Cary Young’s Video Blog

getting back in the routine

So, I’m back at school.  We started classes last Tuesday (though I think most of us skipped our morning classes to watch the inauguration on the huge screen in Council Chambers).  This semester I’m taking quite a few computer-y courses, plus two others: Artificial Intelligence (CS 369), Algorithms (CS 383), Statistics (Math 255), Seminar: Biblical Studies–Jesus (RELS 450) and Bowling (PE 101-10).  So far they’ve all been really fun and interesting (though the Religious Studies one is going to be a lot of work, I can already tell).

I made a short video about the apartment where I’ll be living this semester:


I really like that I’m able to, as a Computer Science major, take high-level courses in other fields (like Religious Studies), without having to worry that it might affect my graduation date and such.  There are certainly advantages to studies more directed in one area, but, in my opinion, it’s nice to be able to dabble liberal arts style.Board games!

It’s been snowing a lot (for here) this winter.  Not only was our finals schedule all messed up because of snow closures, but we’ve had a fair amount of snow since returning from break. Tuesday, I was supposed to have my first Bowling class, but once I got to the bowling alley, we found out that the coach had called and canceled for the day (yeah, it would have been nice to know *before* I risked life and limb to get there, but it was okay–we bowled a few games since we were there anyway).Snow as seen from Manzanita

I’m sure I’ll have more to note when things pick up in the coming weeks.  Right now I’m just sort of settling and getting used to the changes that come with a new semester.

now playing in my ears: “Thank You For The Music” by ABBA

29 January 2009

woke up to this

 snow

That is all.

14 December 2008

winding down, eventually

Well, finals are around the corner and most people are a bit stressed. That being said, the next few days are designated “reading days,” which basically means they’re free days meant for studying, meeting with professors, finishing up class projects or papers, etc.  Some people treat them as free party-before-finals days, though, so I’m sure Thursday and Friday will be interesting.  It’s always an interesting situation, seeing some people having a great time all day and night, and then others with no choice but to study for 2 days straight.  Anyway, I hope everyone gets done whatever they need in order to have a successful semester.

I’m really looking forward to going home.  I definitely want a break from LC for awhile (I like Portland, but I miss my cats, family, and home friends).  I’m just ready to be done until January.  I’ve decided to stop being a CLA (RA) for the Spring, and I’ll be living in the apartments with my Computer Science/World of Warcraft buddy Seth.  I haven’t lived with a roommate since early November of 2006, so I’ll have to get used to some changes.  I’m  expecting it to be awesome, though.

There is a crazy amount of last-minute-of-the-semester events going on.  Tonight is when 24-hour quiet hours start in the dorms (and technically the whole campus), so there can’t really be any loud events after today.  Since that’s the case, there are Directing class final scenes, an a capella show, an improv show, a student concert, a metal show, and (I think) one or two other events all happening tonight at roughly the same time.  It is going to be hectic!

See you all in January!Dreadlock flyer

now playing in my ears: “Pennyroyal Tea” by Nirvana

10 December 2008

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

downside to no sales tax in OR: when you go home everything is expensive

 I’m typing this from my rocking chair at home in Tacoma, with my cat by my side (it is Thanksgiving break).
Classes all seem to be gearing up for finals.  I know I was hammered with assignments before Thanksgiving Break; it’s too early to start reviewing, but there’s not much class time left to learn much more new material, so that basically means it’s time for projects and papers!  I just turned in an essay in International Affairs, and the Old Testament class has been hard at work on a multi-stage 20-page research paper/project.  In Networks, we just chose the topics for our final projects.  I think I’m going to be working solo on a networked tic-tac-toe game.  I feel like it’s going to be pretty simple, so that means I’m probably going to have to spend a bunch of time on it because it will inevitably become complicated.

minus the bearLast weekend, the band Minus the Bear played on campus.  It was a really good concert; on the logistical and planning side of things, it was kind of a fiasco, but the band were all really cool and nice to me, so that was good.  It could have been a lot more stressful than it was.  And the music was great, so there’s that.

 

 Anna Spackman ben bateman  

Also last weekend, the Platteau Student Art Center in Platt West residence hall held its monthly open-mic night.  Student performers from all over campus (and some who live off-campus in houses or apartments) come to share their performance art (mostly music, but some poetry, dance, stand-up, personal essays, and many other things) or to try out new things that they may be working on perfecting.  It’s a really cool experience every time it happens, and many people here look forward to it every month.  This year we had to extend it to 3 hours because the normal 2-hours we’d allotted were just not long enough to include all of the people who want to perform.  The really cool part is that most people stay through the evening, even if they just came to watch a specific friend (and most performers stick around for the duration, too).
After the show, some friends and I stuck around in the Platteau and jammed (I guess “experimented with sound” is more correct). We just brought some of our instruments there and tried to make weird noises and play off each other, it was pretty cool (if you have the means, go turn the gain way up on an electric guitar and try singing into the pickups!).
Only a few weeks left in the semester… so much to do!art outside JR Howard Hall.  I don't know why it's there, what it means, or who made it.

now playing in my ears: “Untitled 5″ by Tera Melos

27 November 2008