September 27th, 2011

It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally done it. I’m finally done with my master’s. Yay!

I moved to London 4.5 years ago for a one year exchange at Imperial with the idea to finish my master’s within that year. Things didn’t exactly go according to plan… with me getting distracted by this blog, organizing events and a ton of other stuff. Part of me regrets not having finished sooner, yet on the other hand if I had finished sooner, I don’t think I would have gotten the opportunities to some of the cool things I’ve managed to do these past four years. This year though I realized I needed to finish what I started and put everything else on hold: no more blogging, no more event organizing, no more distractions. And it worked.

So for the past couple of months I’ve been focusing on my research: facial expression recognition for posed versus spontaneous smiles, creating parts of a system that can recognize between a “fake” and a “real” smile. The psychology research about facial expressions is so interesting, and it’s amazing how much our brains are capable of.


Last Thursday I had my final presentation and defence. I wasn’t that nervous for the presentation; I’ve been to enough BarCamps by now, that I don’t get too stressed anymore presenting in front of strangers. But the defence… eek! It was a one-on-one with my graduation committee where they drilled me on all aspects of my research. Some questions were easy-ish, others were tough. Super tough.

In the end though I passed. I got a 7 for the final project (not completely sure what the UK equivalent would be, a B, I think?) and I’m happy with it. The perfectionist in me wishes I got higher, but I’m mainly glad I’ve finally finished. I can’t call myself a Master of Science yet (or as my sister said: Master of Computers), not until I’ve actually had my graduation ceremony.

So: YAY! Soon I’ll be a Master of Science! 🙂

On a less positive note: I left a glass of water next to my MacBook on Friday night, and woke up to discover one of the cats had accidentally knocked it over… all over my laptop. I brought it into the Apple store yesterday, and the logic board needs to be replaced. Damage: £300. Ouch. Guess I should start looking for a job…