Friday, January 16, 2015

[TAVM] Energy and Carbon-Efficient Placement of Virtual Machines in Distributed Cloud Data Centers

This is the third and final presentation for the TAVM module. The presentation slides are given below, which I prepared by referring to the paper from the original authors

My Professional Journey.. :D

This is a slideshow created by Slideshare, by analyzing the LinkedIn profile. Seems pretty cool. I am still a young student. A long way to go.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Home is where the passport is..

A night in London
When I came to Lisbon for the first time, it marked my first time long-term stay outside my country. To keep track of my life in the foreign country, I wrote weekly blog posts. Before coming to Lisbon, home meant our home in Sri Lanka. It remained the same for a few weeks, even after moving to Portugal. Eventually, I got used to living abroad, and started calling my apartment in Lisbon, "home". I did miss Sri Lanka, specially when I am not well. Not everything works in the same way everywhere.

An interesting observation was, I could not order any other natural juice other than orange juice in Portugal in many of the restaurants and cafe, despite the fact that they had all the fruits to make fruit salad. Probably this is because they make orange juice using the specific juice maker for oranges, and they do not have a regular blender at all. Moreover, if you just order "sumo da laranja" or "sumo da ma maçã", you will be given artificial juice in cans. You will have to ask "sumo da laranja natural" specifically. There were many similar small differences.

I like to travel. Erasmus Mundus came with a mandatory mobility. That means, even if you are not really interested in moving around countries, you will have to. :D My mobility for my masters was Portugal for the first year, and Sweden and Portugal for the two semesters of the second year. Moving from Lisbon to Stockholm was pretty smooth. However, whenever I came to Lisbon from a short vacation from Stockholm, I had the feeling of home. My stay in Stockholm was limited to just 4.5 months compared to my 2+ years in Lisbon.

Then I came back to Lisbon. Now with my doctorate, which is also an Erasmus Mundus program with a mandatory mobility. Unlike the early days, I do not write the weekly posts anymore. One reason was lack of time. The other is, the life abroad has become a norm, than something different to document. Even this post is a summary of many thoughts of the recent past, that does not include any specific event to highlight. 

I always enjoyed travelling with conferences or some work-related travels. They come right in the middle of the heavy work load. I get to travel and enjoy the new city for a very short period, while doing something productive actually. Unlike the summer vacations, these trips come with duties. Presenting the paper, networking, and attending the conference talks and social activities. There were many occasions where I was in the middle of lovely cities, with very little time to go out and enjoy it.

Whenever I go to a new place for travels, starting from the second day of my stay, I feel more and more comfortable to that location. Travelling to a new country or city gives a new perspective of the things. The short stay gives a complete new experience compared to the regular days. The days pass pretty quickly, while leaving pleasant memories. It is like a life inside the life.

I don't travel much due to my studies and/or work. However, I like to travel, whenever possible. I have enjoyed random walks alone in the forests, roads, and beaches. Winter gives lesser opportunity to travel than the summer, specially in the southern Europe. I would prefer a winter vacation in the northern Europe though. :D
It is interesting to note how the Internet and digital media documents and records our life. I started my blog, Facebook account, and Twitter in 2008. I had email accounts since 2006 when I owned my first computer, and started taking digital photos since 2008. So basically my digital / social media life started in 2008. 7 complete years have passed since then. Many things have changed within these years. Improved storage, better media with larger size, more processing power, memory, and resolution, more usable Linux (still remember that Mandrake Linux!), and more bandwidth.

I like the flights. The small cities, green patches, and blue oceans from above let me see how we are small in a relatively huge world. The empty blue sky lets me have a free mind for some serious life questions. :P Only one thing I like least about the travels is the visa applications. I dream of a day when all the countries will be freely accessible for everyone without requiring a visa.

Friday, January 2, 2015

An Introductory Presentation to Google Summer of Code 2015

I was actively involved in promoting open source among university students, when I was in Sri Lanka. This presentation is an evolved and updated version of the presentation that I used in 2012 for the sessions.

This presentation shares my thoughts as an active participant of the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) program since 2009 - with AbiWord (2009 as a student and 2011 - 2013 as a mentor), a light weight word processor, with (OGSA-DAI) Open Grid Services Architecture Data Access and Integration (2010 as a student), an innovative solution for distributed data access and management, mentored by OMII-UK, and with Emory BMI (2014 as a student).

Feedbacks from students and mentors have contributed much to this presentation over time. Feel free to drop me a line, if you have any questions or feedback.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A few things that made my 2014 interesting..

It has become customary for me to write a summarizing blog post each year, with the title "A few things that made my ${year} interesting", summarizing the top 30 events or memories of the year that made the year remarkable and special, since 2012.

