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Computer Science is not for the faint-hearted

If there's anything I've learnt this year it's this: Computer Science is not for the faint-hearted. I'm talking about things like artificial intelligence, networking theory, compiler engineering... these are all difficult subjects for instance. I hear some people complain that these subjects are useless. I disagree however because I think it depends entirely on what field you are going into. I think it is still possible to excel in them with a lot of diligence (but also possible to fail them). Continue reading →

And Breathe

And breathe. This semester has been an absolute test of sanity and friendships. I admit it has also been more eventful than it really needed to be, which didn't help much to be honest, however, it's a good skill to be able to focus on your work regardless if you can do it. First the sanity; the workload this year has been quite high. We had loads of coursework (eleven I think) and then you're also expected to do extra reading around the subject and have time to do paid-work. Continue reading →

Paradox of Choice

I don't know if you've ever heard of this, but there's this thing called the Paradox of Choice, which is where so many choices to make can cause anxiety and possibly result in no choice being made. What I'm getting at is this: there are so many fields us ECS-graduates can go into afterwards, I have no idea where/what I will be doing when I graduate. This occurred to me as I was round a friend's house for dinner the other night and they said they were graduating in about half a year or so. Continue reading →

Semester 1, Year 2

Semester 1 of Year 2 has been really hard work, hence, the lack of blog posts. I think to this date, we've had about 12 courseworks. And then there's the January exams. Still... don't panic. Also, I think it's also reasonable to expect that a degree at a world-leading institute such as ECS would be at least *slightly* difficult! One of our courseworks was for the Operating Systems module; we had to implement a memory allocator in C. Continue reading →

Never underestimate the power of friends

Never underestimate the power of friends; they can help you when times get tough... or when you're trying to understand certain obscure concepts in Theory of Computing. In the first year admittedly I didn't go to Zepler labs much, but since the end of last year I've discovered how useful it is to be able to talk to people about work and discuss any problems which you come across (within the guidelines of ECS collaboration policies of course!). Continue reading →

Intellectual Bad-Ass

I'm off on a first aid course tomorrow for my Jiu-Jitsu club. Should be interesting and I have done some basic DR. ABC before (though it's probably more like DRY. ABRCDEZ... now). Also teaching freshers (and 4th-years) some Jitsu which is giving me the opportunity to practice my ability to explain things in plain English and to demonstrate that I'm an intellectual bad-ass. Some good news: I've been offered a gig up in my hometown of Bristol. Continue reading →

IT Innovation

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. Continue reading →

IT Innovation

It's been a month since I've started working at IT Innovation, where as I mentioned in my last post, I got the job. It's a lovely ride up there each day (weather-permitting). I have been assigned to the WeGov Project as that is the one I expressed most interest in at my interview. In a nutshell, I get paid to use Facebook and Twitter. Of course, this is an overly-simplistic summary. My real work is in delving deep into social networking APIs and topic-opinion analysis. Continue reading →

Interview with IT Innovation at Chilworth Science Park

I had the interview with IT Innovation at Chilworth Science Park today. It was quite a nice day out; lovely weather and beautiful surroundings. I arrived 45 minutes early (the company I booked the taxi with told me to get a taxi at 2pm if I wanted to guarantee getting there for 3pm). Having loads of time spare, I had a wonder around the site and it really was gorgeous. Plenty of trees and green space. Continue reading →

Ranked Top 5 Overall for Computer Science

One thing I have come to realise is that being a course representative for a course which is ranked in at least the top 5 overall for Computer Science is not a trivial responsibility. Furthermore, as a course representative, you have to fulfil more than your position. You must not only do your job, but also look out for your course-mates; these people will be with you for the next 3/4 years, possibly longer. You want to treat them well and if you do, they will most likely do the same. Continue reading →