Categories
University

Undergraduate Computer Science Demonstrating

I don’t think this would win any prizes at London Fashion Week

One of the cool things I’ve been doing alongside my own studying this year is helping other students, in Years 1 and 2, in my role as a lab demonstrator. A lab demonstrator is there to help students resolve any issues, technical or administrative, they may face during their mandatory lab sessions.

In semester one I was a demonstrator for the 2nd year “2D Computer Graphics and User Interface Design” module, which I took last year. This year they made an animated Christmas Card featuring falling snow and Santa flying in his slay.

Now, during semester two, I am a demonstrator for 1st year “Programming 2” module in which students learn Object Oriented Programming, Windows Presentation Foundation and other fun things such as Exception Handling.

Demonstrating has been a great way to earn a little bit of money whilst talking to people about the subject I love, and every demonstrator gets the funky green tee-shirt you can see above to wear whilst we work. I would recommend it to anyone who is offered the chance to do it. 🙂

Danny

Categories
University

Semester 1, Year 3 draws to a close

Yesterday I had my last exam of the semester, and handed in my interim report for my final year project. Those two things being done signals the end of the first semester of the third and final year of my Bachelors degree. Exciting times.

This semester has been an interesting blend of very challenging, incredibly interesting and quite good fun — and though there have been a few times when I’ve felt slightly overwhelmed by work I’m glad I took the modules I did and felt I have learnt and achieved a lot!

I will receive the results for both “Languages and Their Compilers” and “Data Mining and Decision Systems” on the 24th of February, I will of course update the blog when I know what grades I have achieved.

Looking Forward

Year 3 Semester 2 Timetable
Year 3 Semester 2 Timetable

As you can see from the above timetable I expect to be spending a lot of my second semester of this year working on my final year project, an IDE for the programming language PHP.

Alongside my project and studies I will also be continuing in my role as an undergraduate demonstrator for the department of computer science. In the forthcoming semester I have been tasked with helping out students on the 1st year module “Programming 2” which teaches object orientation and other concepts in C#.

The two modules I will be taking in semester 2 are “Mobile Devices and Applications” and “Distributed Systems Programming”

Mobile Devices and Applications is the module concerned with developing mobile apps with a good user experience, knowledge of different mobile platforms — such as iOS, Android and Windows Phone — and technologies — such as 3G, 4G and WiFi. I am aiming to do really well in this module as I have already developed quite a few mobile apps.

Distributed Systems Programming is a module about the “architectures, technologies and programming paradigms used in implementing and deploying distributed computing applications”. A distributed system is “a software system in which components located on networked computers communicate and coordinate their actions by passing messages”. I’m looking forward to this module because I really enjoyed networking in year 2.

I will of course keep the blog updated throughout the upcoming semester. Bring it on!

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

Categories
University

Programming 2 Exam

A totally unrelated picture of my tortoise, and why not?

Today we all had our exam for module 08120: more commonly known as Programming 2. The general consensus amongst my friends is that it wasn’t too bad, and I agree. I didn’t feel too phased by any of the questions.

I enjoy programming, and as sad as some people might think it is, I do it in my own free time as well as at university. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as defeating a problem or showing someone something you’ve made, or help make and seeing them think “wow, I didn’t know he could do this”. 🙂

I shall, of course, post on the blog when I know what result I got which should be around my birthday in mid July.

Danny.

Categories
Mobile Application Development University

Exams, Downloads and Development

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but at least that shows I’ve been busy :).

Last Monday I had my exam for Quantitative Methods for Computing, having spent the previous weekend solidly revising I think it went pretty well. Not as badly as I’d expected, not as well as I’d hoped but good enough to get me a good grade in the module overall I think.

Since then I’ve been working on some of my applications. I’ve implemented Photo Highscores into Sweepy Cleaner and Evil Squash 2 and got a lot of the features working in my Hull Computer Science Blog application which displays the blogs of all the computer scientists at my university as well as shows off some featured applications by students in a random order and allows users to go directly to their Marketplace page to download them.

Speaking of the marketplace I’m very happy to announce that Sweepy Cleaner has had over 200 downloads already — 218 to be precise — and has been enjoyed and reviewed by people as far away as America and Australia. 🙂

Tomorrow I have my programming 2 examination, having looked over the previous 3 years’ past papers I don’t think I have anything to worry about. Programming the apps I just mentioned has almost been like revision — there’s nothing quite like doing something in order to revise it.

Thats all for now,

Danny

Categories
Life

Easter Projects

Here’s a badly taken photo of Hull’s Paragon Interchange Station, taken whilst waiting for my train home

Friday was our final day at University and consisted of a Lab session and a Tutorial in which we talked about the coursework for ACW 2 for Programming 2 — A.K.A. Sweepy Cleaner. Almost as soon as the Tutorial was over I was on my way to the station to head home for two weeks off, well deserved after a busy term.

