IT Innovation

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As you may have read I’ve done a summer internship at IT Innovation. At first I did some user interface design work, followed by some business process modelling, and finally, some Twitter research! I researched how to rank users based on their influence rather than using a trivial method such as looking at the amount of followers they have. It was both challenging and interesting work that involved some Set Theory and required some diligence for both me and my supervisor in order to make sense of certain algorithms. The algorithm we concentrated on used the unsupervised machine learning technique, Latent Dirichlet Allocation and matrix manipulations. The good thing was that I felt as if all the theory I had learnt in my first year was definitely being put to use! From my own understanding and experience, IT Innovation is if you like, a half-way house between research and development, applying computer science research to real-world problems in partnership with both academia and industry. I would definitely recommend them as a good place to do an internship with as not only do you get experience (and a fair wage) but also you get to make friends as I and some others have done. In a nutshell, it could not have been better and if I was offered another place next summer (hint hint) then I would definitely be up for going back there! I was even awarded a free [unofficial] lunch and pint at the end of it and was given a thank-you card and a company mug. Always a nice touch…

I managed to slip back into university life with the usual kerfuffle of finding your new lecture rooms and realising “oh wait there are TWO building 45s” (!). (Seriously, somebody needs to change that.) When I say slip, what I mean is that it hasn’t been that hard and the general impression I get from everyone is that this year so far is actually way more interesting because it’s more applied, even though it is more technically involved in some aspects. I admit so far this year my time has been consumed trying to find the best operating system for my EEEPC 4G (701) netbook (which is why it has been a while since my last post). After trying EasyPeasy Linux, Xandros Asus-Edition, Ubuntu and PupEEE I think EasyPeasy wins as it’s basically Ubuntu but specifically designed for the EEEPC so all the drivers work out of the box. It also looks nice. Also it doesn’t insist on you using Firefox 2. And it looks like it’s maintained still. I didn’t go for Windows 7 as I felt this would be too big for my 4GB solid state drive and plus I prefer to use Linux out of choice.

This year I have made the decision to organise my notes more and read over them more, rather than leaving it closer to exam time. I’ve decided to use WordPress for categorising and tagging my notes as it “just works” and is ideal for its purpose. Feel free to read them, but they’re more for my own benefit. Of course, if it helps you or gives you some more insight on to the course I study then I am glad! I’ve already had a few hits from some of my coursemates.

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