Week 14: Apr 24 – Apr 30

dsc_04171

What did you do this past week?

This past week was fairly uneventful in many different ways. With the school year almost over, I’ve been able to have time for myself. This past week has basically a breather week for me before finals start. Unfortunately, I did have to miss class on Friday because I had to make up a lab for Geology.

What’s in your way?

What’s in my way is the struggle and stress of finals to come. I think I understand this material enough to do fine on the last test this upcoming Friday; I did well on the last test and hopefully I know what to expect from this upcoming test.

What will you do next week?

This next week I’ll be studying for my last two exams in my classes before finals. There’s not much for me to do other than that.

What’s my experience of the class?

Now that the year is pretty much done I have fully experienced this class, and I’ve got to say it’s been a pleasant surprise. Last semester, I heard how much work OOP was and I wasn’t sure I could handle it knowing how busy i’ll be this semester. But after going through the semester and working with new faces on these projects, I’ve understood those projects more than I’ve understood many past CS projects.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

If you’re studying for this upcoming test and looking for a podcast to watch, check out this podcast hosted by Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte discussing about many security topics.

Advertisements

Week 13: Apr 17 – Apr 23

dsc_04171

What did you do this past week?

This past week was the ending of our last OOP project. It was actually a nice one; in my opinion a lot better than the previous project. Perhaps it was cause I was already familiarized with the thought processes since they were pretty similar conceptually, or maybe I just understood it way better. In any case, my partner and I finished pretty quickly while taking the weekend off the project too. With this past us, all that’s left is the final test.

What’s in your way?

In my way is just the long haul of the end of the semester. At this point, many of us are already burnt out of the year and genuinely want it to end as fast as possible. However, I can’t slip up.

What will you do next week?

This next week will begin the long nights of studying for my upcoming finals and finishing any projects and tests I need to do for my other classes. The school year has finally come to and end and many things are starting to slow down and not take much time. Therefore, I have quite a lot of time on my own hands.

What’s my experience of the class?

Nearing the end of the year, my experience of the class still hasn’t changed. I still recommend this class to many CS majors who are thinking of what classes to take.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

My tip-of-the-week is the settle down and really start studying for these finals these next couple of weeks. All our projects are done and you can really start focusing on studying. If you haven’t done very well on the recent quizzes, make sure you go back and look and them and fully understand why you got it wrong and why the correct answer is correct.

Week 12: Apr 10 – Apr 16

dsc_04171

What did you do this past week?

This past week we started Project 5. My partner and I got the first two parts of the project passing already by Friday. We put in a lot of work because I went home to Houston this weekend for Easter. I like my new partner; she’s friends with a couple good friends I have in one of my organizations.

What’s in your way?

In my way is a couple of tests this upcoming week so I need to split my time studying for those and working on this project. I do think this project is a little easier to grasp than the previous project, so I’m not too worried about it. I’m more focused on doing well on my tests, specifically Geology.

What will you do next week?

Next week i’ll be studying quite a lot and staying at the computer lab pretty late. I’m sure my partner and I can finish this project pretty soon. We only have a couple weeks left of school so I have to pick up any slack that I’ve had in the past weeks.

What’s my experience of the class?

My experience in my class is good. I’m enjoying this project quite a bit and the lecture material is getting easier to understand. My quizzes are starting to fall a little bit but I just blame that on some silly mistakes.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

Here is a giant handbook titled Competitive Programmers’ Handbook. It’s an introduction to competitive programming, just in case you wanted some help on joining things such as HackTX.

Week 11: Apr 3 – Apr 9

dsc_04171

What did you do this past week?

This past week we finished up Project 4. Now by far, project 4 was the most stressful project of the semester so far. My partner and I were barely able to turn it in at the very last 10 minutes. We just could not optimize our HackerRank code fast enough for that last test case to pass. We spent the whole day just trying to make our code faster. But luckily enough, we were able to do it by adding a boolean vector that corresponds with the grid that checks if you even put something in that row and check whether or not you need to look through it.

What’s in your way?

The main thing that will be in my way this upcoming week is Easter weekend and how it’ll be hard to be able to work on things while visiting my family at home. Hopefully i’ll be able to find a partner soon and work on this upcoming project as soon as possible. On an unrelated note, I have a pretty terrible sunburn from camping this weekend so it’ll be pretty hard to function this week.

