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)
Today at 5:00 it was my turn to do my Evil Squash Presentation and get graded on my ACW 2 for programming which counts towards my module grade. This consisted of showing Rob Miles making sure my game worked according to a test sequence we had been given and conformed to the specification, then looking at my enhancements and finally looking at my evidence of testing and user documentation (effectively a manual).
Fortunately, my game worked correctly on the test sequence and had all aspects that we had to have from the specification, this was necessary for the first 40% of the grade. We could gain a maximum of an additional 20% for enhancements, but I had added more than enough enhancements to get that including;
AI Players (worth 15%)
Sound Effects (worth 5%)
Windows Phone 7 Silverlight Graphical User Interface (GUI) (most people did console based games) (worth 15%)
“Photocounters” (allowing the user to take a picture of themselves to be used as their counter on the board) (worth 5%)
The user documentation and test report were worth 10% of the total grade each and rob seemed happy with both, except that my test report wasn’t quite detailed enough, this is where I lost 4% of the total grade.
So overall I got 96% for ACW 2 for programming! Cant ask for much more than that 😀 Good times.
Today was a good day. It started with my first Quantitative methods for Computing Lecture with Dr. Li which was an introduction to Vectors and Matrices, two totally foreign concepts to me. However, I found them pretty easy to understand at the basic level at which we looked at them this morning.
After the QMfC lecture I had 3 hours of free time so I decided I would use it productively rather than go home and therefore I spent some time on my ACW1 and ACW2 for QMfC. ACW1 is a mathematics diagnostics test of a piece of software called Diagnosys (I see what they did there) — to pass the module we need a pass mark of at least 40% in it by the end of the first 11 weeks of the semester. Today I finally beat that with a mammoth 41% :P. After this I then submitted my ACW2 which is a serious of logic questions we have been set over the past 3 weeks, starting off simple and ending in some pretty complex theories. (I still not sure I fully understand Logical Validity if I’m honest, choosing the premises is hard) I hope to get over 60% in both ACW’s by the end of week 11. For the remainder of the 3 hours I continued work on my Windows Phone 7 Application for Oracles ThinkQuest Competition which is coming along nicely.
My next lecture of the day was Computer Systems with Dr. Breyshaw, this was all about using logic to perform arthritic, finite state machines and the manufacture of registers on a modern Central Processing Unit. Dr. Breyshaw also took my last lecture of the day which was Programming 1 (Algorithms) which taught us about HEAPS and using them to sort as well as another sorting method called KY Merge which is used to sort two sorted lists into one in an efficient manner.
Since the end of my University day I have spoken to my family on Skype, been practising mathematics with Jess’ help, registered to give blood and been working on my Windows Phone 7 Application for my Oracle ThinkQuest team. I have been having some difficulty in implementing a Database for which to hold data about the users purchases, however I hope to find out how to do this tomorrow at an event which is being hosted by Microsoft for University of Hull Computer Scientists interested in Windows Phone 7 Application Development, such as myself. Exciting Stuff. I shall post about how that goes tomorrow.
Today was another enjoyable, yet incredibly long day — I left my flat at 8:40am and didn’t get back to it until 7pm this evening! As with any other day it all started with me dragging myself out of bed and attempting to get ready for a full day of computer science before the bus left without me, fortunately as I woke up a bit earlier than usual today and my bag was already packed from the previous evening i managed it.
From 9:15 – 10:05 in Lecture Theatre A of the Robert Blackburn Building I had a Quantitive Methods for Computing Lecture with Dr. Gordon — thankfully I think I am finally starting to get some of the more advanced parts of the module and I am hopeful of not only passing but hopefully doing well! From 10:15 – 11:05 we had an induction follow up lecture ran by Dr. Gordon, Amanda the Administrator and the head of computer science (who’s name totally escapes me) — this essentially was a question and answer session to work out any issues we had and was full of sarcastic banter from some of the students in the row in front of me — very funny indeed.
After an hours bacon bap break we return to AS3-LLT — where the induction follow up had been held — for a fascinating Computer Systems lecture on “The Nature of Computers Today & the Launch of the Home Computer” which detailed how computers scaled down from being massive room sized machines which several users connected to with “dumb terminals” and automated much of the computing process to the personal computing at home. The irony of course being that the move to the cloud is a move back to mainframe style systems, its weird how such concepts come round again.
After this Rob and I has 2 hours to fill before our QMfC tutorial so we decided to venture into the MASSIVE Brynmor Jones Library — which was formerly the library of Philip Larkin, one of the most famous poet laureates of all time and the namesake of one of the buildings at the university — its pictured above. Its 7 floors tall and thanks to Murphy’s law all of the Computer Science and Maths books are on the top floor — however we were pleasantly surprised by the views presented to us once we’d got to the top. Some of the pictures I took are below:
After the brief visit to the library we waited in the Sanctuary bar in the Student union for our 3rd Lecture of the day with Dr. Gordon — a tutorial to support the earlier lecture for QMfC. This was excellent and helped me finally get my head round equations with fractions of x in — which I’m sure will be vital in my day to day life 😉
After that we had a one hour Programming Lecture which consisted of learning about Programming languages and our jobs as programmers. We learnt a few very important things, 1) If you don’t keep the specification of a contract your customer wont pay you. 2) 66% of IT projects fail — mainly due to miscommunication of what the end result should be and perhaps most interestingly
English would make a terrible programming language as a lot of its words are ambiguous and could mean any number of things given the situation its used in. Computers are too thick to understand this and require a precise language where one word or phrase can only have one meaning.
That’s the sole reason we have languages such as C#, Java and BASIC.
After this I went to Freeside‘s first meeting of the year in which they installed Linux onto the attendees computers for them — in this case it was the brand new 10.10 distro of Ubuntu. It was lovely to speak to all the people there, especially “TastyWithPasta” — the executive of the ComSoc at hull as well as to have some free fairy cakes and Pepsi Max, I can’t wait to see what’s going on n the future with the Department of Computer Scientists FOSS group.
Well, it seems I’ve written far too much for anyone to bother reading again so i’ll leave it there!
If you’ve gotten this far well done!
BTW: If you like reading stories that make no sense whats-so-ever you may be interested in Jess’ blog about her really weird dreams which no-one (including herself) understand — you can find it at http://luciddreamerjess.wordpress.com/
I will start this post with an admission, as anyone who has even spoken to me on the topic of Apple Inc or any of their products will tell you I really really dislike the company, their ideology, their methods, their attitude and their products. None of it sits well with my thoughts and feelings about computing. This isn’t an anti-jobs thread though — I must admit I was shocked and saddened to hear of Steve Jobs death when I woke up this morning and I think it is a great loss to the computing world and the world as a whole in some regards.
Perhaps the things that are most important that Steve Jobs and Co have left us are the popularisation of WIMP interfaces (you’re most likely using one now to see this post) and the idea of Hard-Drive based Portal Media Players — known to you and me as the iPod. Products such as smartphones, tablets and even app stores are great but Microsoft got there first on all 3 counts, Apple really innovated with the iPod and with pushing WIMP style interfaces though.
In the regard of how Jobs desire for “grandma friendly” computing really helped to push it to the masses I think he succeeded in his aim of “making a dent in the universe” and both himself and apple will be remembered for a long time.
In happier news though for programming 1 today I went well beyond the expectation in one of my frees and completed a WinForms based cinema age validation programme, which I will make available for a (rather pointless) download soon 🙂
As im extremely tired after 5 hours of labs/lectures today I bid thee goodnight!