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What about the CoC? February 25, 2010

Posted by lifealgo in Mentors Program, Personal.
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Looking at other student blogs I became aware of the fact that although I always talk about the College of Computing I have yet to mention how I feel about it.

I mentioned some of the reasons during my interview for the Mentors Program.  This is what I answered when asked why I wanted to be a mentor:

I think it’s great that you’re automatically putting all freshmen in the mentors program.  I wish I’d been in some sort of program like that in my first semester.  I know that the first year can be extremely hard on some people in terms of confidence in your ability to do well in here, whether you want to be a CS major or not, all the general uncertainties.  I know because I went through that during my first year, I was doubtful and insecure.  I live off campus and the transition from high school was really tough on me, and it was really hard for me to start to meet people.  I think the mentors program can help with some of that, and I want to be part of it.

That was the only answer I gave during which I wasn’t nervous at all.  I was simple, honest and jittery.  I keep on mentioning it to people. but the more I think about it the more surprised I am that I only started getting to know people this last October – when I started this blog.

Yet I always get to a part where I want to explain my gratitude and I have to attempt to pinpoint why I like the CoC so much: it might be the faculty, my peers, the sense of community among the students, maybe the TAs helping students helping other students in the commons, or the robotic dinosaur I walked by today, or the elevator doors opening to reveal a man carrying a disembodied car door through the third floor, or all the different organizations and the awesome people in them.

All those things make up the College of Computing for me – it’s my web, my motivation, where I bounce from when I stumble.

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TechTopics: PHP February 20, 2010

Posted by lifealgo in Uncategorized.
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GTACM has been planning these for a while now, and this semester they were finally able to create “mini classes” to teach students (CS and non-CS alike) about stuff that is not normally offered in classes, such as PHP.

Due to the lovely layer of snow that covered campus last week, the first TechTopics class focusing on PHP and MySQL was postponed for this week.  I left work at 4 and headed towards Bunger-Henry where I discovered two things:

  • I need to read room number signs more carefully so as to avoid wandering around looking for a classroom *cough*
  • The acoustics of Bunger-Henry’s staircases outdo the (former) creepiness of the third floor of the CCB holy crap

There were certainly a lot more people in the class than I expected, at least 30 students.  I’m assuming most of them are CS, but I believe this class is open to all majors.  Everyone simply walked in – it was quiet, organized, and students helped themselves out when one couldn’t figure out something.

Since it’s pretty much an “Intro to PHP”, this first class centered on setting up the tools to code in PHP (Apache, MySQL) and the syntax of PHP and other basics: variable declaration, if statements, loops, associative arrays, print statements, among others.

I made my first PHP file along with the class and, as it’s happened every single time I code in a new language, my computer decides to hand me challenges because the file is still not showing up on my localhost projects!

Hurdles aside (for now!) TechTopics has set its path on a very good beginning.

AFLAAAAAC! February 18, 2010

Posted by lifealgo in Company Visits.
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Aflac visited the College of Computing yesterday evening.

Of course, I believe the CoC community might have been aware of it judging by all the hand sanitizers, bottle holders, duck-shaped stress balls, and fluffy, screaming ducks scattered around the Commons, States Lab, and undergraduate lounge.  Also, the abundance of ducks may or may not have led to duck-throwing in CS2110 Lecitation.

Swag aside, I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by them; it was really cool to learn about all the different departments and divisions they have for CS.

I PROMISE! Also, I'm assuming you read xkcd.

I promise this is NOT how I pictured Aflac's computers

I got a splitting headache halfway through the presentation and still had it when it ended.  Still, I was able to talk with Tony Huey and Miranda Azzam (college recruiter) after the presentation, but had to leave before I could talk with Ben McMillan, the last representative and Georgia Tech CS graduate.

Because there’s always a Tech graduate at these recruitment events!

I guess Aflac made me realize I have yet to fully assimilate the versatility of Computer Science 😀

I promise this isn’t how I pictured Aflac’s computers

Happy Valentine’s Physics February 14, 2010

Posted by lifealgo in Class Madness.
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“So, what are you doing this Sunday?”
“Studying for Physics *sigh*”
“Only that?”
“Yeah.  What else would I do?”
“But it’s Valentine’s Day!”
“Oh….”

Well, Physics, it’s just you and me then.

The questionmark is there for a reason.

The true date is tomorrow at 6PM

College of Computing Mentors Program! February 3, 2010

Posted by lifealgo in Mentors Program.
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I GOT IN!!! 😀

The College of Computing interviewed 40 applicants to participate in the second year of the Mentors Program and I was one of the lucky 30 that were selected*!

The behavioral interview was definitely nerve-wracking.  Even then, it’s good practice for future interviews.

I almost didn’t apply because I thought I couldn’t, since I would technically “get hired” by the College of Computing for another job.  It turns out I can be a mentor AND keep my work-study job (yay!).

Our first meeting was yesterday.  It was wonderful to meet the rest of the mentors and rearrange chairs and potato chip bags and avoid rogue sharpies and pens to make enough space to create posters about ourselves (with SHARPIES!).  I’m absolutely ecstatic about working with them this next year and definitely looking forward to meeting my mentees in August 🙂

* My mother mocked my odds when she read this.  Sure, 30/40 sounds pretty good, but there was still a 25% chance that I would not be picked!