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Back in Action

Back in Action

First week back after the Christmas break and the exam results are out. I got a GPA of 3.53 out of 4.2. It isn't quite what I'd hoped for, but I guess I'll just have to work harder this semester to bring it up.

Now that I'm starting a new semester I've got a batch of 6 new modules which I'll do my usual little report on.

COMP20020 - Digital Systems
COMP20040 - Data Structures & Algorithms II
COMP20050 - Software Engineering Project II

MATH20150 - Graphs & Networks

COMP20090 - Intro. to Cognitive Science
COMP20130 - Intro. to Computer Forensics

Digital Systems;
Similar to intro to computer Architecture last year, it's all about how the computer works at the machine level. Circuits and gates and so on and so forth. These types of lectures aren't my favourite, but this one seems to be a bit better than Architecture last year. At least I'll probably stay awake in these.

Data Structures & Algorithms II;
Following on from Data Structures & Algorithms I in the first semester this continues an in-depth look at various data-structures. While the content matter last semester was a touch dry, the lecturer was brilliant, and I'm glad he's with us again. This semester seems to be a bit better. Our assignment, worth 20%, is a predictive text system, with extra marks going for personalisation. I can't wait to get stuck into this one. It's what I consider to be my first proper college project.

Software Engineering Project II;
I'm not quite sure what to make of this one. It could be quite good, but that remains to be seen. This is our yearly project module with 60% going for the project and 40 for the practicals. So its 100% continuous assessment with no final exam.

Our project is a wiki-golf graph traversal game. No-one was quite sure what to make of it. I think I've got the hang of it after reading up on it, but that'll have to be figured out at some stage. This year we get to select our own teams of 5 and we work together to submit the project as well as a number of reports.

Graphs & Networks;
The name says it all. It's a maths module that covers graphs and networks. It seems good so far. I really hope I can keep up with it because so far it's proving to be rather interesting. It's got some work to do to catch up with Matrices & Vectors last year though.

Intro. to Cognitive Science;
The elective that I wanted to do last year, but I did Spanish instead. I'm very sorry I did, because this is proving to be very interesting so far. The website is if you're interested in having a look. It's all about studying the mind and how it works and why, so its very interdisciplinary. We spent the first couple of lectures covering the history of cognitive science and why it's still around today. Skinner's superstitious pigeons are very interesting.

Intro. to Computer Forensics;
Taught by Joe Carthy (head of CompSci in UCD), this course has huge promise. I was looking over the course outline and I can't wait to dive head first into this stuff, however because a large part of the audience isn't from CompSci I doubt we'll get very technical and we'll only brush the surface of more technical topics. Thus far I'm rather intrigued.

There is one other point to the course. We have to keep a learning journal, worth 30%, which is a separate note pad for just this module. This is supposed to keep our notes for every class, and a little reflection on each class. It's a bit of a pain to do it but it's easy marks if you just do 30mins of work every week.

So there we have it. I'm rather looking forward to this semester, I'm doing my last module for the entire course, and it's all stuff I'm interested in.