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Georgia Tech Deans and Computer Science at UF April 22, 2012

Posted by lifealgo in Computing.
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Recently, University of Florida’s President revealed his plans to dissolve the school’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) department and merge it with other existing programs at UF.

Current College of Computing Dean Zvi Galil and CC founder and Dean Emeritus Peter A. Freeman wrote letters to the president voicing their concern about UF’s decision.

In the words of my friend Taylor W.: “It’s involvement like that, not just in the Tech community, but in the CS industry as a whole, that gains the College of Computing at Georgia Tech the respect it has developed over the last few years.”

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CodingSkills++ August 20, 2011

Posted by lifealgo in Computing, internship.
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My internship at CareerBuilder.com has ended 😦

If I can only say one thing about it, let it be this: holy cow, I learned a lot!

Spending 12 weeks of this summer just coding has improved my programming skills and made me much more confident in my coding capabilities.  It’s kind of interesting how my internship project went through the same motions as my CS classes: began with a “Hello World” tutorial to get used to VisualBasic.net and Visual Studio (<3), started getting used to the visuals of javascript (CS1331), coded up BFS (CS1332)…

Either way, I’m ready to take on the rest of my career*!

CareerBuilder

Interns Fender, Leah, and I at CareerBuilder

*no pun intended, I promise!

Review: Tapia Conference May 29, 2011

Posted by lifealgo in Conferences.
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The 2011 Richard Tapia Conference for Minorities in Computing was pretty fantastic!

This year the event took place in San Francisco, California.  A group of about 20 students were sponsored by the CoC’s Office of Outreach, Enrollment, and Community, and we were really excited both about the conference and the city.

Cool peeps match their shirts!

Our group at the Tapia Conference

I actually wrote a small blurb about the conference over at the CoC’s Student Community page.

Always happy to report the student's POV!

This is what I wrote:

The 2011 Richard Tapia Conference for Minorities in Computer, held April 3-5 in San Francisco, was host to a well-represented group of students from the College of Computing. The event attracted over 500 attendees; Georgia Tech had one of the largest university group at the conference with around 20 individuals in attendance. Students were also invited to the pre-conference Empowering Leadership Alliance meeting, where they were able to personally converse with Doctor Tapia and attend additional talks by prominent minorities in the fields of science, technology, and math.

Highlights of the conference include presentations byBlaise Aguera y Arcas (Microsoft), co-creator of Photosynth, a favorite among computational photography students; Illya Hicks, associate professor in the Computational and Applied Mathematics Department at Rice University, who spoke of football and graph theory; and Patty Lopez (Intel), founding member of Latinas in Computing.

In addition to being one of the best represented universities at the conference, Georgia Tech was also a crowd favorite: a grad student’s research won the People’s Choice Award at the ELA poster showcase.

See photos from the event on the College’s Flickr site.

I was actually able to meet Dr. Tapia in person at the ELA event!  The talks and presentations were all inspiring, thought-provoking, and, in some cases, humbling.  They definitely sparked a lot of discussion among the group of students I traveled with, yet I can definitely say we all left with the same inspiration: no matter how underrepresented we are in the field of computing, this in no way undermines our ability to succeed.

Hooray for randomly awesome friendships!

Tech friends and me with some new friends from the University of Illinois - Chicago!

Programming Summer May 28, 2011

Posted by lifealgo in Computing, Personal.
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I got a summer internship at CareerBuilder!!!!! 😀

I’ll be starting this June and probably working up until classes start… so excited!!

More about that in the future, as well as that Tapia post I promised a couple of posts back.  Lots of good pics are involved 🙂

Grace Hopper! September 23, 2010

Posted by lifealgo in Computing.
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There’s a reason the annual conference for women in science is named after her!

Cyborg for 15 minutes September 22, 2010

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Today I got to put on Professor Thad Starner’s heads-up display/computer.

Older display, embedded in his glasses

His current setup (the eyepiece, not the Mac)

He talked a bit about some of the research he’s currently involved in.  Awesome stuff 😀

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

Insight Into a Third-Semester Schedule October 27, 2009

Posted by lifealgo in Class Madness.
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Like most CS students who haven’t picked their threads yet, I’m still following the suggested career path that was given to us sometime during FASET (wow, that seems like AGES ago… which makes sense, ’cause as Tech students we’ve been mostly awake since).

Anyway, this is what my schedule looks like after two semesters at Tech:

  • CS1050 – Constructing Proofs
  • CS1332 – Data Structures and Algorithms
  • MATH2605 – Calc III for CS
  • INTA1200 – American Government

Although the grand total of 13 credits seems a bit cowardly to me, this semester is turning out to be what my superiors could professionally call ‘very freaking challenging’ thanks to CS1332.

To be fair, the subject matter and material we cover in the class itself is not what makes the course difficult: binary search trees, AVL trees, hashtables, linked lists, and (our most recent topic) graphs… what makes the course difficult is the simple fact that there is a disconnect between the lectures (theory) and our homework (application).

Such realization was helped by an idea CS professor Mark Guzdial recently discussed in his blog, in which he argues that the way in which introductory CS courses are taught at Tech is incorrect.  I was mildly surprised by the objective self-criticism and the fact that someone within the CoC thinks so.

He mentions how studies have shown that learning from example leads to a better performance from students, which contradicts the theory-based teaching format of beginner CS courses at Tech. While it makes sense that we retain information and gain knowledge more efficiently from watching others solve problems first, it’s nice to see that there is at least some proof behind it.

Of course, if all introductory CS recitations/lectures were used to explain code and write methods students would never be able to come up with their own methods and classes from instructions, which contradicts the very definition of software ‘engineering’.

Although some people are able to translate the ideas into code, some aren’t.  It doesn’t help that homework is worth 1/4 of our final grade.

I’ll continue to battle through this weed-out class nonetheless.

Hello world! October 21, 2009

Posted by lifealgo in Uncategorized.
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I don’t even have to edit the title of this journal to make it relevant for this blog!

For those of you who know the significance behind “Hello, world!”, kudos.  Those who don’t know, that’s what the link is for.

I highly recommend you go surf elsewhere if you don’t live anywhere near the ocean or if you’re not interested in computing, programming, Computer Science as a major, Georgia Tech, or all those things combined.

Save for the ‘living near the ocean’ part. It’s alright if you don’t. Or if you do.