What will you do next week?

Next week will also be just trying to find a partner and starting as soon as possible. I do plan on starting my studies soon so I can bring the B+’s i have to A’s with the next round of tests coming around.

What’s my experience of the class?

My experience of the class is still the same. I’m liking the vector class material we are going over and it’s very easy for me to understand and follow along. While the project was extremely stressful to do, it was still doable, which is more than I can say for other CS classes I’ve taken.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

In case you’ve been questioning your life decisions about being a CS major like I’m sure many of us do, here’s a post that could help boost your moral.

Week 10: Mar 27 – Apr 2

dsc_04171

What did you do this past week?

This week was the start of Project 4. I was able to get a partner and we’ve been meeting every day since. I also attended the Atlassian talk on Monday. It was interesting; it kind of opens your eyes to how even major companies can still make performance errors. I did apply for their internship after the talk just because I really enjoyed their values and how much emphasis they put on teams. I was pretty interested in HipChat and how it would distinguish itself from other major instant messaging services.

What’s in your way?

The only thing in my way right now is the time constraints between me and my partner. He is a bit more busy than I am, so we need to finish this project in what time we do have together.

What will you do next week?

Next week we’ll be finishing Project 4. I have no other homework in any of my other classes as of now, so this project will be the top priority.

What’s my experience of the class?

My experience in this class is still enjoyable. The only thing that has changed is the difficulty of the projects and the more stressful they’ve become. Luckily, Prof. Downing has been giving relatively easier quizzes, so those aren’t nearly as stressful as they used to be. I’ve been getting 5’s on them for quite awhile now. (Please don’t change that after reading this)

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

My tip-of-the-week may be obvious but I do think you should focus on finishing the HackerRank portion of the project as fast as possible. For one, it’s worth half of the project points. Not only that but it’s easier to understand and organize since there are no separate files you need to worry about. When you finish HackerRank, you’re essentially done with the project. All you need to do is translate your code between the files you’re given and make sure they work with each other.

Week 9: Mar 20- Mar 26

dsc_04171

What did you do this past week?

This past week was the first week back to school and it consisted of a struggle to getting back into the groove. I couldn’t afford to be lazy since I had 3 tests and Project 3 due by the end of the week. Therefore my past week consisted of a lot of time at the GDC and a lot of time at the PCL. Not only that, one of the organizations I am a part of had an event this week that I volunteered to help out and dance in so that took up most of my nights. I suppose an easy way to get back into school is just throwing you in the deep end of it.

What’s in your way?

Now that all these tests and my extra-curriculars are truly over, I don’t actually have much in the way.

What will you do next week?

We have been given Project 4, so next week will be starting and understanding the project. I do, however, need to find a partner. My semester has finally winded down a bit time-wise so i’ll be a lot less stressed out for the rest of the year.

What’s my experience of the class?

My experience in the class still hasn’t changed. Project 3 was quite a difficult project just syntactically; my partner and I had a hard time figuring out the small, minute details about the syntax of the project to correctly implement it. Likewise, we spent a lot of time going over the project math-wise and double checking we were accessing the allocator correctly.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

My pick-of-the-week is a daily blog that summarizes important or influential papers about computer science. It has some good read for all subsections of computer science that any CS major will find interesting.

Week 8: Mar 5 – Mar 12

dsc_04171

What did you do this past week?

This past week was the last week before spring break and the end of my competition. I honestly felt like I didn’t do much this week after my Geology lab midterm (which sucked) on Tuesday. I was ready to get the week over with and didn’t pay attention much in class. Luckily, many classes for me were canceled anyways.

What’s in your way?

Right now, while its a big one, the only thing in my way is spring break and the laziness that comes with it. I know that I have a couple of tests the coming weeks after I come back and that our most recent project, the Allocator, is due the week we get back but it’ll be a challenge to communicate effectively with my partner over this break.

 What will you do next week?

This week is my week to relax and forget about school for a little bit. However, I will be working on what I can with my partner for this next project so we aren’t stressed out the week we come back. Likewise, I need to get ahead of the game for my upcoming tests to keep my grades up.

What’s my experience of the class?

My experience in the class still hasn’t changed much; it’s still a great class to be in.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

My tip of the week is simply just to take this week to relax and get back into the correct school mindset. It’s a much needed break from school. However, don’t completely ignore it as many professors do have tests the week we come back. Take the break to also fix your sleep schedule and to study at your own pace instead of cram.

