Monday, November 14, 2016

Computer Architecture - a very dry lecture on parallel processing

Today I covered the last chapter of the textbook of 337 computer architecture.  It is so dry and tedious and irrelevant that half of my brain and half of the class are sleeping.  Not the best experience and not the best use of our time.  I should have assign reading assignment, plus a few OK video clips.

It is a challenge to teach the computer architecture class, especially the pure hardware parts, it is probably important to computer engineers, who try to eke out the last drop of performance from the CPU hardware, but for software developers, which most of the students are planning to be, the hardware issue is hidden and not very interesting. Need architects to know the chemistry of concrete?  Not sure.

I pride myself giving interesting, engaging, relevant lectures.  But today's is not.


Time is brutal - the only minor remedy is memory

It all passed on.  The busy days, the relaxing days, triumphant ones, defeated ones.
The veteran's day weekend. Very relax but also cause a sense of unfulfilling.
The 2016 election of Trump is a hot topic around the world.  Spent Friday just reading and viewing news and analysis from the US and from Taiwan and China.  Not much is done but the mood is not peaceful.

People demand changes, that is the nature of human being.  That spur the first group of modern human stepped out of Africa thousands of years ago, it also made Trump and Tsai the president.  Even they are doing OK, the instinct tells them "out of Africa", give it a try, something different might be better.

Doing mundane things mostly - Tennis with Lian Pine in High meadow on Friday, practice what is very important in volley but never have a good habit - split steps and step into the shot, still need to practice since I can't single tennis much because of the right knee hurt after an hour.

Bought a foam based matress for DD on Friday afternoon.  I am surprised that foam based ones are now very prevalent.  It's a good idea, it is much lighter, compact and probably more environment-friendly.

Saturday was a bit more interesting.  Met Susu and Ni Zhang to discuss business connecting Chinese investment in Silicon Valley.  Both of them are sharp, maybe good partners in the future.  Went to meet with Stanford professor Edison Tse, who run Chinese executive development for the school of management and engineering.  Who is somewhat famous in China because of a few books on "Eastern Style" innovation.

Writing books about innovation might be something that I have to soon.

Watched "Midnight Diner", a lovely show about love and hope in a tiny Japanese late night diner. Very sweet.

I have decided a few year back that Sunday should be blank and reserved for the kids, but they rarely want to go out with me since their teen age years.  Did not do much in the Sunday afternoon, as planned, but that emptiness made me anxious.  Sigh.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Bye bye big land cruiser

The land cruiser arrived early 2000, before DD was born. It stayed with us for over 16 years, close to 200k miles. Camping, moving, hiking, long road trips, it brought us to ocean, cities, desert, mountains faithfully. 

We are glad the family receive it is passionate about mountain biking, the land cruiser will go to many more adventures with the young boy. 

Bye bye land cruiser. We appreciate your service, we will remember you. 

Things that make me happy

Waking up seeing the morning sun makes the pine tree glow makes me happy. 

kids play "colorful clouds" on the living room Steinway for fun makes me happy. 

Losing 7-figure in stock market but can still sleepy soundly make me happy. 

Students winning competition makes me happy. 

Counting my blessings makes me really happy. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Monterey Bay Sustainable Manifesto 2012 - found an interesting old doc I wrote


Businesses, local governments,  non-profits, education and research institutes and communities of greater Monterey Bay region have come together and declare the support of the

Monterey Bay Sustainable Manifesto

We have decided to work closely together to take better care of the environments, the nature resources, residents and visitors of Greater Monterey Bay Region.

To make Monterey Bay the best place to live, work and visit for the generations to come, we recognize that being sustainable has to be a central theme of every effort. We understand sometimes we are the problem, we know changing our own practices are challenging, we are working hard together to be part of the solution.

We believe through innovation, education and collaboration, sustainability is achievable and will contribute to long term economic success.  We have started the effort and we are looking for more people concerned with the region’s future to join us.

Furthermore, we believe sustainability is crucial for Hospitality Industry: Monterey Bay is our community that we share with visitors from around the world. As the international standards for event planning are being created to support sustainability, we recognize that such standards enrich both the economic and environmental viability of the Monterey Bay area as a destination that promotes our hospitality industry. We believe that supporting our hospitality industry is everyone’s business that will require cooperative initiatives, creative collaboration, and ongoing dialog. We, therefore, commit to supporting this continuing endeavor.

Eric Y. Tao, Ph.D. - 2012, Carmel


Monday, April 11, 2016

Long drive with Yuan to San Diego and Piano competition

Right after the last rehearsal for the piano competition, I picked up Yuan and start the long drive to visit UCSD.  Yuan drove the first leg, in the dusk and light rain.  She was cheerful when we pull into the best burrito shop in King city.  She spoke with the shop keeper in Spanish.  Against my best judgement, I ordered a huge super burrito with a extra sweet hochata.

We left the King City around 7:30PM, arrive around mid night to the Taiwanese shop in Irvine for a light supper as a reward. Yuan talked about in the trip, I enjoyed it, probably the last few trips I could spend time with her alone.  She has the who day visit planned out, I was happy that she has a goal and a plan.

Arrived at UCSD around 8:30AM as planned on Sat.  The warren college presentation is great.  I believe it is a good idea to have a smaller, social oriented colleges in a huge university.  Other presentation, such as one by economic department, which has the worse dept building I'd seen, and the parents conference, was, as I expected from a public university, mediocre.

