Cary Young’s Video Blog

a function of more than two inputs is linearly separable if a hyperplane separates the true cases from the false cases.

Hello, internet.

It is finally Spring break!  It sure took its time getting here, though.  This last week, I spent *almost* every free moment I had studying for my Computer Science midterms on Friday.  I think I probably spent 15-20 hours forcing myself to understand, among other concepts, the likes of Sigmoid Units, Red-Black Trees, and the (worst, average, and best case) efficiencies of about 6 or 7 different sorting algorithms, plus how to implement them (upshot: use quick sort if you’re me, use merge sort if you’re smarter than me, avoid bubble sort unless you’re doing something trivial).  In the end, both tests were significantly less complicated than I had been preparing for.  I’ll take that, but it was actually a little frustrating because I spent so much time studying the harder concepts that I think I got tricked by some really easy questions that I just wasn’t expecting.  Oh well, I’m gonna just try not to think about it until I get the grades back.

Midterms weren’t the only thing we had to worry about finishing in the Computer Science classes this week, there was also a pretty cool assignment involving programming Lego robots.  My group pretty much rocked it and got some extra credit, so that’s about as good as it can get, I think; an A+ for playing with Legos… not bad.

This week I’m probably not gonna be great at letting you know what sort of stuff happened on campus recently; I spent almost no time doing fun things, just a lot of library-camping.

Yesterday, there was one cool event; at 9pm, a group of interested parties gathered in Council Chambers to watch the series finale of Battlestar Galactica on the huge screen.  We had a very good time, and it was great to watch the best show on televesion ever in the history of the world on what basically amounts to be a movie theater screen.  It was bittersweet and epic.  Oh well, nothing gold can stay, Ponyboy.

Wow there’s a lot of nerd in this post….

I’m gonna see Ratatat in a week and Defiance, Ohio in two… does that make up for anything?

Now playing in my ears: “Not Fair” by Lily Allen

22 March 2009

pop

Hangin’ at OHSUComputer in the ICUFirst Meal in 2.5 daysSo, I haven’t posted in a little while, but I have a pretty good reason.  Two weeks ago, my spleen ruptured (pitiful hospital cellphone-photos to the right)!  I woke up on Tuesday morning (March 3rd), with some pretty significant pain in my side, so after passing out, I went to the LC Health Center.  They looked me over and told me to get to the hospital.  LC generally sends its students to OHSU, which is the closest hospital to campus (and is one of the best in the area, anyway).  My roommate Seth drove me and after waiting zero minutes in the ER waiting room (yeah, I guess there aren’t many emergencies at 8AM on a Tuesday?), I was seen.  After a number of cool medical tests and another episode of passing out, the CT Scan confirmed that I had a very large, very ruptured spleen.  I was checked into the ICU in the afternoon and my parents showed up that evening, having driven down from Tacoma.  I spent the next 3 days in bed, getting my vital signs monitored and having blood tests every few hours.  Once it was apparent that I was healing and not hemmorhaging, I was moved to the less-strict trauma ward, where I spent 3 more days in bed, but with bathroom and shower privileges.  I was released last Sunday, and ever since then I have been basically doing homework in all of my free time, trying to catch up.  I didn’t do much work in the hospital, both because I didn’t have my textbooks and because many of my assignments were group projects. Anyway, I’m generally recovered, though I have some cool restrictions, for example, I am forbidden from lifting things heavier than a textbook for 6 weeks.  So that’s kinda sweet, until I realized that one generally lifts a lot of things throughout the day.  Oh well, it turned out significantly better than it could have; I healed on my own and I still have my spleen (even though it’s apparently angry at me for something).

Since (or because of) that whole ordeal, I’ve come to realize a few things:

-OHSU is a really great hospital, and it’s nice to have a great hospital 10 minutes from your college.  It also has fast wifi.

-Lots of people like me.  Well, not just me, I think this would have been the case for everyone, which means that LC has a pretty good support network for incidents like this: Not only did my friends constantly visit me during my week in the hospital, but some of the CLCs showed up, and I got periodic phone calls from the Health and Counseling Centers, as well as supportive e-mails from my professors, on-campus employers, and Student Support Services.

-Professors are generally very accommodating in times of a student’s illness, especially if the student maintains contact with the professor and keeps them in the loop and have an open dialogue about what length of time should be a realistic expectation to get late work in.

So, like I said before, I’ve been pretty much constantly working on school stuff since getting back from the hospital.  I’m almost caught up, but there are still 2 computer science programs I’m not quite done writing.  Hopefully by the end of the week!