1. "The accelerating year" - The year started as a lazy year, and began to catch up and get more interesting and eventful during the last trimester.

2. A year strikingly similar to the year 2010 - A sense of deja vu throughout the year. Many events reminded me the year 2010, probably a larger and more complicated version of the year 2010.

3. Shenzhen 2014 - A two-weeks-summer-break in Shenzhen, China, just before my master thesis defence.

4. Grandma's 粽子 (Zòngzi)! So delicious! Also a tea party in Chinese style.

5. Paris, Once more - This time it was summer, where last time in 2010 it was covered by thick snow, when 4 of us went as a group to SoCPaR 2010.

6. London 2014 - To present my second and final paper of my masters. London was great. Enjoyed the food and the atmosphere.

7. Completion of my master studies - EMDC, which started in 2012, came to an end this year. It was generally successful, and I secured 16.69 out of 20 as the overall grade.

8. Cloud2Sim - My master thesis. It was pretty successful as well. Produced two papers, and a grade 18 out of 20.

9. EMDC Winter Event at Evora - Compared to last year's event, this felt rather like a spring event. However, it was extra special, as I was informed about the EMJD-DC selection results. It was good to give some talk about EMDC life at KTH to the juniors too.

10. Starting of the PhD (EMJD-DC) - This itself was a successful goal.

11. Google Summer of Code 2014 - I became a student after a long time. Last time, I was a student in 2010 with the EPCC of Edinburgh University, under the mentoring organization OMII-UK. This time too, with a university research lab - The Biomedical Informatics of Emory University.

12. Random walks - There was an overwhelming amount of randomness this year. For example, the random walks in London and random explorations in Portugal's coastal line.

13. RĀVAṆA - My initial PhD work. Hoping for better and larger contributions following this.

14. Ilhas Desertas - Long summer day on a deserted island beach in the southernmost Portugal, in Faro.

15. The feeling of missing my friends - We were a group. Then I came back to Portugal alone, end of last year. 

16. UniPlaces - Had a short term collaboration opportunity with this unique team. Though it was just for 1.5 months, due to my time constraints, enjoyed it a lot! This is an outcome of the open source work produced.

17. Random shopping in Lisboa, exploring more (including some serious shopping. :D).

19. A day long walk over the cliffs and beaches of Porto Covo.

20. Obidos Chocolate Festival 

21. CSE Big Brother Big Sister Mentoring - It was an opportunity to meet the younger students and the staff. Since I am away from the country, I do a remote mentoring.

22. Fonte da Talha - The summer was pretty long. I was able to enjoy the beach till the early November.

23. Going bankrupt. Twice! - Immediately following the last year (end-of-year) Nordic countries trip, and also following this summer's Shenzhen - Paris mega trip. But who cares? I survived both times. :P

24. Presenting in a conference after a long time - MASCOTS 2014. Presented my paper after 4 years, again in Paris. This was the second time I was presenting my paper. Last time too, it was in Paris. This also was my first work alone (previous papers were outcomes of team works of 4 of us).

25. UCC 2014 - This is the full paper produced from my master thesis. So the presentation was basically a slightly modified version of my master thesis defence. 

26. Carnivals in Portugal - Witnessed the one in Lisbon and also paid a visit to Torres Vedras. Barcelona one was much better. :P

27. Deadlines - Paper submissions come with deadlines. Working till the deadlines, which often is around 5 a.m Lisbon time was interesting and resulted in a few sleepless or long nights.

28. Visa applications - I did not have to apply for any visas last year, as I did not travel outside the Schengen region. This year, I required visa for China and the UK. Visa applications again! The visa application is not something I really enjoy though. :P This year also marked my 10th country to visit (UK). You may see the beautiful map that shows the countries I have been to, so far (11, including my home country, Sri Lanka).
29. Clearing my GMail - It got like 6000 unread emails, just in the inbox, along with a million unread email in the other filters. Made the count to zero last month also deploying better email filters and labels. Now the email count has grown to 100+.

30. Planning the future (also known as the year 2015. :P) - According to the initial discussions, it seems my second university for the PhD will be KTH. So EMJD-DC is going to be a larger version of EMDC, in terms of mobility, as IST ->KTH -> IST. That also means, most probably I will be moving to Stockholm mid of next year. Once more, year 2013. :)

Thanks for reading my list till the end. If you are really interested, you may also read the blog posts on the year 2013 and the year 2012. :D Let's see what will I have to write on the year 2021 - The 10th post in this series. :)

I wish everyone of you a very happy new year 2015. Hope it will be more interesting. :)