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it’s finally cold enough that I’m comfortable.

I haven’t got a video ready for this week, mainly because “this week”  has only been 3 days so far.

Yesterday, there was a CLA-facilitated presentation of the Disney film Wall-E.  After the screening, LC Computer Science Professor Peter Drake spoke about Artificial Intelligence (which is his specific field of Computer Science study).  There was a pretty long discussion about what is possible with computers (and what is not), what we might be able to expect in the future (and how similar or different the technology might be from that represented in Wall-E). It took the better part of an hour and it was a really interesting talk, especially because there were so many interested people there, and most of them do not study computer science at all.

We also talked quite a bit about the Chinese game Go.  Due to the large number of possible moves each turn, Go is much harder to “solve” with a computer than a game like Checkers or even Chess, making it somewhat of a “holy grail” for some AI programmers. Professor Drake has been fascinated by the AI challenges of Go and has made it the subject of his personal research to attempt the development of a program that might eventually be capable of beating the current frontrunning Go algorithms (or even more ideally, the best humans).  This Summer he spent time with a few LC Computer Science students, as well as some computer scientists and Go experts from elsewhere in the US, collaborating in making his program more effective.  Drake’s project has been dubbed “Orego,” and is freely distributed on his website under the GNU General Public License.

Today I went to a student concert at the Co-Op in Forest.  Chill peeps Jonah Geil-Neufeld (’11) and Ariana Lenarsky (’09) played sets consisting of their own music and a few covers.  They’re both very talented musicians and I had a great time. Check out their respective websites for some awesome tunes (my personal favorites: “Carrot Song” by Jonah and “Sun and the Moon” by Ariana).

Class-wise, I’ve been messing around with the Google Web Toolkit (which we’re learning about in my Networks class)  I won’t bore you with the details, but it basically makes it way easier to design quality web applications and I like it.

Finals are coming way too quickly….

Now playing in my ears: “Speakers Push The Air” by Pretty Girls Make Graves

3 December 2008