Tag Archives: uni

February in Brief

Wow. It’s been a thoroughly busy month, lots of things to recap, so I won’t bother going into too much detail… Here’s a selection:

AUC Workshops

In February, the Apple University Consortium sent me to Sydney for their annual Cocoa Developement workshop, and to Melbourne for their inaugural Ruby on OS X Workshop. Both workshops were great, and if you attend an AUC Member University, you really should sign up for their future workshops; that said, I can’t see me seriously using Rails for anything in the future, and Obj-C peeves me… Cocoa, on the other hand is seriously exciting, and even from a few days’ exposure, I can see why Cocoa developers love their framework so much, and the lack of a similar facility for making good UIs quickly in Linux is really obvious to me now . Hopefully this is something that gets addressed in future releases of the major desktop environments.

Semester 1 Gogog!

Uni went back this week, and it’s been all-in-all rather eventful. It’s the start of my final semester of undergrad study, which is going to encompass holding the presidency of TUCS, our Campus Computing Society, going to Stockholm to compete in the ACM Programming Contest, all the while juggling effectively 5 units of study. How I’m going to cope with it I have no idea, presumably I will though…

This semester, I’m studying three maths units (two pure, one applied): Computational Methods (or, how to avoid doing hard maths… clever how they keep that one for third year), Algebra 3 (mostly group theory this year) and (Functional) Analysis 3; Computing-wise, I’m studying Data Mining & Text Retrieval (the 3rd-year Machine Learning unit), and Advanced Web Development (purely as a Gimme unit). Hopefully this one constitutes a reasonably good mix between fun and interestingness — and hopefully not too time-consuming. On another note, Kumudini (the lecturer for Analysis) deserves special thanks, as she’s gone out of her way to ensure that Analysis is being offered before Semester 2 for me, which I’m quite grateful for (as it means that I can graduate with the Pure Maths Major).

TUU Societies Day 2009

Mentioning the start of semester without mentioning Societies day would be quite amiss — for those who are unfamiliar, socieities day is a 3-hour event held on the first Wednesday of the Uni year, where students signup for their chosen sports clubs and societies, generally in return for Alcohol. This year, however, the Union made the curious decision to spilt the allocated space in two, and provide a dry area, which proved to be very useful for us at TUCS (as we’d decided quite some time eadlier that we’d not be providing alcohol). The Union kindly provided us with space directly outside the wet area, which gave us a massive wall for advertising, and the dry area made all our volunteers highly visible (due to there actually being space to move about).

TUCS put on a Barbecue, and provided “Enticing Gift Bags” (full of things including leftover LCA09 schwag) to new members. The Nett effect of this was that TUCS signed up 115 members, which is almost three times as many as we managed on societies day last year. Obviously, we’re pretty happy.

TUCS Societies Day 2009TUCS Societies Day 2009

That’s all for now, more as it comes!

Academia (Blaargh…)

Another semester, another 4 HDs… No idea what to make of that. More specifically, my marks were: 85 for Graphics, 85 for Research, 96 for Real and Complex Analysis, 97 for Topics in Advanced Mathematics. All in all, it’s about what I expected, which is probably the first time that that’s happened for me, and it’s a nice feeling.

19 down; 5 to go.

The Week in Review…

Time for me to enumerate a few things that have happened of late (in reverse order of occurrence, naturally), since it now seems like the time to do so.


I handed in my Computer Science term project today, which, I suppose means that my academic year is now complete. I’m fairly happy with how the semester’s progressed, every unit that I studied (including the two that I chose on a whim) has been excellent, which is more than I can say for previous semesters. Analysis (Real analysis to be specific) was absolutely fantastic, and I’ll be doing my best to enrol in the follow-up functional analysis unit (I’ve had it suggested to me by several people, and I’m convinced), and it’s certainly made the maths major I’m now enrolled in seem like a very good idea.

As far as I can tell, exams went well, but I won’t know for certain until results are released next week (I’m very confident with my two maths units, Graphics is a different story (though I don’t recall doing as badly as the lecturer claims the class as a whole went)).


In other (though slightly Uni-related) news, TUCS (The UTAS Computing Society) had its Annual General Meeting for 2009 last week, and as well as discovering the joy of barbecued* Woolworths’ Quantity Burgers (they’re excellent, really!), I was elected society president for 2009. The rest of the exec are also a truly awesome bunch of people, so the future certainly looks bright.

