All 7 entries tagged Modules

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March 25, 2007

Physics engines are complicated

I’m trying to actually read the Game Physics book rather than just skimming through it. That helps it make more sense, but there’s still far too many equations in it.

I’m finding that I have learnt a lot of the stuff it’s talking about. But not in Computer Science lectures, oh no. The only useful maths has been from the optional modules I took last year like Mathematical Programming 1 and Introduction to Quantitative Economics. Which is annoying, because IQE was rubbish and I’d hate to actually use any of it.

Working on Operation Meltdown, I was shocked to find code comparing strings with == rather than equals(). That broke horribly (as it ought to) when I changed things. The compiler really ought to give warnings for that type of thing.

I now have the code to iterate through all images in a directory in a jarfile, though, so I no longer need to manually load each image by name.

February 15, 2007

Computer Science and irony

Apparently, Computer Science lectures have the worst attendance rate out of all degrees at Warwick. This shouldn’t exactly shock anyone – computer scientists are about as lazy as you can get without actually becoming a humanities subject.

When I heard this, I smugly mentioned that I’ve actually managed to not miss any of my lectures so far this term. All the modules are interesting enough to wake up for.

That was on Tuesday evening. Wednesday morning comes, and of course I find that I’ve overslept and can’t be bothered to get in.

(In my defence, I was at someone else’s house which is much further away than my nice house in Canley, and their clock was wrong. Plus, it doesn’t count if I end up dropping that module.)

January 22, 2007

Update for the sake of updating

It’s freezing outside, so I decided to warm up by doing some fire juggling.

Took part in the RAG pub quiz with the Assassins’ Guild yesterday, where we tied with VGDSoc, despite having about half as many team members.

Also saw a house with a tiny kitchen that we probably won’t be getting. It’s hard to find a house for six people.

I’ve settled on which modules to take this term, which means I no longer have 6-7 hours of lectures in a day.

June 27, 2006

Has it been a week already?

To go into slightly more detail, the bungee jump was awesome.

I've tried to install Gallery to show more pictures from the event, but that's refusing to cooperate.

Got my results, and did well in all my modules except Introduction to Quantitative Economics and Professional Skills. Overall I got 83.4%.

Packed and moved back to Bristol. Have yet to unpack a lot of it.

Did some Perl programming, with the inevitable result that I remembered how totally weird Perl is.

April 09, 2006

Term 2 recap – what I learnt

Design of Information Structures

The lectures varied from useful to uninteresting to ancient Babylonian, but mostly uninteresting. I think I understand the concepts well enough, but they went over a large number of abstract data types that I'm not sure how we'll be tested on.

The coursework was easy enough. It was less interesting than the Programming for Computer Scientists coursework, but it made up for that a bit by not walking us through every step.

Mathematics for Computer Scientists II

I cannot remember what we covered in this module. A bad sign, I suspect. But at the time, it made sense, so I'm sure it's just buried at the back of my head.

Professional Skills

Why should computer scientists have to write essays? It's silly and ridiculous. Almost as silly and ridiculous as teaching essay skills in the same module as Unix. I've so far handed in a suprisingly good factsheet, an absolutely appalling article critique, and a persuasive essay of unknown goodness (probably not much).

The lectures were dull, but I went to them all, so that means that all the knowledge is hiding away in my brain, ready to be accessed at a moment's notice.

Introduction to Quantitive Economics

Macroeconomics is like Microeconomics, only with a different lecturer. And less maths. There were lots of weird graphs.

Computer Organisation and Architecture

The lectures remained mysteriously sleep-inducing, but we had practical labs this term. They were more interesting, especially when sleep-deprived. The last three weeks of labs required me and James to work together to make a game of Pong, using an oscilloscope as an output device. The first two weeks involved a lot of blunders, a lot of confusion, and a lot of doubt as to our ability to finish. The final week involved a miraculous last minute victory over the hardware by me, and an excellent game of Pong created by James (all in one night, without any way of testing it).

There was also some coursework due on the last day of term, but that was easy.

December 21, 2005

Term 1 recap – what I learnt

I had five modules last term.

Programming for Computer Scientists

Taught by the great Stephen Jarvis. This was basically an introduction to Java programming.

I picked Java up quickly, and knew all the stuff to do with Objects/Classes from A-level Computing. There was some new stuff towards the end, but none of it was difficult.

I made several robot controllers, including a final one which I was very pleased with. They got me 100% on both of the courseworks. There was also a test in the middle of term that I scored highly on. The courseworks and the test together are worth 40% of the overall mark.

Mathematics for Computer Scientists I

Lots of maths, all based on boolean logic and set theory. Relations, functions, graphs and probability, with some induction and some infinite sets.

We did four problem sheets, each worth 2% (just for handing in). Problem sheet 1 was randomly chosen to be marked, and will be worth 12%. I guess we get our mark for that when we go back.

Professional Skills

This module covers three areas, and we cover one area each term. This term was supposedly an introduction to Unix, but was generally laughable.

In one lecture, we were told about the ECDL. In another, we were told that exists. There were also some lectures attempting to teach Bash, but nobody who didn't already know the material picked anything up from them.

There was a badly defined assignment, for which the automatic tests given online were wrong and unreliable. Despite this, I got 100% on it, which gets me 30% of the overall module mark.

Introduction to Quantitive Economics

This term covered microeconomics, and next term we'll cover macroeconomics. Or the other way round. Not much of the material really sunk in. It probably didn't help that I missed a couple of the lectures, either.

Despite that, I got 70% on the first class test and 80% on the second. I still don't think I understand the material, but I'm unlikely to put too much effort into changing that situation.

Computer Organisation and Architecture

This started halfway through the term, and continues through term 2. So far we've covered binary stuff and logic stuff, some of which is new, and some of which is stuff I know backwards. We just started assembly language.

We haven't done any tests or anything, but next term we have lab sessions. I'm not entirely sure what they involve.

October 05, 2005

Alan loves mongooses

What is it about statistics teachers and not being able to teach? I’m still working out which modules I want to take.

Statistical Laboratory: meant to be easy marks; dull; parts of it stuff I did for GCSE
Introduction to Quantitative Economics: lots of CATS, so they recommend I only do one other module, also means if I screw it up it’s bad; not sure how interesting it is yet

My diabolo is steadily getting shorter. A couple of times in the past few months, it has broken off at the knot. No problem: just retie it a few centimetres shorter. Unfortunately, a couple of times in the past few days, it has broken off. In the middle. This is the third time now, and I suspect it won’t be the last.

I had a small uh-oh moment about my finances the other day, but it was resolved when I realised that my student loan is £3924, not £3294.

I went to see comedy. To repeat a much abused quote from (I think) Woody Allen, which won’t make sense here: It was good, but not great.

Due to too much time sleeping, I didn’t get a good look at the societies fair. There were some interesting ones, but I’m not sure if it’s worth joining them.

Serenity is out in the UK officially on Friday, with previews on Thursday. Hope to get a “this is what Firefly is; this is what Serenity is; you’re all going to see it” post done, but I’ve been meaning to write that for weeks.

So, if I don’t: Serenity is out in the UK officially on Friday, with previews on Thursday. Go see it.

New blog location

After a hiatus of several years, I’ve started blogging again at

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