Tag Archives: life update

Navigating School Life, One Day at a Time

Once, somewhere, someone said “live life one day at a time”.

That’s basically how I’m approaching my school life, seeing as how an onslaught of due dates and final presentations is rapidly approaching.

So, in stark contrast to my proposal to “live life one day at a time”, I’m now going to list what’s going on and coming up.  You may have seen this list before, but there are updates now.

Am I freaking out?  Not really – I think things are going to work out.  Just have to take it one day at a time.

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Hello Graduate School

Well, it’s official.  Today, I handed in my acceptance form for Graduate Studies here at the University of Toronto in the Computer Science Department!

Now I just need to keep my cGPA above 3.2…

Assuming that I get my B.Sc. without incident (because who knows, maybe the University will fight me for it…citing missing courses, insufficient credits, etc.  I’ve checked all of this with New College and the Drama/CS departments, but I’ve been here too long not to be ready for bureaucratic tom-foolery…), I think I’ve got an interesting year or so ahead of me.

This summer is already looking quite busy, but here’s what I’m looking forward to next year:

Interesting Courses

I’ve been leafing through the Graduate course calendar, looking for courses that sound good and fulfill my breadth requirement.  Here are the courses I’ve underlined as “interesting”.  Note that I haven’t checked the timetable at all to see if these conflict with one another.  They just sound interesting:

  • 2125H – Software Development Tools and Practices:
    This course is an introduction to software consulting practices. Students will be paired with clients whose problems require advanced knowledge of computer science to solve, and will then work under the direction of the course instructor to develop and deliver useful results. Topics will include requirements elicitation, scope negotiations, deployment concerns, and disaster recovery.
  • 2412H – Computer Algebra
    Algebraic theory that underlies symbolic and algebraic manipulation by computer. Chinese Remainder and interpolation theory, fast algorithms for computations with integers, polynomials and power series. Newton and Hensel iteration, polynomial and integer gcd algorithms, factorization of polynomials, the fast Fourier transform, solving systems of polynomial equations, Gröbner bases. The Maple computer algebra system.
  • 2426H – Fundamentals of Cryptography
    Rigorous definitions of security for pseudo-random generators, digital signature schemes, secure hash families, and public-key encryption.. Methods (including number-theoretic conjectures) for constructing these secure cryptographic primitives. Methods for using secure primitives to achieve secure session-key exchange and secure sessions.
  • 2511H – Natural Language Computing
    Introduction to techniques involving natural language and speech in applications such as information retrieval, extraction, and filtering; intelligent Web searching; spelling and grammar checking; speech recognition and synthesis; and multi-lingual systems including machine translation. N-grams, POS-tagging, semantic distance metrics, indexing, on-line lexicons and thesauri, markup languages, collections of on-line documents, corpus analysis. Python software.
  • 2529H – Computer Animation
    The primary focus of this course is on kinematic and dynamic techniques for character animation. Topics include physical modeling and simulation, motion planning, control and learning algorithms, locomotion, motion trajectory optimization, scripting languages, motion capture, and motion editing. Students will implement algorithms and interactive animation tools and then use these to produce motion for animations.
  • KMDI1001 – Fundamental Concepts in Knowledge Media Design
    Knowledge media are systems incorporating computer and communications technology that enhance human thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, and learning. Examples include the Web, email, instant messaging, knowledge management systems, digital libraries, collaborative virtual environments, video conferencing environments, and webcasting systems.
    This course reviews the emerging field of knowledge media design, and the use of digital media for communications, collaboration, and learning.

I’m also looking into the possibility of hopping (back) over to the Computer Engineering Department to see if I can take ECE568H1 – Computer Security.  My general dislike for engineering courses notwithstanding, this still sounds like an interesting possibility.

(Note to self:  the word “notwithstanding” just felt right to put there, but is that correct usage?  I have no idea…)

Thesis

Well, it’s no surprise – a Master’s student is expected to produce a paper in order to graduate.  I have absolutely no idea what I’ll be doing my thesis on, but the number of possibilities is exciting.

It’d be nice to somehow merge Drama and Computer Science into a thesis – and I think it’d be an appropriate finale for my career here at UofT.  It’s something to mull over while I have time, anyhow.

Launching OLM

OLM is going up in the fall.  Whether or not I work on it this summer, as a TA, I’ll probably be using the software to mark and return student code.  “Eating one’s own dog-food” might be appropriate here – though I prefer, “eating the sandwich I just helped to make”.