Week 7: Feb 27 – Mar 3

dsc_04171

What did you do this past week?

This past week we took out first test in the class. I did a lot better than I expected I would, however the test also wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I don’t know if Prof Downing did it on purpose (there’s no way he wouldn’t) but some test questions just gave free answers out to other questions if you paid attention close enough, and for that I am grateful.

What’s in your way?

This week is the last week before spring break, so that means it is going to be very hard for me to focus. It also means my performance is this Friday, so it is crunch time for that and practices will start going until 2 to 4 in the morning. This means there is going to be very little time for school work, which basically means I won’t be sleeping.

What will you do next week?

This next week is kind of a free week school-wise. I do have a midterm Tuesday and I can only assume we’re starting the next project for this class. Knowing my partner for this project, I’m not terribly sure we’ll even start this week.

What’s my experience of the class?

After taking that exam, I’m really excited for this class. Obviously paying attention in class is helping a lot and it’s not like I’m forced to pay attention; I’m actually interested in it. To be honest, I didn’t study that much for the test because I already felt like I knew the material pretty well (and the cheat sheet saved lives) just from attending lectures.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

My tip of the week is to utilize all your resources available to you when studying for the tests. Honestly, those group documents that were posted on piazza were extremely in-depth and any question you had that wasn’t on it could be answered by a quick side note on the doc. I talked to some people who didn’t know of the shared documents and they, truth be told, didn’t do as well as some people who did use those cheat sheets and went through the practice test. You shouldn’t have to study by yourself, and it’s best not to. It’s kind of equivalent to pair-programming.

Week 6: Feb 20 – Feb 26

dsc_04171

 

What did you do this past week?

This past week was a very chill week for me. I officially dropped one of my classes so I have a lot more time for my other classes. However, last week starts the long haul of studying for the test in this class (and catching up on readings I missed woops).

What’s in your way?

Currently, there’s quite a bit on my plate this week. A lot of things are stacking up and I wish I had more hours in the day. My competition is coming up next week and many projects are starting this week for me. There’s also this test coming up.

What will you do next week?

Next week is just a giant mess of work for me. I need to continue studying for this OOP exam and going over past readings and quizzes. This week also starts a huge project for one of my other classes, so I need to get a head start on that so I don’t get too overwhelmed later on. Meanwhile, this is the last week of actual practices for my dance competition. There’s all this stuff and very little time.

What’s my experience of the class?

My experience in this class hasn’t changed since the first week. HOPEFULLY, it won’t change after the test if I do well enough. I’m praying that the quiz grades right now will not predict my test grade.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

While this may be a little sketchy and might not be allowed, I found a github of a previous years’ quizzes. It’s definitely helping with studying as it gives me more practice problems than the daily quizzes (and is definitely a redemption for the quizzes).

Week 5:Feb 13 – Feb 19

dsc_04171

What did you do this past week?

This past weekend was the final week for Project 2. Not only that, I had quite a bit of tests. It’s a miracle that my partner and I finished the project a day earlier. However, we never fixed our unit test cases, even after going to a couple TA sessions. My tests went okay, did great on one and not so great on another.

What’s in your way?

After this past week, there isn’t that much in my way. I have decided to drop a class, which frees up quite a bit of my time for my other classes and for myself. It’s mostly just extracurricular and social stuff that is in my way.

What will you do next week?

This next week will be a week for me to rest. All my tests have passed by other than the test for this class. Therefore, I will also begin reviewing for it as much as I can. Other than that I don’t have many plans at this point.

What’s my experience of the class?

This class is definitely my favorite CS class I’ve taken here. The projects aren’t too stressful (as of now) and Downing is a great lecturer who explains everything very well. The questions he asks in class to people aren’t terrible at all and he’ll normally go over it beforehand anyways. Hopefully, the test next week won’t be as bad as a lot of CS tests.

What’s my pick-of-the-week or tip-of-the-week?

One thing that helped my partner and I immensely on this last project is the use of print statements. While it may be a simple concept and maybe common sense, it’s still an important thing about debugging your code. We would let the code run with print statements and looked at the .tmp in order to help. On the unit tests, we just copy and pasted our code into another program like Eclipse and attempted to recreate the problem with print statements.