Classes, Winter 2011

Here's my class lineup this semester. Let's hope that at the end of however-many months they're all listed on my transcript with an A, B or C next to them, eh?

Operating Systems II
I'm super excited for OSII this semester... except that it's an 8:30 class, bleh. I'm taking it with one of my favourite, most friendly professors - who has actually been to our apartment and seen me stupidly drunk as I fed the guy he was escorting absinthe.
ANYWAY... this course should be extremely interesting and fun. Oh, and I'm suuure you can guess what the final project is. If you can't... well, we'll be writing an operating system for a dev board of our choosing. That will be simultaneously fun and extremely frustrating. Fun because it'll be tooling around with low-level stuff (C and assembler!) and frustrating... well, for the same reason, actually. On the plus side, there are no assignments for this class!

Intro to Compiler Construction
This is one of the two classes I'm taking with T! The professor is a solid old bloke, easy to understand, approachable and intelligent. I've been excited for this class for over a year now. I absolutely love low-level stuff like this, and to know how a compiler works will be awesome. We'll be working on building a compiler for a cut-down version of Java, and I believe we'll be writing it in Java too.

Networks and Graphs
This is a math course with my favourite math professor. She's a doll - she's intelligent, friendly, a little bit awkward. It makes her adorable and I love taking classes with her - especially the upper year classes where she actually gets into it. (She's the prof I had for Number Theory last semester.)

It should be interesting because I've already worked with graphs in several other classes - notably Algorithms and Data Structures. To go more in-depth with a topic that comes up so often in CS will be a great learning experience. Also, she's structured the assignments in an interesting way - the first half of the semester will have the standard one assignment per week, while the second half will not have assignments but will have in-class activities, probably including algorithm creation and proofs.

You can expect to see some graph theory in the coming months!

Net-Centric Computing
This is a new requirement for CS core, and I believe this is the first year it's been offered. It seems to centre around networking and networking protocols. She showed us a list of the labs we're going to do and many of them seem interesting. Our first lab is simulating signal transmission over a wire in Matlab; another one later on will be about packet sniffing; the last one will be implementing the RSA encryption algorithm. Interestingly enough, this will be the third class I take that covers RSA, hehe.

The cover for the class text is really stupid. Though, to be fair, technology textbook covers tend to be a little... silly. Two of the most famous books feature dinosaurs and dragons on their covers.

Technology and Society
I've taken some sociology classes with similar names, but this one is offered by the History department. T and my bestest friend are taking it to satisfy an "impact of technology on society" elective for their engineering degrees; I'm taking it for the writing credit.
It seems... fascinating so far. I haven't had an opportunity to study much history, and learning the history and impact of something I love makes it so much more enjoyable. I have some silly notes I've written to T during the class:

"I love how History is the only Arts department that is fact-based"
"If they think the stirrup is responsible for shaping medieval war techniques, I wonder what they'd say about the transistor? 'Transistor causes colonization of Mars'?"

Joking aside, I have a fair amount of respect for historians (more than I do for sociologists, at least ;)) and it'll be a really interesting class, even if we have to write essays.

It's made all the better by the fact that our professor sounds suspiciously like Foghorn Leghorn. He is a fantastically charismatic speaker, in a southern-politician kind of way. He says stuff like, "And I'll tell you why, ladies and gentleman, why historians say this." it's awesome.

Overall, I'm very excited about my classes this semester. Except that I have two labs back-to-back on Fridays. *sadface*

3 things about

Classes, Winter 2011
  1. I'm just guessing here. You like computers. Right? :D lol. What kind of career are you looking into with computers though?

  2. :O How did you guess!? ;)

    I don't actually know what kind of job I'd end up with. I like programming because I like problem solving, but the difficulty with that is that most software development is profit-driven and most programmers have to sacrifice good code to meet manager's deadlines... and I'm not one to flippantly sacrifice elegance and good code for any reason.

    Meaning I wouldn't be happy at most programming jobs. :(

    I'm hoping to get a job maintaining and improving low-level legacy code. :3 Though, the chances are pretty slim...

  3. Operating Systems II sounds awesome! Out of those you listed I'd pick that if I had to pick one. Just a shame it starts at 8:30 - it's scheduling like that that can really put me off a class and hate it!


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