TUCS T-shirt

TUCS has run some excellent events in its inaugural year: our tech talks were, in general, wildly successful, amongst other things. Thanks to that, we’ve become what appears to be one of the most active societies on campus. I’ll be doing my best to make sure that we can replicate, or even better that next year. (If you’re a speaker, or know any good ones, and would like to give a talk, let me know!)

In related news, we also took delivery of some particularly awesome TUCS-Branded T-Shirts just after exams — we’re particularly happy with how that went and will probably do it again next year.

(*I will definitely be approving funding for a new barbecue for the society… the current one is truly dreadful)


Last week-ish, I had dinner with some members of the Linux.conf.au organising committee. Though much of what was discussed must be kept under wraps (it’s thoroughly exciting, I promise!), I can tell you that the conference is shaping up to be most excellent, and if you haven’t already booked your ticket, I suggest you do so as soon as possible!

That is all for me for now, more news as it comes (I hope!)

Self-absorption in brief

My 20th Birthday was yesterday, so I’m making amends for not posting about it yesterday by making a note of it today. Notably, I don’t really feel any older than any time before, other than a strange feeling of foreboding that accompanies age in general. Or that may just be my stomach. No idea, though I’m sure I’ll find out in the ensuing years.

And a brief wrap-up of other me-related news:

  • Had a nice, short trip to Sydney in early July — I will make it a point of not entering New South Wales when State of Origin is on in the future. Went to the Apple Store on George Street far too many times — free internet is quite enticing when you’re waiting for people.
  • Whilst in Sydney, I attempted to catch up with SydneyPython in order to spruik my proposal for a Python Miniconf at LCA2009. Unfortunately, the meeting was cancelled, and so instead the SyPy people went to Beer2.0, where we met a bunch of interesting Web2.0 people.
  • Uni exams finished in mid-June, with results being released last week. In short, I had my best semester yet at Uni (straight HDs/nothing below 82), and so I’m certainly not regretting the increased workload as far as maths is concerned.
  • Semester 2 of Uni is now underway, I’ve had lectures in all three of my coursework-delivered units (Real and Complex Analysis, Computer Graphics and Animation, Topics in Advanced Mathematics), with only my research project unit to be dealt with. It’s looking like it’ll be a very interesting semester, with some thoroughly difficult units to be dealt with, so I’m happy about that.

That’s all for now. More as it comes.

TUCS Tech Talk Photos

TUCS Tech Talk #1, originally uploaded by Christopher Neugebauer.

As I mentioned previously, TUCS had its first tech talk on Friday (delivered by myself, on the topic of Introductory Python), this is the first opportunity to show off photos from it. I was rather impressed by the turnout (there are a few people off to the side that can’t be seen in the frame).

TUCS Launch (Tech Talk etc)

TUCS had its launch event yesterday, which consisted of a Barbecue, membership drive, and tech talk.

The Membership front was fairly successful, given that we managed to sign up somewhere in the order of 7 new members (which is not bad given how late in the semester it is, and that we weren’t offering Alcohol at the event :)), hopefully we can get a few more before the end of the semester, as it would be nice to get some people who aren’t part of the “usual crowd” to join in.

The main reason for this post was that I delivered the tech talk, on the topic of Introductory Python. Overall, I think it went fairly well, although I mistimed the talk such that I had to completely miss one section of the talk (which is a reminder of my debating days… but let’s not get into that). Anyone who wants to comment on my talk (except for the sections where Bruce crashes — I already know about this) is quite welcome to — it’s available in its entirety at Google Video

The day was quite successful. Here’s hoping that TUCS can keep getting stronger!

TUCS Launch

Friday was our the first meeting of the new UTAS Computing Society Executive, which incidentally, was the first under our new name (TUCS). Since then lots of progress has been made:

  • We launched our new Website, www.tucs.org.au.
  • We began planning for the launch day for the new society, which is scheduled for Friday, May 2. We’re having a barbecue, and performing a membership drive (since we didn’t do that at the start of the year, in order to get the new society in order).
  • Started a new series of Tech Talks. I’ll be giving the first one on introductory Python, and we’re planning on making this coincide with the society launch.

All in all, it’s a somewhat exciting time to be doing Computing-related stuff at UTas (here’s hoping it stays that way!)