A rich and dynamic December

This December appeared to be very busy but super rich and dynamic. I traveled to many places, met and chatted with many brilliant and great people, sat down and talked with a few old friends, got familiar with some cool and smart guys, and experienced the advances in modern information technology - machine learning and artificial intelligence mostly. Finally, I came back to Helsinki but realized that there is still no snow :snowflake:

Then I decide to write down this memorable December :joy:

Table of content

The Netherlands

The book ‘hard choices’

I flew to the Netherlands on 2nd December with a book ‘Hard Choices’ authored by Hillary Clinton bought from the Helsinki-Vantaa airport. I am the person who won’t buy any psychic stories. But I am a strong believer of subconsciousness and I do admire the beauty of brain. I feel afterwords that it must be something deep in my brain which drove me to buy this particular book as I was deeply attracted by its title without knowing anything about the book.

It turns out to be a book easy to read. Most importantly, I do have an important choice to make at the end of the month. Luckily, it is not super hard. Oh, by the way, I personally think there is no good or bad choices and the only thing makes different is how good it can be executed. So, unless you are super super stupid, work hard you will be fine.



I believe glogi is a Finnish version of mulled wine. I might be wrong on this. Essentially, it is warm wine with mulled spices, for me, cinnamon mostly. I enjoyed a few cups of Dutch glogi in Eindhoven. It turned out to be superb. Locals call it warm wine, maybe? Cinnamon comes in sugar bar. I guess to find a nice little gem I have to be willing to travel and explore.


Lego in Copenhagen airport

I stayed in the Netherlands for about 2 days. I have a connecting flight in Copenhagen on my way back to Helsinki. I found a piece of art in the Copenhagen airport - an American made by Lego. Don’t ask me why, it just looks to me like an American :laughing: I looked into the Lego and thought ‘you can’t be wrong if you do a right thing’. So, if you have good feeling about something, you should definitely go ahead. Don’t regret so early.



NIPS conference 2015

Then I flew out to Montreal on the 7th December and stay in the French-speaking Canadian city for about one week. I was there in 2014, during almost the same time, for the same conference, in the same conference centre. To avoid sleeping in the same room, this time I booked a queen bed room other than a double bed room in the same hotel. It was not exciting at all except for the super gorgeous NIPS conference. Again, the conference is super cool. I admit to myself that I am not smart by being with super smart people working on machine learning and AI.

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Metro on the wheel

Hey, this is metro in Montreal. Oh, look at the wheel! I feel quite absurd when we were discussing building a human level AI and a self-driving car a minute ago, then we still use this ‘ancient’ technology. AI might be a still bit far away.


Canadian beer

I have about two must-do hobbies when I travel to a new place, taste local beers and milks. Drinking with friends is even better. However, my friends almost never like to drink milk with me :laughing: The chat on that day makes me realize that a good researcher equals to good research plus good marketing plus good sales.


Hotel de Montreal

Who told me this is the Montreal city hall? Again, who told me this is the hotel of Montreal?



Brandenburger gate

I flew back to Helsinki from Montreal on Monday afternoon 14th December and took a late flight to Berlin. I came across Brandenburger gate on my way to the hotel.

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Christmas market

I stayed in Berlin for only one day and met my friend. He introduced me to some very smart guys which makes me think that I should never be arrogant because there are always brilliant people around me. Besides, I was told many times that the Christmas market in Germany is great and it actually is.



Christmas lunch

Then I was back to Helsinki and had a fantastic Christmas lunch with my research group - essentially a group of super smart, skilled, and fun guys. This might be my last Christmas lunch with the group. I will definitely miss it.


Hongyu Su 21 December 2015