Monthly Archives: November 2007

Uni Wrap-up : 2007

Well, my University results for the semester are out. That’s quite good, as it means I can now post them for you to see!

  • KMA154 Calculus and Applications 1B: HD/98%
  • KRA114 Chemistry 1B: DN/75%
  • KXT203 Software Construction: HD/82%
  • KXT206 Artificial Intelligence: HD/87%

This brings my total for the year to 6xHD, 2xDN, 1xCR, and my total for my degree to 8xHD, 2xDN, 1xCR.

My Average mark for the year was 82% (for all 9 subjects) with a grade point average of 6.56, the average across my best 8 subjects was 84% with a grade point average of 6.75.

In particular, I’m really happy about maths, where I achieved a notional “perfect” score (i.e. more than 120 marks of 180), this appears to justify my intention of majoring in the field.

Chemistry’s also a good mover, which has improved by 7% since last semester: it’s nice to have the luxury of dropping a subject that achieves a distinction average, and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing: unfortunately, there are other areas that I want to study next year, and Chem will be the one making way for them.

That’s it: my semester all wrapped up. Uni resumes at the end of February with me studying KMA251 Algebra and Applications 2, KMA252 Calculus and Applications 2, KMA255 Operations Research 2, KXT303 Concurrent Programming and HPA291 Introduction to Logic.

Until then, that’s all you’ll be hearing from me on the subject.

Election ’07

Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock, or rather, not in Australia at all, you’d know that Australia’s Federal Government has changed hands in what appears to be a landslide.

Whilst I tend to keep this blog mostly apolitical, I think it’s worth pointing out why I think that this result is good, and what I hope will become of the next three years.

It’s not too hard a stretch to tell that I like computers, and therefore by proxy, the Internet. Unfortunately, Australia’s standard of Internet is very poor when compared with other countries, since we have suffered from artificially low ADSL speeds and artificially high prices due to an agreement made with Telecom in 1990 when our first high-speed links out of the country were laid. Thanks to the sale of Telstra, I believe that the pricing issue will never fix itself (at least for the foreseeable future), but it is still possible to fix the speed issue. It will be good to see Government investment in new communication infrastructure, which will hopefully bring our standard of connections well above what they currently are now (though, unfortunately, still well-short of world standard).

As a school student, I went to a school that was extremely well-sheltered by Government policies on Education, and so I never really saw the effects of current disinvestment in education. As a University student now, the scope of the issue has become apparent to me. I attend a small University, which due to its comparatively remote location, only really attracts students who have lived around it, at least as far as Australian students are concerned. This has meant that with disinvestment in the University, the University has, in the past five years, sought to increase its enrolment numbers from the local area.

Due to the small population base around the University, they are naturally seeking students from demographics that, if living in other states, would certainly not be seeking a University education. This has undoubtedly led to a reduction in the quality of the courses that are being offered, an unfortunate situation indeed. It would be good to see funding of Universities increase, such that my own University, and others like it do not have to worry about maintaining high student numbers, at the cost of a quality teaching programme.

Since the new Government has placed education as one of its pillars of policy, I hope to see the situation in higher education be fixed. Although I suspect that policies will focus more upon school-level education, since that is where the majority of the “family” vote has come from. Investment at all levels of education is important, and I hope to see more of it at a Federal level.

Whilst there were many other policies inherent in the campaigns on all sides of politics, I feel that none of them affect me heavily right now, and as such, I won’t make any comment on them. I hope that the current members of Parliament do their job well, legislating in the best interests of the entire country, as really, that’s what politics boils down to in the end.

NCSS 2008 (First Post)

Well, after a three-months-and-a-week delay, I’ve finally been invited to be a tutor at this year’s National Computer Science School, which is held at the School of Information Technologies at the University of Sydney (in Sydney).

I was a student at the School in 2006, and it was certainly one of the best experiences of my life, and it’s great to finally get an opportunity to put back into the School.

I’m certainly looking forward to it. More posts on the topic as it comes.

In related news, I’ll be in Sydney from midway-through the first week of January (probably Thursday the 3rd), and leaving roughly on the 14th (if all goes according to plan).

Blog Upgrade

Well I’ve finally bit the bullet, and have installed PyBlosxom 1.4.2 onto my web site. There’s some internal improvements that nobody here is likely to see in relation to that; however, I’ve also installed some new plugins, including Akismet Comments, a spam filter that should hopefully ward off spammers, without requiring you to type “what” in every time you want to make a comment.

Also installed is support for tagging of posts, which you should see me do more often now.

Enjoy! (I know I will :) )

Generecies

Well, I suppose it’s about time for a general-purpose post summarising things that have been done lately by myself, since I’ve failed to do that for the past few months (typical :D ).

Exams

Exams seemed to generally go well, I suspect that I’ll be keeping the average that I went into the exams with (2 certain HDs, 1 borderline HD/DN and one borderline DN/CR), with my most confident being AI and my least confident being Chemistry. Only 10 days until the big result is known, and I’m mildly tense about it (as maintaining a strong GPA is a condition on extension study next year).

Work

I’m now working on a more-or-less full time basis, which has been good so far — interesting projects, using the languages and systems that I like (I know of very few other places in Hobart that would be able to give me a significant project in C, which is a definite plus). More news on that as it comes to hand.

The Whitlams

I went to see my third Whitlams gig on Friday evening, with Jack, Richard and Jen. All in all, the evening was quite good, and we ran into a few of my friends from School/Uni. HIghlights of the concert included: Seeing End Of Your World performed live, a very strong performance of You Sound Like Louis Burdett, and an encore that consited of Hobart’s favourite I Make Hamburgers (more sauce!), Happy Days (breaking my self-imposed bet that no songs from Stupor Ego would be played), and concluding the night with Gough (which was not at all controvertial given the name of the Band).

Cricket

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I went to see Australia vs Sri Lanka at Bellerive. Although the match turned out to be quite closely-fought, the three days that I managed to see were all dominated completely by Australia, with the exception of a couple of good innings from Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene; from an Australian point of view, it was nice to see Brett Lee get lots of Wickets, and see Michael Hussey get a century (especially since I told the Managing Director of his bat company in no uncertain terms that it would be good if he got out quickly due to his slow scoring at the onset of the match). Despite the Rain delays and the like, the Company was good, and am looking forward to the 2-3 ensuing one day matches this season that will be here ( and maybe a few games interstate too, depensive on my travel plans *cough*.

Well, that’s it for this post, expect to hear more from me in another indeterminite period of time!

Yours Quantisedly,

Chris

1 Year of last.fm

One year ago today, I signed up for last.fm/Audioscrobbler, which for those of you who don’t know, is a Social music tracking site. What this means for me is that I’ve had my listening habits tracked for the past year, and had recommendations as to stuff I may like made.

Interesting things to note are that I listened to the Whitlams for the 2000th time (since I started Scrobbling) this week, a figure which I found mildly disturbing, especially when that number outnumbers the next artist by more than 2:1.

Speaking of The Whitlams, I’ll be going to their Hobart concert on Friday, the third of which I’ve been to, and I suspect that they’ll continue being excellent live.