Had an another burrito in Warren college restaurant, under the sun and overlooking the canyon, we are lucky the looming el nino storm was delayed.

One the way back, we visit Script college where Yuan got a very generous scholarship, the girl's only private school is rustic and beautiful, feel like Carmel.   But Yuan wants the environment that is richer and more bustling, since she has spent years in the quaint Carmel.

We dropped by the dealer ship to check out a Lx570, the Lexus version of Land Cruiser.  Our trusted land cruiser is over 20 years old and served us well.  It is time for her to retire.

Yuan was quite excited to drive back from L.A., specially during the storm, the rain drops seemed like shooting stars in the high beam.  A great trip, especially she go a few hundred miles of experience.

Fang and Yuan participated the Monterey Bay Piano Competition, Yuan has pick pieces that are too easy so we know there is little chance of winning. Fang played brilliantly, but the competition is severe, the winners did performed better so even though we were disappointed, but the results are accepted.

I felt drained after the long SD drive and the competition and did not do much in the weekend.  I felt bad that I took on many projects be could force myself to put in extra time during the weekend to work on those.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Butterfly in the storm

Butterfly in the Storm
- short poem



They instill the believe in the young us
Having passion and patient
Sky is the limit where all promises and bliss met
We try, strive and persist
Flipping our used to be fragile now frail wings

Oh how we've tried
Believe the tears and sweat would build a ladder to the sky
Before long we would rest on the clouds of eternal happiness

But we are just butterflies in the storm
With strong believe
We are just butterflies in the storm
With frail wings
We are just butterflies in the storm




Friday, March 25, 2016

Trimming the projects

Spend an hour talking to Her Guan Univ on their strategy.  Not sure I should do that, but since president Wang is an acquaintance, I felt obligated.

I thought not directing SCD will relief me, well it does, but not by much.  Current projects, from major to trivial:


  1. Help kids select a college
  2. CS Online
  3. CHU acquisition
  4. IIED
  5. CalGE summer camp
  6. CalGE research symposium
  7. IIED CodeCamp
  8. CalgGE boy scout camp
  9. Digital Otter
  10. CUST ESL project
  11. Teaching in China project
  12. Marina Asian Business Consortium
  13. Seaside Tennis and Swim club acquisition
  14. Stock investment
  15. Real estate investment
  16. Book writing
  17. eat, sleep and live

Need to trim something.

The old ones die and the young one leave

It's the time in life that people close to me start dying. God father Jiang Zhu ping and dear college buddy Wang Lin zhen both passed away last few days. Yuan will for sure leave for college soon, maybe as close as Berkeley or as far as east coast. 

Did not felt too much, since all these are expected. Still, the sadness lingers in a beautiful sunny Carmel day. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Have only my dreams

Love this simple poem:

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. 

- Yeats

Friday, March 18, 2016

Digital Otter Center for Community Services




Issue: Describe the community issue your service-learning organization addresses and how it addresses that issue.

Many Monterey Bay area community members, especially those underserved, need technology support, such as learning basic internet, using basic software, troubleshooting of problems with their computers, and maintaining their system software and hardwares.  There is currently no consistent, organized effort to support the needs.  We establish the “Digital Otter Center” or the DOC, for Community Service to provide drop-in computer hardware/software troubleshooting, technology tutoring, technology advising to local students, small business, non-profit organizations.



Site supervisor's personal connection to issue: Describe your service-learning supervisor’s personal connection to that issue.You will need to ask your site supervisor this. That is, you should not guess or make something up.

“Apply technology to better the world” is one of the Dr. Eric Tao’s missions. Over the last 20 years, he founded and developed several programs in the Monterey Bay region to achieve that mission - the BS Computer Science program, Institute for Innovation and Economic Development, California Institute for Global Education, etc.  Dr. Tao believes that access to technology opens the door for everyone, especially the underserved, to education, career, and economic opportunities.  Digital Otter will empower the underprivileged to gain access to the powerful computing technology. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Have to live close to the ocean

Walked yoyo in Carmel River State Beach this morning at the break of dawn.  Wonderful experience.

Have to live close to the ocean
where all lives are coming from
where the waves are changing yet eternal
the shoreline belong to none but all
the wind and air flow unimpeded by natural or artificial berriers
so you can see, breath and feel forever, in both space and time

Its can be peaceful or raging
can be beatiful or terrorfying
can bring and destroy live
make you think, sing and cry

have to live close to the ocean


Monday, February 8, 2016

Best Job - Monday Morning

There are two best jobs, it seems to me, entrepreneurs and professors.  Both of them essentially work for everyone yet no one.  Both of them have a lot of freedom and take major risks.  In these line of "work", there is no vacation, clock-in or out, the failures are considered learning and winning can be huge.

I am so happy I can be both.

Often, like today, it is hard to get out of bed, after all the parties, meals and tennis yesterday.  But once I got up, I can't wait to get to my office and start another day of learning, teaching, planning, developing, research and helping colleague and students.

Although sometimes I complain that I put in top 1% effort but just receive top 3% income, but overall, I have to say I am extremely lucky.

Back to work.

Living the dreams

I used to just nod politely saying "just fine", when people ask me "how are you doing?".  I decided to change that. ...