Category Archives: Rant

Scraping the Ceiling

One of the reasons I fell in love with Clarkson when I first came to the Clarkson School was because it offered a challenge that I couldn’t find at my high school. When I came into high school (after skipping 8th grade), it was great, I was surrounded by older classmates and there were 4 years of classes ahead of me that I hadn’t taken. However, even though starting out in the junior and senior classes as a freshman made my first two years a blast, once I reached my junior year, I had exhausted all the challenging classes, and could no longer talk with upperclassmen in a learning role. This is when I began looking for alternatives, and the Clarkson School seemed to be perfect, my first year was fantastic, even though there were some easy classes (CS142 and UNIV190), I knew they’d get more exciting after I finished the pre-reqs.

Last year was probably my best year ever, taking some of my favorite classes to date: automata theory, compilers, and formal methods. They were my favorites because for once in my life, I was in a position where I actually had to work for a good grade, and I was inspired to do so both because the professors were excellent, but also I could see the value in excelling in these classes.

Now fast forward to now, while I’m taking a few interesting classes: CS547, CS456 and CS659, I’m worried that I’ve reached that ceiling and I won’t be able to find a challenging class that inspires me to put in the effort to succeed. I’ve been taking some classes (ANTH330 & COMM310) this semester that remind me of my high school days which I find very worrisome, they require next to no effort to skate by and get an A, yet I am required to go through the formality of taking them.

So, now that everyone is getting sick on my whining, I’m going to list some options to resolve my problem, if people could comment giving their input or feedback, it’d make this decision quite a bit easier.

  • Transfer to another school, which should provide more challenging classes and more peers to learn from.
  • Stick it out at Clarkson, doing directed studies for the next 2 years or trying to find classes outside the realm of computer science
  • Go on co-op to hopefully see how my knowledge is useful in the real world, and interact with some of the brightest minds in the industry

Just for people’s information, I have started working on my masters and should be done with it in May ’10, which is when I was going to graduate with my B.S. To fufill this goal, I’ve been taking graduate classes along side of my undergraduate requirements. My tentitive thesis topic is: “Quorum Sensing and Cellular Automaton in Game Playing Systems”, which is going to look at game theory from a systems biology/alife standpoint to see if a more biological system can play better than a more algorithmical one.

Peace and chow,

Ranok

My Thoughts On Veeps

As the election draws ever closer and the vice presidential candidates have been chosen, I’ve decide to air my opinions for people to take as they see fit, and perhaps spark some intellectual conversation about my opinions. First, I’m going to announce that I’m an independent and neither party fully represents my beliefs, however, I will most likely vote for Obama and Biden come November.

Biden:

  • Biden has a very sketchy voting record when it comes to his support for stronger surveillance and enforcement of file-sharing and other copyright infringement. He seems to lack the desire to reform copyright and had thrown his bid in with the RIAA and MPAA, who take to bullying the average citizen.
  • He has foreign policy, something that Palin does not. (Sorry, you can’t count the fact that Alaska is near Russia). That makes him someone who can hopefully work to work for peace and rebuild faith from our allies.

Palin:

  • No experience, being the mayor of a small town, then the governor of Alaska doesn’t cut in compared to Biden.
  • A staunch fundamentalist, I think it’ll be hard for her to keep her beliefs out of our country’s direction if she already tried to ban books in her town library (seems like she doesn’t care about the freedom of speech). I’m honestly terrified of someone who thinks creationism should be taught next to evolution.
  • Wants for people to be more independent, but wants to decide for all the citizens of the US that gay marriage is a sin and that abortion is horrific. (I say let the people/states decide)
  • Is a hypocrite about so many things, she criticizes Obama for touting change, but McCain has been pretty change heavy himself. The flip-flopping earmarks and the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’. The resistance to being asked serious questions (until this week) and calling Biden on the same.
  • Not knowing what a Veep does?!
  • While this is not her fault, I think that her 17-year old daughter’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy shows that abstinence-only sex-ed (touted by Palin) doesn’t work all that well.

It’s a pity that women are going to vote for her, just because she’s a woman. I think it’s time for a woman to take charge in leading our nation, but I don’t think Palin is the one. McCain’s is getting on in age, and I’d be terrified to think of an ‘average hockey-mom’ being the most powerful person in the world. I look forward to learning more about her once she starts talking with the press.

Come out and vote in November,

Ranok

How dare I be here?

That’s the reaction I’ve gotten from Clarkson for, wait for it, staying more than 24 hours past my last final. My final ended at 11:45 yesterday, and I’m hopefully going to be gone by 1:30 today. I say hopefully because everytime the maintainence people come knocking on my door (starting at 6AM this morning) they just can’t wait for me to leave. While I understand they need to clean the room, there are other rooms to be cleaned which will be rented out for senior week, and ours is not one of them as the attached room is occupied until after then.

Oh well, I guess I’ll survive.

Peace and chow,

Ranok