Monday, January 28, 2008


Last Sunday I went out with some friends to see a new ferry that BC Ferries is introducing into the fleet. We got a complete tour of the ferry (including the engine room and the bridge). We also got a free cookie, a drink, and a balloon! One of my friends was interviewed and appeared on the local news.

I had two job interviews last week. The first one was a phone interview with IBM on Monday. I am applying for the Extreme Blue program. The second was an on-campus interview with Google on Friday. I think the Google interview went better than the IBM one. I really don't like phone interviews. They actually made me write code and dictate it over the phone. As I was reading it aloud I noticed mistakes in my code and started trying to correct things. I even started doing crazy stuff like changing variable names and adding features to the code as I was dictating. Of course, this turned out to be a terrible idea since I immediately lost track of what I was trying to do and got confused -_-. I have another phone interview with them in a week, so this time I will try to act a little less flustered.

On Thursday Google invited all the interviewees to a dinner. I thought this was a great event - a good opportunity to learn more about Google, eat free food, and get a Google umbrella. The problems in the Google interview were similar to a typical programming competition. There were three problems which I had to solve and provide time and space complexity. After solving the initial problem, two of the problems had additional twists to make them a bit more interesting.

Today I attended a talk by David Suzuki. I really enjoyed the talk. He is an excellent speaker and covered a wide variety of topics. He started with some background information about his early life and academic career. The main focus of his talk was the potentially negative impact academic research can have on society. He also discussed topics such as Canadian politics, racism, genetics, and ecology. I found it amusing that he voiced a few direct criticisms about UBC. One of these criticisms was the fact that the high tuition fees for international students is not justified and discourages diversity. Another criticism was that UBC Forestry has biased views about logging in British Columbia due to the fact that logging companies are sponsoring and providing financial support to the faculty. After the Suzuki talk I went directly to a presentation by Business Objects. I don't think this is the type of company I would like to work at (I will not be applying for an internship there this summer) but at least there was free pizza.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

AIspace Release

We have redesigned the CIspace website and changed its name to AIspace. The new website URL is The old CIspace website will continue to exist until March 1st, after which all CIspace URLs will be automatically forwarded to AIspace. Here are some of the technologies I used to redesign the site:

- Server Side Includes: using SHTML, common sections of the website were placed into a single file instead of duplicating the code for each webpage. This allows site wide changes (such as adding a new tab) by editing just one file instead of having to edit each page on the website.

- Cascading Style Sheets: used to define colors, fonts, and the overall layout of the website.

- HTML validation: all of the webpages have been validated to ensure cross-browser compatibility. A button has been added to the bottom-right of each webpage to check its validation using the W3C validation service.

- The website and applet logos were redesigned using vector graphics in Inkscape.