18 Apr 2002 olandgren   » (Journeyer)

School

So today was capstone day. It's the one day of the semester when all of the graduating seniors in the math and computer science departments give a talk on the stuff that they've been working on for the last semester or two. It's really quite fun, as you get to see a lot of cool math and CS. Some of the more interesting talks that I went to today:
  • Goal-Directed Reactive Environment Navigation
  • Genetic Learning in a Real-Time Game System
  • Quadrilateralizing Rectilinear Polygons and The Art Gallery Theorem
  • RSK Insertion and Characters of Cyclotomic Hecke Algebras
I truly wish I understood what Andy was talking about in the last one. It was really pretty math, but I really needed the representation theory background to understand it.
So of course, all this stuff has gotten me thinking about what I'm going to end up doing for my honors project. I think what scares me the most is the fact that I've been working my ass off in classes this far, and it's not going to get easier. Next semester is going to be Discrete Applied Mathematics, Principles of AI, and Internet Computing, plus independents to work on my honors project and capstone, neither of which I have a topic for yet.
Well, that's not exactly true. I just haven't decided between the two topics for the honors thesis. Nargh. At least I'm pretty sure I want to do my capstone on game theory.

Hacking

Hah. Don't I wish - I convinced GOO to compile on my Win2k box, but I haven't gotten a chance to do anything with it yet, which is sad because it looks fun. Tomorrow I get to do a bunch of set maths in Perl - I've got two arrays, one of which is the current state of the system, and one of which contains added and deleted elements. The adds and deletes have to be treated differently, and so we get to do set math. Fun.

Life

bgeiger: I must agree, on reflection. However, change always makes the grass look greener, if only temporarily.
Other than that, I've just been working on trying to help senior friends stay somewhat less stressed than they might otherwise be. This involves stuff like backrubs, listening ears, providing a pint of ice cream or a slice of chocolate cake, make a mix CD, just general stuff that makes their life a little better and doesn't cost me too much. I sometimes wish there was more I could be doing, but I can't think of much.
Frankly, May 19 scares me a lot. I don't know what to expect - I guess I shouldn't be scared of change but the idea of most of my friends graduating and going out into the real world just makes something small inside wince and cringe. What's even stupider is that a decent chunk of them will be around for the summer, so I shouldn't even have transition anxiety. Right.
Here's to hoping that a friend gets an email she's desperately waiting for.

Listening

Jimmy Eat World - Hear You Me

Lately my musical tastes have been ranging back into rock. The Strokes, Dashboard Confessional, Jimmy Eat World,764-HERO, Do Make Say Think. Quite odd. I wonder if it's just springtime.

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