2nd Anniversary, People are Back Home, and I’m still Stuck Here, doing Everything

Today is 9 September 2018, two years ago I’m coming to Shanghai Jiaotong University to continue my study. No idea at all what’s gonna happen to me here. I’m the only stupid person decided to study here from my scholarship program, LPDP (Lembaga Pengelola Dana Pendidikan, Indonesia Education Endowment Fund). And nobody ever told me what am I gonna face in here, while doing my study. Both of my parents never take beyond a bachelor degree, so they can’t really tell me what I need to prepare.

People back there on my old campus, they have some idea about the study in China. Since they send a student every year to study in Beijing Institute of Technology and back to teach on campus.  Well, that’s not my dream, and SJTU far heavier the challenge than BIT, so their story feels a little bit not relevant. And my XLFL, StudentsxCEOs, Intern work, and LPDP awardee, most of them go to Europe, Australia and US. With some goes to the middle east, Japan, South Korea, Hongkong. But nobody ever going to Shanghai.

There are only a few of us LPDP awardee here in China, perhaps just one people in each province. So, I’m coming empty hand and empty head. In term of academic things, well, I’m the worst. I’m not following any formal study, or research or paper or anything related to academic at all while I’m doing my bachelor degree.

So, no wonder everything running so hard for me for the last 2 years. The review is here, all article I have been write about my life in China.

https://ahmadarib.com/life-in-china

Challenge of Master degree in China

And the hardest one is my GPA mark, which is required to be at least 2.7 to graduated. And LPDP stopped my funding, since last August. Yeah, this month I’m no longer get funded by LPDP, not anymore, after two years. And I still need to live here in Shanghai, China. For at least seven more months, March 2019 is my expected graduation.

Everything turns out to be well for my financial, as you could read in my previous blog post. Now money is not my issue anymore. I could live relatively well despite LPDP abandon me here.

For my GPA, I recently open my school account and find out that my mark is finally passing 2.7, yay! Just a little bit above that, since one course that I redo last semester is getting B+. Improvement from last year which I get D. So I could submit my thesis proposal, which I have done since last semester, about my deep learning research paddy pest recognition. It’s on the link below if you guys want to read it, and cited it if needed.

https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3208795

Research work

And that research field is going well; I get contacted by one student from Warwick University, UK, that also work for this field, and would like to use my image dataset.

academic discourse deep learning based paddy pest and disease

And not just that, I get news that one competition about Artificial Intelligence is doing this exact field. With a quite significant amount of money prize. Well well well, it’s time to rolling my sleeve and say hi to my GPU again, time to work.

Deep Learning based diseases competition

Some people research for the sake of research itself. But for me, I want to see the direct result from my research work. I want to work on a problem faced by real people. So that’s why I choose that research on the first place, and it was giving me much. Like get my ticket home, presentation in the conference, finishing my degree materials, and excellent learning experience. This research is the entry point that makes me understand artificial intelligence, even just a little bit part of it.

Final semester

Now I’m in the final game, in the last semester. Doing everything at once, writing my thesis, doing AI research, doing some AI competition. Working with the Indonesian embassy in Shanghai to conduct general election 2019. Working at my intern place where we do web development with WordPress and managing their Alibaba cloud server. Writing about everything with a focus on academic writing and technical writing (now in English, yay).  And Chinese language study too, I have taken another semester to study the Chinese language at Shanghai Normal University. Oh my God, just thinking about it feels so heavy and hard, but that’s my choice.

While my LPDP friends they all already finished their master degree. Some even end it faster, just one year completing the master degree. And here I am, still one more semester ahead, not even finish writing my thesis. But then, everyone starting differently, for me, I’m just a stupid guy from a silly place, that learn everything along the way by trial and error. Wish me luck, and wish you all the best too, my friend.

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