Thursday, October 25, 2007

Busy

This has been by far the busiest semester I have ever had. Four out of five of my courses have weekly assignments. I am close to getting through my midterms - the last one is tomorrow. Besides coursework, I have also gotten involved in some activities outside of class which take up a lot of time.

I have started volunteering at Thunderbird Robotics. I will be working on the AI for UBC's RoboCup entry. RoboCup is a robot soccer competition (we will be competing in the small size league).

I work about 8 hours a week on CIspace. Some recent major releases include the customizable applets section of the website and a new version of the Bayesian Network applet. The customizable applets allow you to choose which interface elements should be included in an applet and then embed it in a webpage. It should be helpful for creating tutorials about AI concepts. I am currently working on the robot navigation applet. I have added a RSS feed to CIspace so you can subscribe to keep track of the latest releases.

I have also been going to practices for the UBC ACM programming competition team. Every weekend there is a small practice contest between universities. We separate into small groups of 2-3 people and work on interesting (and frustrating) programming problems. There are usually around 7 problems to work on and the contests last about 3-5 hours. Waterloo seems to have very strong teams. UBC also does very well and seems to do better than Stanford. There are some incredible people on the team - its amazing to see how fast they can solve difficult problems.

I was also part of a team for vPortfolio. vPortfolio is a competition for creating a short video related to Computer Science. Unfortunately since I didn't have very much time to work on it (and neither did the other team members), we decided to forfeit.

There are some advantages to having a busy schedule. With less free time, I become much more selective at what I do for entertainment. This means I prioritize the highest quality entertainment first, saving myself many wasted hours of low quality entertainment I previously indulged in ^_^. I have still managed to get through several anime series, movies, and video games this semester however. I am currently enjoying the incredible video game compilation The Orange Box. Given how busy this semester has been, I worry about next semester in which I will be taking six extremely work intensive courses.
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