Hello everyone! Here’s a quick early summer update. I had the last few days off from research since it’s the end of the semester and a few days before I begin my remote summer internship at Google Brain. During my time off, I added a new photo album on Flickr based on my trip to Vietnam for the International Symposium on Robotics Research (ISRR) in October 2019. The album has almost 200 photos from my iPhone. I also made minor updates to my older blog posts about ISRR, which you can access in the archives, to include some featured photos.

I wanted to finish the album because going to Vietnam was one of my last major trips before the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s one that I especially cherish among my entire travel history, because it brought me to a place I knew little about beyond reading books and news about the tragic Vietnam War. That’s one of the benefits of travel. It opens our eyes to new areas and cultures.

I also updated my earlier photo albums for some of the other conferences I attended. First, I only recently realized that my photos were private. Whoops! They should be visible now judging from my tests logging out of Flickr and checking the albums. Second, I used the Flickr “Organizr” edit setting to rearrange photos from some earlier albums to get them in order based on when I actually took the photos on my iPhone. For the ISRR 2019 album, the photos are already in order since I figured out a better way to upload photos. On my laptop, I open the Photos app, group all the photos in an album within Photos (not to be confused with an album in Flickr), and then click “File –> Export –> Export Photos.” This will make a copy of the photos on the local file system in my laptop. From there, I use Flickr’s upload feature, and order the photos alphabetically, which fortunately means the photos are in order since they are named based on numbers.

I have several other actionable items on my agenda, but admittedly these may have to be pushed back by many months. One is to improve this website design. As explained here, the blog has looked like this for over five years, and I want to experiment with changes to make the website more visually appealing. The problem is backwards compatibility: I’d need the website changes to be able to retain all my LaTeX, all my code formatting, and inevitably this means re-reading over 300 posts from the last nine years. Let me know if you have any suggestions in that regard.

As always, thanks for reading this blog. In addition, I hope you are safe, and are able to stay indoors as much as possible if you have the privilege of doing so. I hope that life will return to normal in the near future.