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For the past two years, one of my principal professional activities has been teaching. Yes, as part of academia, a big part of our time is invested in preparing the next generations of engineers! (It sounds much more motivating if put this way, instead of just ‘teaching’ :) ). It is not an easy job: The hours can be long, you need a lot of preparation and some time for debriefingand, if you are like me, you assosciate others’ failure (i.

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This is a list of ideas for student projects, mainly targeted at Bachelor students. This list represents some ideas I have that align with my research interest and that I believe are feasible for completing in 2 semesters. However, this list is not exhaustive and it can be a starting point for discussion of other projects. If you have any idea that you think might be appealing for me, please don’t hestitate to contact me so that we discuss it.

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If you know me a little, you know that I have a deep interest in philosophy. Not only that I like philosophising about things, but I actively try to learn more about it and its history. I started reading History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russel this year for instance, a bit endeavour that will probably take a whole year to complete. But that’s just one example. A long time ago, I discovered a pretty nice podcast on philosophy for beginners.

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One of the concepts that I had to use constantly during my research, but never really manage to get my head around, was the concept of transformations represented as matrices. It was something I was not formally taught and ended up being forced to use and understand in a slow and painful way. And I finally managed to grasp it when I would least expect it: when I had to teach it to others!

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Since I started working on the BETER REHAB project, I decided to use ROS as the central platform to implement all the logic for the controller of the robotic arm. This was due to two reasons: a) ROS is considered a MUST for anyone doing robotics and b) I really wanted to learn something new (those that know me can understand that this is a very big motivation for me).

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Once I heard the news about the research grant that I obtained, the first thing that I really wanted to do was to create a website for the project. This way I can communicate the purpose and results of the project to the broad audience and try to make research open and more inclusive. Today I can finally say that I have the first version of the website ready! You can visit it here.

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During one of the last laboratories of the semester, I had a pleasant surprise coming from my students: they had elected me as their favourite professor from their four year of studies. It was a very weird moment for me, as during that lab I was quite angry at them, since we had to stay over hours to finish their projects. But it was definitely something that helped me feel better afterwards :)

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Wow, it seems like I skipped one month (March), but that’s no excuse for why stopping the series all together. So, what did I learn last month? Here’s a list on the top of my head: I learned how difficult it is to drive from Thessaloniki to Cluj-Napoca in one day I started learning how to use i3wm (strongly strongly recommend it!!) I learned how to debug sidekiq jobs in rails applications I learned the modern way of formulating the laws of motion (by the Theoretical minimum series) I continued learning about the History of Western philosophy I learned how to open a jammed door!

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About a year ago (to be more precise, a year and 3 months ago), I applied for a grant at the UEFISCDI research agency. The initial plan was to have the results by May 2017 and start working on the projects sometime during the summer. Long story short, we had quite some delays, receiving news about the ranking only a few weeks ago. Last week, we got the final answer, and the news were good: The government had allocated the budget for the projects for this year and our proposal was among the funded ones!

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Time for another installment on the series of ‘What did I learn last month’!

Here’s what comes in my head right now:

  • I learned even better how to interact with the bureaucratic system.
  • I figured out there are wonderful people serving in some of these bureaucratic positions
  • I learned about ‘rspec bisect’, which lets you find if a failing spec appears due to specific order of execution
  • I learned there is interest for ‘Research in Cluj’
  • I learned about Deep Learning
  • I learned how to inspect a used car for accidents

And probably much much more :)

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