Things have been a bit quiet on the front of late, but it’s not been because I’ve been getting my Starcraft on or navel-gazing too much. Instead, I’ve been jumping through all kinds of administrative hoops, filling out forms, having interviews, and trying to get into a Ph.D by Research program – and guess what? It is ON!! =D

Ph.D Candidature Acceptance

So, I’m now officially a Ph.D undergrad – but what the hell does this really mean?

Well, for the work, it means that I’m going to spend at least the next three years working on putting together a kitchen-sink approach to getting user input (as in “everything but the kitchen sink”) – so we’re looking at arm/hand/finger movement and gesture recognition, voice recognition, head tracking, eye tracking, all with (at first) just a monitor/webcam/gloves, but hopefully moving on to 3D data-glasses as things get closer to completion.

For me personally, it means that I’m going to be busy. Really busy. For the next 3 years. And that for the second and third year I’m only going to be able to work one day a week teaching, as I’m going to be expected to put in a minimum of 32 hours per week researching, performing literature review, writing code, and getting my 3D on. Really, I’m trying to do the first year part-time (so I can still work, and ya know, pay my rent, eat etc.), but get it done within a full-time schedule, so it’s all going to be a bit hectic.

I’ve got to say I’m really looking forward to it all though… I mean, come on! Three year research project trying to push past the bleeding-edge (or at least incorporate the bleeding-edge) into something that’s never been done before? That’s exciting and terrifying stuff! =D It’s going to be an incredible amount of work, but I think it’ll be worth it, and it’s something I can check off my life-list so when it comes the time to weigh up what you’ve done with your life, I’ll feel (rightly or wrongly) that I’ve made some kind of contribution to society and to humanity, and that’ll be good enough for me.

But these are early days yet, there are papers to be read, APIs & middleware to research, and heavy-duty textbooks to fight through (such as the delightfully titled: Interactive Elastic Two-Layer Soft Body Simulation with OpenGL: Design and Development of an OpenGL-based Framework for Dynamic Deformation of Uniform Elastic Two-Layer Objects – no, really – it’s on my reading list!).

So wish me well – I’ve got a feeling I’m going to need it!

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