In non-splenic news, there are some pretty significant changes coming to LC next year.  Some are good, some are bad, but I’m relatively convinced that they’re all necessary given the financial situation of the institution (and everything else).

Still, for full disclosure, because I don’t know what all the cool LC literature says right now:

-Our free shuttle to the Sellwood neighborhood will not exist next year (this affects Freshmen hardly at all. Sellwood’s cool, but there are other ways to get there, and most people never take that shuttle).
-Our free shuttle to downtown will still run during the mornings, evenings, and on weekends , but will not run during mid-day (this one is slightly inconvenient; In the time I’ve been a student here, I’ve used the shuttle 3 times during those hours.  There is always the #39 metro bus, though).
-More money for financial aid (financial aid is actually going up, not down)!
-No pay increases for administrators (sucky for them, but certainly a sign of solidarity).
-Staff/faculty computer replacement now on 5-year cycle instead of 4-year (doesn’t really affect students at all, just means that some staff might get stuck with an old computer for a year longer than before).

Our new Student Government Constitution was voted in, so that’s also cool.  Hopefully the student government we have next year will be a lot more effective and transparent than it has recently (though, to be honest, we’ve done a pretty okay job this year, if I do say so myself).

I promise that a cool video is incoming… I just need to get a handle on my backed-up schoolwork and upcoming midterms first.

12 March 2009

achy and sleepy and bored

This past week was a bit difficult for me, mostly because I was sick.  By Thursday, I had a 103 degree fever and then spent 2.5 days in bed.  It was less than ideal.

On a good note, next weekend is Parents/Family Weekend, and I think some of my family might drive down from Tacoma to visit, so that shall be fun!

Also next weekend, there’s performances of The Blue Room (the Spring play) and a showing of the movie Milk in Council Chambers.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a whole lot of news about this week’s happenings, as I spent most of it trying to thwart my illness.

I do know that there’s a dance tonight hosted by Black Student Union, with the theme “Divas and Hustlers.”  Those of us out of the loop were really confused why people weren’t getting offended, but apparently it’s a reference to a Beyonce song.  So, I guess that’s okay?  I don’t think I’m going to attend (I’m socializing in the Forest Hall CLC’s apartment, with some friends and the RD’s cats and ferret), but it was really well-publicized and the posters looked cool.

The Music Coalition has locked down a pretty popular Portland musician for a show in April.  The artist’s name is probably not appropriate for the admissions department blog, but here’s a hint: Star*****r.  From what I’ve gauged thus far, the LC peeps are pretty psyched for this show.  You know a band’s good if they can gain a following while having the F-word in their name.

Now playing in my ears:  “Estrogen Oxygen Aches In The Teeth Again” by Loudermilk

28 February 2009

it almost didn’t snow this week

New video!  I finally gathered enough footage about the student art center to give it a little feature here.  It’s a really awesome space, and it is one of the many highlights of campus that prospective students see on their tours.  Here’s a more detailed look around than one might get on the typical campus tour…


(band featured playing at the Platteau is the awe-inspiring Metal Shakespeare Company, which is comprised of LC alums.  Catch them on tour and/or buy their CD!)

Had a statistics test, that was fun.  The cool thing about statistics test is that afterwards you can argue about how he curved it and why he should do it differently.

On my mind lately is the work I’ve been doing as part of the student government; we’ve been meeting to hash out the details of a new Senate-based constitution.  Our current student government is organized in a way that many of us feel lacks transparency, accountability, and a logical, businesslike open venue for discussion.  Our new draft, if revised and approved by the student body later this Spring, hopes to address a lot of issues that we’ve had in recent years with budgeting for student groups and maintaining student interest in and support for the student government.  We believe that a group of students in charge of allocating hundreds of thousands of dollars and making decisions that literally affect the entire student body should be run as smoothly and honestly as possible.  I just hope enough people will care enough to take the time and effort to care about the changes we’re proposing.