Drama

A lot of my friends from the Drama department are either graduating in June, or staying on for one more year.  A bunch who are graduating are staying in the city, and the prospect of doing some work with them outside of school is exciting.

We’re all very spoiled here at the UCDP – modest budget, multiple rehearsal spaces, etc… working on our own stuff outside of school might be a very humbling experience.  Humbling as in, rehearsing in alley ways or rooftops, and using an audience holding flashlights instead of our own lighting grid.  Cool.

Operation: Party Mansion

This one is still in the works.  Some buddies of mine from highschool (who are also my roommates) are looking to buy some property in, or around downtown Toronto.

This may sound ambitious, foolhardy, and naive, but we’re serious, and a lot of legwork has already been done in order to get this moving.

Ideal scenario?  Next year, I’ll be living in a big house with my highschool buddies.  And isn’t that living the dream?

Anyhow, as I was saying, my Grad school papers are in, so my brain is going to put that on the backburner for a while.  Now I have to focus on my CSC301 midterm for this Wednesday, and an evidentiary analysis on CIA/JFK Assassination links for INI304.

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What my Brain is Chewing On Right Now…

I’ve been neglecting my blog.

So here’s just a taste of what’s on my mind right now:

School

  • I was recently accepted to Graduate School at the University of Toronto, in the Department of Computer Sciences.
  • I went on an OLM refactoring sprint this past weekend.  Parts of the code were driving me nuts, and I feel much better about it now.  I think with this past weekend, plus the code spring over reading week, I’ve made some nice headway with this project.
  • The UCDP Directors’ Shows are underway!  Lots of tech work to do around here, and nobody sleeps when the shows are up.
  • My CSC301 midterm is coming up.  I need to beef up on Design Patterns, Intellectual Property / Copyright Law, and a crapload of Javascript/CAKE/Canvas stuff
  • I have a “site specific” movement piece that I need to write/choreograph with a group.  I’ve got a good group, but the assignment looks hard.  This is my final project in Movement class.
  • I need to memorize and present a personal letter / journal entry from an explorer / conqueror for Voice class.  This is my final project for Voice.
  • I need to memorize and rehearse my scene for Twelfth Night for Performance class.  I also have to write at least two pieces of short music for it.
  • I have to write a 12 page paper, weighing the evidence supporting the notion of CIA involvement with the assassination of John F. Kennedy for my INI304 class.
  • My CSC301 team and I need to beef up our Family Tree Viewer for the final presentation

Personal / Career

  • I’ve been offered the opportunity to work on OLM this summer
  • I might be doing GSoC this summer.
  • I’ve been offered the opportunity to work for several impressive startups in Toronto
  • I’ve been offered the opportunity to work for a large school board
  • I’ve been offered the opportunity to work as a stage technician for the Toronto Fringe Festival this summer.  This would make two summers in a row, if I do it.
  • I’m heading to Poland in late June with a bunch of my UCDP classmates, to see some overseas theatre.
  • I want a vacation.  I miss family, home, Grimsby.
  • There are several theatre companies using the UCDP facilities over the summer, and I’ve been offered the opportunity to stage tech for them, and otherwise get involved.

So, I’m busy.  But I’m enjoying it.

Anyhow, that’s what I’m up to.

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Hey everybody!

I’ve finally hopped onto the blog bandwagon.

So here’s what I’m working on, or have been working on in the past few weeks:

  • I’m writing a paper for INI304 about how awful the Warren Commission report was at making a case against Lee Harvey Oswald after the JFK assassination.  Seriously – if Oswald had gone to court, his defence lawyer would have had a field day destroying all of the inadmissable evidence.  He would have gotten away, scot free.  How convenient he was killed before he could be tried…
  • The University College Drama Program production of Martin Crimp’s “Attempts On Her Life” wrapped up last Saturday, and for 7 hours yesterday, we destroyed/recycled the set.  It was a good show, ran for two weeks, and was selling out right up to the end.  I’m hoping to put up some photos soon.
  • I’m working on a project this year for Prof. Karen Reid called OLM…or Checkmark.  Actually, we don’t really have an official name for the project just yet.  It’s an online marking tool for CS undergrad classes, and it’s written in Ruby on Rails.  Check it out.
  • I’m playing Feste from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in my DRM400 Performance class.  If this thing goes public, I’ll post it.
  • I have to memorize JFK’s “We go to the moon” speech for presenting after Reading Week.  That’s for DRM401 Voice.

There’s plenty more where that came from, but that’s the major stuff.

Anyhow, here’s my blog.  I’m on the internet now.  Woop woop.

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