Friday, May 15, 2015

Siren Call

Weekend at the lab, poring over code
Ink-stained fingerprints 
Mark research papers new and old.
Deep Neural networks, CNNs, LSTMs, SVMs,
Acronyms - galore,
I'm trying to
Teach a computer how to 
Make sense of this world.

Pictures labelled, videos supervised,
Gigabytes of data at my disposal, 
That for loop needs a new function, 
Abstract that logic out, the phone chimes for attention,
An email from my professor - the intro
Needs a new beginning, we have to emphasize 
Our contributions, market our research, 
Tell our story just right.

Fountain pen across printed page,
Key-strokes describe an algorithm in the night.
Royal blue against inky black,
That anachronism comforts, takes me back
To the 5th standard, when after years 
Of pencil work, we were allowed the ink pen.
I knew back then,
What I wanted to do with my life.

A lifetime later, 15 years in Australia,
And a year and something in Leuven,
5 years in industry
Means my H-index is
Not quite what it needs to be.
I'm struggling for ideas,
For papers, for inter-disciplinary research,
I need to make my mark 
In a sea of competitive sharks
I have to build relationships,
I have to reach critical mass.

And all this while my personal life
Takes a back-stage, 
The girl I'm interested in
Will have to wait.

Science is my mistress,
Her siren-call rings out
Over the rocks, and 
I'm prepared to swim out
Into the blackness of the night.

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