Senior Year : First Impressions

Hello all faithful readers out there in cyberspace. I decided to update this little blog of mine since;

  1. It has been a while.
  2. I just finished my first two weeks of my Senior Year at BSU.
  3. I thought I would like to tell you all how my classes are going, and what kinds of topics you can expect I’ll be filling my mind with over the next few months.

As far as my Fall schedule goes, I’m currently taking 5 classes;

MATH 361 – Probability and Statistics, description from BSU Catalog

Calculus-based treatment of probability theory, random variables, distributions, conditional probability, central limit theorem, descriptive statistics, estimation, tests of hypotheses, and regression. Differs from MATH 360 by providing more thorough coverage of theoretical foundations and wider variety of applications drawn from natural and social sciences as well as engineering.

CS 354 – Programming Languages, description from BSU Catalog

Principles of programming languages: design, syntax, semantics, information binding, strings, arithmetic, input/output, recursion and extensibility.

CS 453 – Operating Systems, description from BSU Catalog

Process management, concurrency, inter-process communication, synchronization, scheduling, memory management, file systems and security. Case studies of multiple operating systems.

CS 497 – Embedded and Portable Computing, description from BSU Catalog

Comparison of commercially available microcontroller and their use in embedded communications and control applications. Power consumption, software development, interprocessor communication, and interfacing with sensors, actuators, and input/output devices. Use of microcontroller cores implemented in programmable logic devices as an alternative to hardwired microcontrollers. An embedded system project is designed and built.

CS 471 – Software Engineering, description from BSU Catalog

A formal study of the software development process. Topics include: life cycle models, requirements definition, specification, design, implementation, validation, verification, maintenance, and reuse. Students work in small teams on significant projects.

So this is about it, as far as classwork goes. I have been coding a bunch, working on understanding all the topics, reading, and trying to keep my head up. I will have much more informative and detailed analysis as I go further through this semester. So stay tuned!

Lately

Hello all, lately I’ve been a bit delinquent about updating this blog. That is for a few different reasons;

  • First, My idea to take Math 333 (Differential Equations) over the summer, has turned into a lesson patience. Way too much homework for one class, and then the teacher won’t even grade the entire assignment πŸ™ after turning it in.
  • Second, I have been working ~full-time at Sybase iAnywhere as the Advantage Database Server R&D Intern expert. I have been writing code in C++ and Delphi (Object Oriented Pascal), making friends with co-workers, and getting my feet wet in the complete corporate structure. I’ve only worked there since February and we already got acquired by a larger German company (shout for joy here about the German part) SAP. A leading provider of business software and database solutions.

As far as at home goes, I’ve been trying to relax as much as possible around my homework schedule, and I’ve been trying to get my hands in some low-level recreational coding with microprocessors to keep my basics (byte alignment, bit manipulation, I/O runtime issues, etc.) in tune as much as possible. Nothing fancy but I do have some neat plans in the work, they include some serial LCD manipulation, some blinking LED’s and maybe some input sensors to start. This is all in an effort to get my C language skills up to par. There has also been a little bit of mountain biking mixed in there as well, which Boise is known for.
Last month was my birthday so I’m now officially 22 years young πŸ™‚ glad to be done with the 21-year-old stigma, and having everyone give me crap about being so young. Special thanks to my family again for the wonderful computer that I got for my 22nd birthday. I’m actually blogging on it right now :), and it has allowed me to take my home network to new limits, including remote access to my old computer globally via. a remote desktop session. My long-term goal is to be able to set up a full streaming server, where I could be able to dial into from anywhere and stream my content, via RTP multicast, UPD unicast, HTTP, or TCP. This has yet to be ironed out but I’m sure I’ll have more information as I become more educated on internet protocols and how to access data in better ways.
Little P-Nut has started to venture into the outdoors and she cannot get enough of it, I’ve never experienced with letting a cat outdoors and she has taken to it extremely well, she stays close, checks in often, and stays out of harms way from what I can tell so far. The only issue is she might be a little too brave. She has enjoyed the rain, the sun, and the wind we so often see in Boise.
Well anyways, enough about me, my job, and my cat. I have included some pictures for your enjoyment.

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Birthday Computer Parts!

Well as most of the readers of this blog know, my birthday is June 21. My lovely family decided to buy me a bunch of computer parts for my new PC!!! So stoked that I get to build this one from scratch exactly like I want. Thanks goes to my mom, grandparents, sister, and dad, who unknowingly contributed too :). So see the pictures below for all the newest swag, I will be assembling this system and getting Windows 7 on it asap. With summer school though this could be a few weeks :(, oh well all in time I say. Besides I got my new monitor already hooked up to my old system (grad present from sister) πŸ™‚

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P’Nut sure likes the parts too!

Settling In

So the site has so far been a success, not sure if anyone has been keeping up on the updates and whatnot. But if you access the main site fosteri.zoneΒ then you can click around and see the new code examples that I have posted, even with syntax highlighting via HTML and JavaScript. Thanks to Alex Gorbatchev and his SyntaxHighlighter code project.
Other than that there is a new about me section and the menu structure has been changed a bit. I’m proud to say that I have wrapped my head around the concept of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) so this weekend I worked a bit on converting all the code to run with these specifications. This has definitely made the process of coding the html for the site much easier. I now see the wisdom in this system.
Personally I have just finished my Spring semester at BSU and am currently working full-time at Sybase. My grades are holding and my GPA is still right where I’m desiring it to be for graduate school applications. Wish me luck πŸ™‚

Finally Getting Set Up

These last few months have been a whirlwind, new job, new school assignments, fun fun fun. Busy the whole way through. Somehow I managed to get this website up and running though. Welcome to the new www.20yearsandthehodge.blogspot.com
I have revamped some things, check out the links, navigate the site, there is a pictures section and video section. I plan on getting some interactive programs on this site and am planning some fun bits for the summer. I encourage you to stay tuned, for now here is a picture of my ugly mug πŸ™‚
selfie

Fight2Win

These commercials have been getting my attention lately.
Fight2Win.Org
It is an organization started by Alese Coco and her Family, this girl was slightly younger than me when she go diagnosed with the EXACT same Hodgkins Lymphoma (Nodular Sclerosing Stage II). She has now passed on but her story really hit me hard since she has been through a lot. It reminds me that every day is awesome to live. This girl had her Hodgkins recur three times and eventually it got her. I can only hope that I’m fortunate enough to avoid a situation like hers.
Its funny since I’ve only been cancer free and in remission for nearly 6 months. Not even close to cured (considered cured after remission for 5 years). I cant let it get to my head, I need to live healthy, stay healthy, and be a good person.

Neat

Thought this video was worth reposting, my buddy Richard posted it on Facebook.
Enjoy!

Some info here also for your enlightenment.

Programs

Here are some of the more visually appealing programming assignments I’ve been working on this semester.
Traveling Salesman Problem – 15k Points in Germany
In so many words, these two programs attempt to find a smaller path between a group of points, the one on the right uses the Smallest Insertion Heuristic and the left used the Nearest Insertion Heuristic. These maps represent the distance traveled and the route taken between ~15k points in Germany!
NBody Simulation – Shown here with a universe of 1000 Asteroids
From Princeton’s assignments, my professor likes to use Princeton’s assignment. Lucky me right! This simulation uses the improved Barnes-Hut algorithm to improve the run time efficiency of this program from O(N^2) down to the amazing O(NLogN)! The left is a simulation that is animated, hard to show here, but the one of the right shows the correct construction of a Barnes-Hut quad tree with the internal nodes being represented by larger green dots in this 2-dimensional universe.