Categories
University - Masters

Constraint Programming Module Result – 80%

One of the more challenging modules I’ve taken at York is Constraint Programming. It’s was an interesting module to take because it was much more mathematical than other things I have done before, and also because it introduced an entirely new way to think about programming and problem solving in general.

Most of the programming I have done has been procedural or, in other words, telling the computer how to solve a problem. Constraint Programming on the other hand allows you to specify a problem through constraints and then ask a finite domain solver to solve it.

Important elements of the process that we covered were: Developing an abstract syntax of a problem; converting from an abstract syntax to a concrete syntax (The constraint programming language MinZinc); symmetry breaking, implied and dominance constraints, and configuring search through the problem space.

The complete process came together in the 100% weighted coursework, in which we developed a solution to determine the minimum number of sheets, of a given size, required to satisfy a given demand for certain sizes of ply wood.

I was given a grade of 80% for the coursework, which I was happy with 🙂 This now means that I have all of my grades for the first half of the taught part of my course:

  • Model-Driven Engineering: 80%
  • Concurrent and Real-Time Programming: 99%
  • Evolutionary Computation: 80%
  • Constraint Programming 80%
  • Average: 84.75%

This means that now, short of an absolute disaster, I should achieve an overall mark of distinction in the taught part of the degree.   🙂 However, there is no rest for the wicked and I am already around half way through the coursework for my Formal Specification and Topics in Privacy and Security modules.

Danny

Categories
University - Masters

EVCO – Evolutionary Computation Coursework and Module Result – 80%

The Evolutionary Computation module I took in my first term of this year was assessed through one piece of coursework worth 100% of the module.

In this coursework we had to design an evolutionary algorithm to produce tanks for a tank battle game called Robocode. The algorithms we designed were judged on their ability to produce tanks which were robust against a diverse range of other tanks — in other words their ability to solve a multi-objective problem evolutionarily.

Many forms of evolutionary algorithm could have been used to develop these tanks, however because all tanks in Robocode are compiled Java classes I decided to use a Grammatical Evolution algorithm. As well as the standard GE algorithm I also produced a coevolutionary algorithm which employed grammatical evolution.

I found the real skill in evolutionary computation was working out which parameters to use in such an algorithm (e.g. What population size, how often should mutation of a gene take place on average, which breeding method should be used, how many codons of genes should there be), and developing a BNF grammar that wouldn’t result in too much recursion and therefore invalid tanks once you ran out of genes to generate code which got you out of the recursion, but was still useful.

The coursework was marked based on the report we produced explaining our decision making processes, analysing our algorithms and using statistical methods to evaluate our algorithms and tanks. By the time I was finished I had written 15 pages and had a further 25 pages of appendices.

Overall I found the coursework quite enjoyable, and the best tank I produced was quite amusing to watch as it flailed around the screen constantly rotating its turret and shooting at any enemy it could find.

I’m happy to say that I found out last week that I achieved a grade of 80% for the coursework, and therefore for the module overall. This keeps me on track for the Distinction I so badly want in the degree overall.

Danny

Categories
University - Masters

MODE Assessment 2 Coursework Result and Module Result

Today I received my grade for the second assessment of the Model-Driven Engineering module. In this open assessment we built on the work we had done in assessment 1 by developing a graphical editor for users of our Media Library model, developing two model-to-model (m2m) transformations, and a model-to-text HTML report transformation.

I’m happy to say that I received a mark of 83% for part two of this module, giving me an overall grade of 80% for MODE.

This grade alongside my 99% for CRTP means I’m currently in a very good position to get a distinction in my masters degree, which has always been the aim.

Due to some mitigating circumstances I am still working on my EVCO and COPR module assessments, and expect to have these finished by the end of this week. I will keep the blog updated with information about them (and hopefully some non-academic blog posts once I get some more free time)

Danny

Categories
University - Masters

Concurrent and Real-Time Programming Module Result – 99%

Last week I took my first sit-down exam at The University of York, it was for the module “CRTP – Concurrent and Real-Time Programming” and was worth 100% of said module.

The module focused on the concepts and theories of concurrent and real-time programming that would be useful independent of any particular programming language as well as having a series of practicals in which we used the Real-Time Specification for Java. Having only used very basic threading a few times it was nice to flesh out my knowledge in this area.

Due to the fact that I hadn’t taken an exam here at York before, and not knowing much about the institution and its style of examination I was a bit worried about how well I would do. Therefore I made it my aim to do a week and a half of solid revision — which was tough, but cemented all of the concepts in my head really well.

The examination consisted of 3 questions, each worth 50 marks, of which we had to answer 2. Each question had some Book Work — essentially questions asking about concept for which an answer could be recited from a book — some Analysis, usually of code, and a hard unseen problem — which involved writing Java code for the Real-Time Specification for Java, by hand.

Even after having completed the exam I wasn’t sure how well I’d done. Fortunately the papers were marked 3 days later and I was very surprised, relieved and happy to find I had achieved a mark of 99%. I was later told this was the highest mark that had ever been achieved in the module.

The same day as the CRTP exam I had to hand in a coursework for my Model-Driven Engineering module. I will of course keep the blog updated about that and the two other courseworks I am currently working on for my Evolutionary Computation and Constraint Programming modules.

Thanks,
Danny

Categories
University

Year 3 Semester 2 Results

Today I received my final set of grades for my BSc (Hons) in Computer Science from the University of Hull – This included my two second semester modules, Mobile Devices and Application and Distributed Systems Programming, as well as my Final Year Project.

I achieved a grade of 85% in Mobile Devices and Applications, and 89% in Distributed Systems Programming.

The final year project was worth twice as many credits as each second semester, and so had more of an effect on the final grade. Thankfully I did quite well in the final year project, achieving a grade of 86%.

