha was, by far, the best. “Perfect!” according to Noi.
Forgive the quality, I haven’t had time to edit since I have to use public computers while on the trip!
Stayed three nights in the Banglumphu area, known for its proximity to some of the most famous tourist attractions in Bangkok and also for its concentration of backpacker hostels, bars, tattoo and piercing shops, and abundance of street vendors hawking what can most succinctly be described as hippie-ware. Just outside my small hotel, New Siam III, which is one street away from the infamous Khao San Road, I could get my hair braided, listen to Bob Marley (or some lite-jazz rendition of “No Woman No Cry” by a young female) and get a Thai foot massage – all at the same time.
Wat Chana Songkhram, a temple complex situated at the heart of this area, was a welcome escape from the dense chaos of tourists and vendors. The temple was definitely very Thai in architecture and had rows of gold Buddhist statues lining the outer walls, peacefully smiling at the central temple which housed more Buddhist statues in gold. Behind the central temple, young monks lived in the monasteries and the back door led straight into the lane which my hotel is on. At dusk, the temple gates are closed to the drunken debauchery that goes on in the streets late into the night.
Gosh, I haven’t updated in awhile, have I? First, I was busy with Chinese New Year (my first in many years, and probably the most memorable) and then I went off to Melaka, Tioman and Singapore.
Now, I’m on a mission to conquer the sights and sounds of South East Asia I haven’t been to (I’m hoping to cover at least half of Thailand, some of Laos and some of Vietnam).
First stop is Bangkok which is short for (say it with me) “Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit“. The year here is 2554.
The city reminds me of Kuala Lumpur – if it were about 5 degrees hotter. It definitely feels as chaotic as any South East Asian city should be, with traffic that can’t wait to run you over and sidewalks packed with street vendors hawking everything imaginable. The mega-malls near my first hostel here (the uber-cool Lub.d Hostel) was near the main mall district which is very much like Orchard Road in Singapore – if the lanes between the malls were crammed with street stalls.
On day two, we moved over to Mystic Place, which is probably the artsiest hotel I’ve ever stayed in. Every room is unique and, well, very cool. Granted, I could imagine a place like this doing very well in, say, San Francisco.
Took a tuk-tuk and checked out the maze-like Chatuchak (Chatuchat? Jatujak? I’m not even sure what the correct name is) Market. Not kidding when I say this – the clothing section of the weekend market was one giant Urban Outfitters store. They even play the right kind of music. Really. Of course, I made a few purchases but I need to keep spending to a minimum if I want this trip to last.
Anyways, here’s a slideshow. Enjoy!