Today I took a trip to the Bins.  For those of you not from Portland, I shall tell you what the bins are.  They are a giant warehouse of items that were too broken, weird, unorganized, or overlooked to make it to the shelves of the Goodwill retail locations.  Yes, the Bins is Goodwill’s outlet store.  It gets its nickname from the giant green bins full of disused items that are wheeled around from mob to anxious mob.  While I concede that 99% of the stuff there is probably not something I (or anyone?) would want to take home, there are always a few gems.  Once I found a relatively pristine vinyl copy of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” in one of the many book bins.  Today did not pass without a treasure’s discovery.  I bought a framed painting of a polar bear for $3 (yes it’s a painting, not a print).  This place is often where LC students go to buy furniture for dorm rooms or recently rented houses (though we also check craigslist’s “free” section); one can generally find armchairs ranging from $3-10 and couches from $5-20.  Many of them still work. Mostly.  Since the bins full of items are largely unorganized, most things are priced by the pound.  Yes, you can buy clothes in bulk like candy at the supermarket.  The treasure-hunting aspect, as well as the rummaging and competition to find something cooler than everyone else makes this a great hangout for hipsters, of which we have many in Portland.  It’s also cool for us regular folks, too, though.  At LC, you’ll quickly learn that before you make any major purchase, it’s wise to first check and see if the Bins has it at 1/20 the cost of retail.

Final tidbit, although probably not interesting to the general population, the LC Gaming Society’s World of Warcraft guild grouped up to beat the mean scary dragon at the end of the game (Malygos).  We stole his loot and now we are bored.

That’s about all for now.

Now playing in my ears: “Rise & Shine: The Mixtape” by Ghetto Sunrise

19 February 2009

board games, concerts, computers, and dr. horrible

Quick update this week; I’ll have a video post next week for sure.  I’ve been studying and such.  It was my 21st birthday on Monday.  I felt pretty sick (from actual sickness, not what you think) so I didn’t go to class, but I did some low-key visiting with a few friends in the evening.  My friends Lillie Mae and Dith baked me a 3-layer rainbow funfetti cake, which was delicious and way too big.  In the evening, I went to the bar/arcade (”barcade,” if you will) Ground Kontrol with my pals Nick and Amy.  Since I don’t drink (actually the truth, not just for the sake of the admissions blog), turning 21 basically just means that I can finally go to cool places and watch good concerts without having to worry about age/time restrictions.  So, we had a fun time at the arcade for a few hours, playing plenty of classics (classics for me, anyway) like NBA Jam and NFL Blitz and Dance Dance Revolution.

This week on campus, the Slam Poetry club is hosting three events; on Tuesday and Thursday there are student slam competitions, and on Wednesday Lewis and Clark is host to the Spilljoy Ensemble Tour, which promises to be an exciting and well-attended event.  It’s been getting a lot of positive buzz around campus this week.

I’ve been working on planning Casino Night.  Traditionally, Lewis and Clark has an evening during which professors deal and operate casino games for the students.  We gamble with fake money and at the end of the night we can spend the money for raffle tickets for some cool prizes (I think last year the prize was a Playstation with Rock Band).  A few years ago, the event would have a dance attached as well, and was a relatively large draw for students.  Two years ago, the dance was axed, and last year the event was scaled down even further for a number of reasons that are no longer relevant.  This year, we’ve basically tried to undo all that and go back to having a really awesome evening.  We’ve hired the DJ who did our Homecoming dance (by most accounts, including my own, he’s pretty solid) and have got a bunch of cool prizes lined up to be dispersed at the end of the night.  The only hangup I can see right now is that we’ve scheduled it for Valentine’s Day (don’t ask me).  So, assuming the date doesn’t ruin us, we should have a really fun party where we can interact with the faculty on a level that isn’t normally available for students.

Speaking of which, last weekend was Chinese Food and German Board Games night at my Computer Science professor’s house.  I think I’ve blogged about this before a bit, but he hosts a board game party for all of his students (and really, the entire math department) once a semester.  I attended with some of my computer science buddies and was pleasantly entertained by the likes of Galaxy Trucker, Settlers of Catan and 24/7.  One recommendation I have for you, regardless where you attend (or will attend) college: go to your professors’ social gatherings if you’re invited.  Not only is it usually a really fun time, it really strengthens the student-teacher relationship, plus I’m sure it doesn’t hurt for recommendations and such for a professor to know you in a capacity that’s not just as a student in the classroom.

I’m pretty excited about a plethora of good Portland concerts coming up: MDC, Defiance Ohio, Cave Singers, Boy Eats Drum Machine, Four Tet, and plenty more.  Being 21 means I can now get into venues like the Doug Fir, Holocene, Berbati’s Pan and Someday Lounge.  There are plenty of good all-ages venues in Portland, but, to be honest, there are a lot of 21+ shows here, and sometimes that can be frustrating for the younger LC students.

Now playing in my ears: “Rockets Fall On Rocket Falls” by Godspeed You! Black Emperor

11 February 2009