My overall weighted average for this year, including my first semester modules grades, is 86.5%.

This grade, weighted with my second year grades, means that my final grade for my degree as a whole is 86% – a very high first! I am of course over the moon with this.

I’d like to again say thank you to everyone who has made my time at university not only great for learning, but truly the best three years of my life (so far! :P). Particularly, but not limited to:

  • Rob Crocombe
  • Simon Watkins
  • Hayley Hatton
  • Russell Billingsley
  • Toby Russell
  • Jon Rich
  • Tom “Jeff” Procter
  • Special mention to “our American foreign exchange students”

 

  • Dr Martin Walker
  • Eur Ing Brian Tompsett
  • Rob Miles
  • Dr David Parker
  • Dr Peter Robinson

And of course anyone I spent time with in the labs or any of the many, many nights out in the first two years. Last but by no stretch of the imagination least thanks to my Mum, Dad, Brother and Sister for supporting me throughout the last 3 years.

I’m looking forward to trying to maintain this good score next year at York! Of course I will continue to do this blog throughout my time there too.

Danny

Categories
University

Semester 1 Year 3 Module Results

Today everyone at the University of Hull got their results for semester 1 of this year, including myself.

Semester 1 this year was almost certainly the most challenging semester I have taken so far at university, as you might expect. This increase in difficulty meant I had to put in even more effort and be even more determined than in previous years — therefore I was both pleasantly surprised, and extremely happy with my results — 90% for “Data Mining and Decision Systems” and 83% for “Languages and Their Compilers”.

These grades, combined with my grades from last year, put me in a very good position to get a first class degree, which of course I’m very happy about.

I will of course keep the blog updated over the rest of this final year.

Danny

Categories
University

Electronics and Interfacing Exam, Coursework and Module Grade

Robots. Infrared. Kill Switch.

3 of the more exciting terms in Computer Science, it has to be said — and also three of the integral parts of the Electronics and Interfacing module, which I haven’t spoken about much this year. This is due in part to the fact that I spent a lot more time on the other modules I took this year, and partly due to the fact that the coursework and exam for the module were both at the very end of the year.

Infact my final exam for the module was only yesterday, my last for the whole year, meaning I’m now at the end of my second year of university 🙂 Expect a second year round-up blog post soon.

Coursework

The coursework we were given for the module was to build, and write the software for, two devices in a team of two. One device, a Robot, would be controlled by another device, a Controller via an Infrared link using a command and control protocol we came up with as a pair. I worked on producing the Controller whilst my partner worked on producing the Robot itself.

Below you can see the LCD Screen I programmed to show Bitmap images (don’t think anyone else did this) which could be touched to control the devices trajectory or to activate the Killswitch — which stopped the robot dead in its tracks. Next to that you can see the potentiometer which could be used to alter the speed of the robot, and finally alongside this you can see a physical button which also activated the Killswitch, for those times when the responsiveness of a touch screen wasn’t enough and you wanted to smack something! 😛

All of these items when used together were used to control Eric, our robot, whom you can see below.

Eric The .NET Micro Framework Robot
Eric The .NET Micro Framework Robot

I received a grade of 71.25% for the coursework.

Exam

The exam, which I took yesterday, focused more on the electronics portion of the module, and now the terms Ohm, Amp, Volt, Potential Difference, AC, DC, Current and Resistor and burnt into my memory forever. In addition to the questions about electronics there were a few questions on the .NET Micro Framework, Threading and other embedded programming specific tools.

As it was an electronic exam I have already received my grade and am quite happy to say I achieved 84%, though I was hoping to do a little better.

Module

This means overall I achieved a grade of 77.6% for the module, which is my lowest grade of the year and therefore a little disappointing, but still a reasonably high first so I’m content.

Danny.

Categories
University

Networking and Web Technologies Exam Result

This is literally what happens in Networking

Today, at 1:30pm, I took an exam for Networking and Web Technologies. Questions ranged from asking us to explain what a piece of JavaScript code did, to explaining some of the pitfalls of SMTP (The protocol used to transfer emails) as well as explaining the use of the datagram fragmentation mechanism in the internet protocol.

Because it was an electronic assessment we got our grades back at 5:30pm and I really happy to say I got a grade of 85%.

If I combine this grade with my two other grades and account for weighting this means, subject to exam board approval, I have achieved a grade of 88% for the Module as a whole! Annoying close to that big fat 90, but I’m very happy regardless!

Danny

Categories
University

Year 2 Semester 1 Module Results

Today I received my module results for my two “short and thin” semester 1 modules via the brand new MyAdmin page on the Univeristy of Hull Website, which now features a responsive design meaning I could check my results on my phone with ease.

I received a grade of 86% for ‘2D Computer Graphics and User Interface Design’ and a grade of 80% for ‘Systems Analysis, Design and Process’. Both grades are high firsts and I’m very pleased with both of them, especially as these are the first results we have got back that actually count toward our final degree qualification. A great start, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Thats all for now,
Danny

Categories
University

Year 1 Results

Yesterday I got my module results for my First Year in Computer Science at the University of Hull. I got a first class in all 6 modules and 82.3% average grade for the year — I couldn’t be happier. Below is a breakdown of my module grades:

  • Computer Systems – 72% – First Class
  • Information Technology and Professional Skills – 77% – First Class
  • Programming 2 – 95% – First Class
  • Programming 1 – 94% – First Class
  • Quantitative Methods for Computing – 74% – First Class
  • Software Engineering and Human Computer Interaction – 82% – First Class

I’d like to thank my lecturers and fellow students for such a great year! In particular to those whom I learnt and revised with, we tend to learn together in Computer Science at Hull, and its been a great help! I’d also like to congratulate my fellow first years who have done very well on the whole (hull?! :P)

Danny