Monday 26th of February 2018
On 23rd March 2010

An Exclusive Interview with Md Atiqur Rahman Ahad

"Open-access publication is good for many researchers, especially for those countries where access to papers is not available due to fiscal constraint."

My name is Md. Atiqur Rahman Ahad, from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I studied my Undergraduate and Masters from the Dept. of Applied Physics, Electronics & Communication Engineering, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Then I have joined the Dept. as a Lecturer. Later I did another MS from School of Computer Science & Engineering, University of New South Wales, Australia. Afterwards, I returned back to the department in Bangladesh before joining the Kyushu Institute of Technology, Fukuoka, Japan for my Ph.D. program. Currently I am following the JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for two years in Japan. I am working on broadly on computer vision and image processing. The title of my Ph.D. thesis is: "Human Motion Recognition & Behavior Analysis by Computer".

How did you gain interest in Human Motion Recognition?
Basically I worked my 1st Master's thesis in Bangladesh on Semiconductor and communication issues. Then in Australia, I devoted more on computer network and communication engineering-related issues. Later when I talked with my present supervisor in a conference in Bangladesh (ICECE), I found that pattern recognition and computer vision are big challenging areas with ample to do. Moreover, I liked his research approach and intellect (surely, the other side from him was the key no doubt to work under him!), and I am lucky enough to work under his sincere guidance and supervision. I am happy that I worked under him. He is really a brilliant researcher and can somehow bring out from his fellows. Overall, it has been an interesting journey. Those who want to work on this area - jump on it - plenty to do, still many challenges are ahead to unravel.

What trend do you foresee in the Human Motion Recognition area?
Human motion recognition and understanding is still in its infancy I feel - though many researchers are pouring their efforts to solve but still a lot to decipher and definitely the progresses are amazing. The top-rated conferences on computer vision and pattern recognition depict the real picture and we find improvement each year. This area is important I feel and it has multi-dimensional apps for human being for a better life.

How do you approach research?
Hmm! Research approach! ~ definitely it varies from person to person. I would like to point from different perspectives on this case. It may be worthwhile to some supervisors as well as some students who work or will work under different cultures and environment than where he/she was from. Take a note - Japanese nation by default is an extremely hard-working nation. On the contrary, some others are opposite and they work in a relax mode. Some people prefer to work only during the office hours and then relax rest of the time, especially if one has the family along with. So possible conflict or lack of understanding or bullying-concept may arise to some students which should not be the case and both sides must reconcile when there is a gap. Another concern - some supervisors fully control the driving seat of the students and on the contrary, there is full freedom and no guidance even! Both cases are dangerous for the students, especially if the student is from another culture and not so smart outwardly (smartness flourishes with time and scope). In my case, I put my home at home and work in the lab as long as I need and lucky enough for me that my supervisor was not clock-maniac. So he gave me lots of freedom, many hours to discuss and learn through this process.

How long does it take to complete a paper?
For me, paper writing is not a big deal once I have the result. I have a strategy, one may find it useful too; do research and when you need to have some change, write something about your results, or introduction or related works, methodologies, etc. So when the time to write a paper will come up - it may take few days to finish the 1st draft as introductory issues, related works and references, a bit on the methodologies and results are on the card - so less pressure and fill the backbone first. Later, with lots of ease, craft more. For a non-native English writer, writing may be difficult but I think using simple and clear words are essential to boost the confidence. Also, do not feel shy to share your writing with others whom you feel a bit better in writing. This way, one can improve the writing skill. I always prefer plain English as I know many non-native researchers are around to understand what I want to mean through my work. Simple writing is better skill - I feel for me!

What are the most interesting or surprising things you have learned about since your arrival at Kyushu Institute of Technology?
I am in Japan and it is a lovely place to work and visit. So far, I have found almost everyone - very polite, students are extremely helpful and surely they love to work and enjoy through working, reading, dining out together. Australia is also an excellent place but culturally, there are some major differences. Those who want to study in Japan, you may ask me for any query.

What topics have you been teaching so far?
As the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, I have taken different courses in different periods, some related courses are - digital signal processing, communication theory, heat and thermal engineering, solid state devices, etc. I worked as a casual academic in University of New South Wales, tutor in Kyushu Institute of Technology, and several different universities as guest teacher earlier.

What was your most successful moment?
Hmm! Tough call! I do not feel that much so far based on present output. My achievements are mare. However, when I was called to receive the Best Student Paper Award in the Banquet of IWCIA 2008, held in Buffalo, NY, USA - in the presence of the Noble-laureate Prof. Herbert A. Hauptman, it was a moment - sometimes I crack myself - why not better and more like this. I wish I will gain more and better.

Your recommendation and advise for young researchers who would want to pursue research in Human Motion Recognition?
Those who want to work on computer vision or related areas - my humble comments are:
- Read the relevant papers and compare the works and try to understand the basic strategies first.
- When it is required - write to the main researchers to explain you (get the clue from the paper - email or web-searching, etc). This is helpful; most of the researchers will reply to you.
- Be confident and think. The more one will think on a specific area and its vicinity - the better chance to dig through.
- If you are weak in math - improve the skill. I feel the pain now!
- Enjoy your research - NEVER PANIC!

Were you inspired by a famous scientist or engineer?
When I was in Notre Dame College, Mr. Mizanur Rahman Bhuiyan (who is the founding moderator of the Notre Dame Nature Study Club since many years), our biology teacher engraved through his love and care for nature and its people. That prompted me a lot. He is not famous to many but I do care and respect him a lot. My parents are superlatives in guiding us for better education even though they are not up to that mark and we were poor. Overall, when I read biographies of famous people, writers, they have been always a colossal impact on my mind to do well. By the way, so far, my achievement is nothing significant but I would like be the servant of God and to devote my best for the people around and hence I will try to do better.

What is your feeling about open-access publication? Do you recommend it?
Open-access publication is good for many researchers, especially for those countries where access to papers is not available due to fiscal constraint. So it is a new era. However, precaution must be taken so that quick and easy review process does not deteriorate the balance in quality and opportunity. I wish the best for IJCSI. Hope that this journal will move forward with good results for the research communities.

Are you involved with extra-curricular activities?
Yes, I love to watch and play soccer and cricket. I like to cook and travel, reading books and knowing different cultures and people are my leisure activities. But I try to differentiate between work and extra-curricular activities and a sweet-balance will make one happy to do research and enjoy the life with less or no stress!

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