Saturday, February 17, 2018

Study in Germany: where I study

25th Anniversary of Department of Computational Linguistics at Saarland University
I've almost finished my first semester of graduate school and I realize I haven't written anything about my study in Germany. So, I'm currently studying at Saarland University. It is located in the city of Saarbrücken in Saarland region, a small region near the border of France and Luxembourg.

What do I study here? I've actually mentioned in my previous post, but unfortunately, it's in Indonesian. Anyway, the following conversations are usually set up whenever someone (S) asks me (M) about what I study.

IF S has no computer science background and M wants to explain THEN:
S : "What do you study here?"
M: "Computational linguistics."
S : "Ah, so you learn linguistics like ...languages?"
M: "Nah, it is like an interdisciplinary between computer science and linguistics."
S : "Ah, so you learn about programming languages then."
M: "Umm.. well.. not necessarily. It is more like learning about language technologies, like Siri on your phone or Google Translate."
S : "Ah, I get it."
M: (do you really get it??)

Sunday, December 31, 2017

MMXVII

Lake Toba, North Sumatra
Tadinya tulisan ini ingin saya awali dengan ketidakpuasan yang saya rasakan di 2017. Alhamdulillah, saya baca postingannya Fitri yang ini dulu dan jadi berpikir ulang. Ada banyak hal-hal kecil yang lebih patut disyukuri. Perasaan yang justru bisa menjadi pembelajaran, jika diceritakan dengan cara yang berbeda.

There's no place like home

Hal yang paling saya syukuri, di tahun ini saya banyak menghabiskan waktu dengan keluarga di rumah. Karena nggak ngambil mata kuliah lagi dan nggak punya aktivitas di kampus lagi, saya bisa bisa pulang di libur semester ganjil di awal tahun. Hitung-hitung ngisi energi untuk ngelanjutin ngerjain skripsi lagi. Lalu, ngundang keluarga untuk menghadiri wisuda di bulan Mei, melepaskan status perantau dan pulang ke rumah di awal Juni, menghabiskan Ramadhan, Idul FItri, dan Idul Adha dengan keluarga, mengunjungi keluarga di Jakarta selama sebulan, sampai akhirnya siap untuk jauh dari rumah lagi di bulan Oktober. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Living in Saarbrücken

As you know from my previous post, I'd be living in Saarbrücken, Germany, for a full year ahead. Here I'm gonna sum up the story since my departure to the busy first weeks with pictures ;)

The Departure - October 1st, 2017

The 22 hours flight from Medan - Kuala Lumpur - Dubai  - Frankfurt wasn't that bad since it wasn't my first solo travel to Europe so I already knew how it would be like. I was actually trying to bring as few goods as possible but my luggage still weighted 30 kg.

Love of my life. May Allah always grants them health and happiness.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Kembali ke Eropa, dengan Erasmus+ Lagi

Library at Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Trento, Italy

Mungkin ini yang namanya susah move on.

Saya harus mengakui semenjak pulang dari Eropa, pengalaman selama pertukaran pelajar di Italia terus nempel di kepala saya. Mau makan malam di kosan, saya teringat tiap malam masak dan makan bareng teman se-asrama. Kalau mau nyebrang jalan di zebra-cross, saya teringat sewaktu di Eropa kendaraan pasti langsung berhenti. Lagi kuliah, teringat suasana kelas yang super aktif dan responsif. Lagi dibonceng Rifqi di motor, jadi ingat dulu pernah melamun di bus di Trento karena waktu itu nggak nyangka saya udah cukup lama di tempat yang jauh dari rumah. Di saat-saat kaya gitu, saya akan nepok pipi dan bilang ke diri sendiri, “Get a life, Mei! You’re home now!”

Should I come back?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Weekend Getaway in Belgium

Atomium

A week before Christmas holiday, on December12th – 13th 2015, I made a short escape to Belgium with Fara and Mba Anis. They were also Erasmus UGM awardees living in Barcelona. It was a risky idea because Brussels was still in an unstable situation due to Paris terror attack on November 13th. The terror suspect was indicated hiding in the city and the country seemed to reinforce the security. There were apparently several days that the citizens were asked to stay at home. However, according to Mba Lufi and Azka who lived there, the condition was getting better and it was safe to visit the city.

So, here I make a list of achievements I got during the trip!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Graduation #2


It is the day when my name is being called
When I walk to the stage
When I receive a folder with university logo on the cover
When I get my hand shaken by the Dean
When I walk to my parents and kissed them on their cheeks
When my mother cries

Dear my parents,
thanks for bringing me up with loves,
showing my little me how to dream,
guiding me to be independent,
and letting me take decision for myself.
Today I present you a little gift. 
A fruit from the tree you planted and we grew it together.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Graduation #1

mixed feelings behind that smile
Soon after I came back from Italy, I dedicated my time completely for my bachelor thesis. There wasn’t any other wish but obtaining my degree. I set up my plan to start working in August 2016 and do the defense in February 2017 so I can graduate in May 2017.

After discussing the topic with my supervisor, we both agreed to do research in deep learning in speech recognition. Speech recognition (ASR) was new to me. Although I’d learnt a few things about spoken language technology in Trento, I didn’t learn ASR in detail. So, I needed more time to fully understand the concept before declaring my research statement. I worked on the case of speech impairment, dysarthria, so I’d gotta learn a bit basic linguistics, the impairment itself, and the differences between people with and without dysarthria. And the method I used, deep learning, was actually a recently effective method used in many classification tasks. Hard to understand the concept but easy to build with tool (and tutorial). But, come on, I didn’t want my thesis looked as crap so of course I didn’t just follow some tutorials on internet and make a shallow report. I also tried to analyze the method I used.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Buon Viaggio: 2 days in Tuscany

This post has been in my draft for too long. I should have posted its since, well, more than a year ago :v Time may pass, but memories last.

Maliha and I visited Tuscany on 20-22 Nov 2015. We left Trento on Friday aftenoon by Blablacar. Oh Blablacar is so amazing! We only spent 15 euro for Trento-Florence while it would cost us more than 30 if we took train. Then we would use this service quite often. I'll talk about this service in another post.

#1: FLORENCE

Since it was already dark when we reached Florence (a.ka. Firenze), we spent 2 nights there with a whole Saturday was spent to explore the city. Florence is the capital city of Tuscany and considered as the birthplace of Renaissance [source: wikipedia]. It has 2 most famous art galleries, Uffizi and Galleria dell'Accademia. Based on preliminary research done by Maliha, it seemed not possible to visit both galleries in the same day because both are big and famous and have too many visitors and we would waste our time in line. So, basically we must choose one and we decided it would be Uffizi.

Uffizi is open at 8 a.m. and we planned to reach it around 7.30 to avoid the long line. It was the earliest visit I had with Maliha :v And right, we were the second and third visitors after a Korean guy. Thank God I had an apple for my breakfast.

It was an amazing place full of typical Renaissance art, such as sculptures and paintings. I can't talk much about it because I'm not an actual art observer. But there you can find paintings by Botticelli, Michaelangelo, and even Da Vinci. One of the good things was that we were allowed to take pictures inside the gallery.


A hall inside Uffizi