Arms Are Heavy

What did you do this past week?

This past week was a pretty crazy week, just because of exams and many other amazing things I got to do. I felt that I did well on my Algo exam, which was amazing considering the amount of subjectivity that class brings, and I did significantly better on Gov than previously. Those two classes by themselves unfortunately brought a lot of restless nights.

On the bright side, a lot of things have been happening. Palantir came out this past Monday and Tuesday, and being able to meet their team and see their vision and getting to know how they worked was pretty cool. Even though there is a lot of controversy behind some of the work that they dive into, their mission really centers around helping out many different causes that need to be brought to light. There will probably a lot of conflicts they will have to overcome with many of the stances that they choose (and I myself may not agree with all of them), but I do believe that they really center themselves on wanting to build up the world and make it better, especially through the activity they did centered around solving the problem of a “Missing Child”.

Besides that, I have been working a lot behind the scenes trying to finish up an article for the UTCS department. The first draft was recently reviewed at the end of the week, and even though it may have been considered a solid draft for my first article, I find that there is so much irrelevant information that I’ve added, and I really need to work on being more specific and to the point so I can really bring out the personality and character of the person I am writing over.

For CS, I feel most of my time was spent building tests for the class I proctor, grading projects, and keeping up with most of my coursework through learning, especially Algo. For Algorithms, we recently just went over Linear Programming. Our professor, Dana Moshkovitz, was and will be unable to teach the class due to the delivery of her baby Daniel Aaronson (whooo!). This is pretty awesome for her family, but it really comes with a big drawback for the class. After getting used to her teaching for the past few months, having invited faculty members come and speak on behalf of her is not bad, but it does cause a lot of us students to have to struggle a bit in order to orient our brains towards a new style of teaching. Hopefully we’ll pull through and become robust in our learning.

What’s in your way?

I find that I’ve been programming less and less project-wise, which is scaring me. As of now, I spend a lot more time writing, planning meetings, reading up documentation, and organizing events instead. True, this may be because of the circumstance I am in, where the only programming class I am in is Software Engineering, I have two jobs that require writing as well as a fiction writing class, and my last semester was spent coding for OS and OOP (which can really cause someone to want a break from code), but it scares me, because I feel like I’m not partaking in what I’m supposed to be doing every day and I feel like I will forget everything I’ve learned.

SWE Impressions?

Class has been really interesting. Amazingly, I was able to have lunch with Prof. Downing himself this Friday, due to UT’s Dine with a Prof program. I always find it hard to ask about other people’s stories, but fortunately Prof. Downing was very good in communicating with me, and I was able to get to know him more in both how he came to teaching at UTCS as well as discuss over some amazing ways the class has grown and improved after iterations of teaching.

What will you do next week?

I will finish up my fiction writing story as well as the SWE project. I will be working with one of my project partners in order to finish up the backend work for Flask for our API. Additionally, I will probably start working on a mini-presentation for Music APIs, because of Music hacks coming up and I will be doing a workshop over several APIS. I don’t want people to listen to someone who is unprepared, because I know how that feels.

Tip of the Week

Here’s some articles I’ve found interesting:

Written on March 31, 2017