In an attempt to keep on top of work and hone my skills as a Software Engineer I have lined up a few projects for myself, to be completed over Easter.

The first of my Projects is to design and develop a custom website front-end and back-end content management system for a local bee keeper who offers Bee Keeping courses, bees for sale, honey products and a range of soaps and lotions. The system will need to allow the customers to edit their product ranges and content on their pages, it will also need to provide an attractive interface to customers and be SEO friendly in order to rank well on Google Searches for Bee related terms.

The Content Management System will be a fair bit of work, but fortunately I can use my previous experiences on projects such as Worldwide Lighthouses in order produce a better system, I also enjoy making user interfaces — particularly for the web, so I’m looking forward to working on this project and hopefully making my customers happy.

My second project is to complete Worldwide Lighthouses, a website run by my brother which uses a custom made CMS (Content Management System). Due to a data loss around Christmas a lot of the workings of the site remain unfinished, hopefully by the end of  Easter all functionality of the previous website will have been restored and even improved upon.

My third project is for my lecturer, Rob Miles, and is to produce an application for the Windows Phone 7 platform which uses the MetaBlogger API to allow people with blogs on blogger and other services to upload, view and edit posts on the go.

My fourth and final project is to create an Augmented reality game. It’s based off of my original proposal for three thing game —  a Tower Defence game which turns into an First Person Shooter once the enemy reaches the end of its route.

My aim is to have the “map” for the tower defence section of the game to be the actual location of the player, complete with enemies actually following the real roads to get to them,  I will do all this using the Bing Maps API. The FPS section will use the image produced by the back-facing camera as the background and the user will have to occasionally point their phone to the sky to fight back helicopters, and point it straight forward to take on Soldiers and Tanks. I think its an interesting concept, will be fun to play and is certainly technically interesting and possibly challenging to produce.

Expect to hear more about these projects soon!

Danny

Categories
Programming University

CONSTANTly learning

I Found an interesting tid-bit of information about C# constants today when a member of my Programming Tutorial Group asked why my tutor hadn’t used some code like:

const string MaximumYear = DateTime.Now.Year.ToString();

in order to have the MaximumYear variable as a string representation of the current year. (The context was the release date of a film in a DVD library. Obviously you cannot have a film in the library that has been released in the future).

The reason is because constants are set at compile time, rather than runtime. Therefore if you compiled the above code today MaximumYear would always contain the value “2012”. I can see that this would confuse a lot of people, had you asked me I would have assumed that constants would be initialized at Runtime, but apparently not.

I can see some use for this though, such as setting “Build Times” in the about section of a program autonomously.

Danny

Categories
University

Programming 2 Test Result

Today we took a test for our Programming 2 Module, and because it was an online assessment we got immediate feedback. I got 100% on questions which varied from “What is a static member?” to “What is an overloaded method?”. Can’t ask for better than that, I’m very please 🙂

Danny.

Categories
Mobile Application Development University

An update on the Progress of Sweepy Cleaner

I posted this video to Youtube today which details the advancements made with my Sweepy Cleaner XNA game project for my Assessed coursework 2 for the Programming 2 Module. As I state in the video its mainly for the benefit of my friend Shane, who has very kindly agreed to make some banging 8 bit tunes for the Marketplace release of the game, but it does give an overview of the game as a whole for anyone who is interested (you also get to hear my very weird voice).

Danny

Categories
Mobile Application Development University

Same Task, Different Implementations

3 Windows Phones, Running 3 different versions of “Sweepy Cleaner”

Nick took this photo today of 3 windows phones running three different version of  “Sweepy Cleaner”, the all action domestic cleaning game. I thought it was interesting how, given the same brief, we had all came up with different implementations. John’s version, shown on the cyan Nokia Lumia 800, has a really cool attract mode on his menus with an artificially intelligent vacuum cleaner picking up dirt, whereas I’ve gone for a metro style menu with a simple, pre set, vacuum animation. (By the way, check out Johns Blog here)

Even in the actual game we had all gone for slightly different implementations, my game (shown on the Black Samsung Focus Flash) respawns your vacuum in the middle of the screen if you loose a life by touching the edge of the screen or the furniture whereas Robs game (shown on the HTC Radar) bounces you away from said object at the speed you collided into it. Again, both ideas work, both fit the specification for the coursework, but both are different. This shows how creative programming can be. 🙂

Look out for all 3 versions of the game on the Windows Phone Marketplace soon!

Danny.