This is it! Make or Break.

It is all downhill once you pass your PhD comprehensive exam. 
The PhD manual of IIIT simply says “The dragon warrior should now be able to touch his toes!!”
As a researcher, one thing you can say for sure is that you are not pressed for time. At least, not in the same way journalists, lawyers, doctors or actors are pressed for time. Here, is where I always quote myself saying “It’s not about the moment, it’s about amoment”.
I find this to be the most alluring part of being a researcher, I can introspect, space out all I want, to understand or come-up with something. Once I do, I also have the luxury to try it out, talk to others and simply say “oh, we tried that and it didn’t work.” and still feel the day was productive.
I have never been good with tests; I think my brain lacks the academic rigor required for the task. Yet, I find myself at this latest, most compelling exam yet, a test of my comprehension of the said area of interest in computer science. What makes this ordeal even more challenging is that I am surrounded by aces. They are people who have broken down test-taking to an exact science. So some hard working days next couple of months, reading up all the things I thought I knew.
The key is to be confident and clear on what is known and what isn’t. My plan is to be honest and try to keep the conversation as close to my strength areas as possible.
I plan to be thorough with basic image processing, some pattern recognition and keep some intuitive examples of applications in biometrics ready. Rest will be a test of character.

Congrats to Tomasz for the successful PhD defense. Catch the Carnegie alumni here. I hope he will continue updating despite the new found workload at MIT. I was lucky enough to catch the meaty part of this defense against the wrath of a panel with Takeo Kanade, Pietro Perona, Martial Hebert and  Alyosha Efros (adviser). Really impressed with the work on Visual Memex and also the sheer determination with which the questions were tackled.


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