hortont · blog · school


2011.05.30 in school

I can now collapse the RPI folder in Aperture, which now stands at 8,440 photographs over four years - almost perfectly consistently gaining 2,000 pictures per year (1354, 2015, 2013, and 2900, respectively). Here's one of my recent favorites:

We're all college graduates now!

Games, Notebook, And Other Random Stuff

2011.03.05 in code, personal, and school

It's been quite a while since I've written here! While I'm only taking 12 credits this semester, it seems like one of the busier semesters I've had, at least so far... random assorted notes, in no particular order:

  • I got a job! I'll be joining Apple's WebKit team in June. I'm extremely excited; however, in order to keep this website separate from work, this is the first and last time I'll mention this fact.
  • I'm visiting Silicon Valley during spring break to find an apartment, along with Mom!
  • Carol got a job! She'll be hanging out in Rochester, at Harris Corporation!
  • I dropped Cryptography/Network Security, because it was unnecessary and was threatening to be the class that I ignore this semester in favor of the more demanding ones.
  • Notebook has a few new features: indent/unindent region, and a reasonable API for providing access to an engine's globals. Progress is much slower than it was over winter break, because I have to spend so much time on other things...
  • There are videos on YouTube of my first and second Experimental Game Design games.
  • I'm spending a lot of time on Experimental Game Design; this always seems to happen with Arts/Communications classes when I take them! This time around, it's because I've committed to being the sole programmer on a really complicated multiplayer game, which puts me a bit out of my element. But I'm making the most of it (even if that involves spending a lot of time on MSDN...)
  • If EGD takes a lot of time, IT & Society takes up just as much — there's constantly writing, editing, formatting, or meetings.
  • Amy and I are going to see Donald Glover (Community's Troy Barnes) do standup and stuff at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC (the same place Carol and I went to see She & Him a while back!)
  • We're (probably) relicensing Seed under LGPLv2+ so that webkit-gtk can use parts of it. What kind of coincidence is that??

Last-First Weeks

2011.02.04 in school

I'm just wrapping up the end of the second week of my last semester at RPI, so it's time for another list of thoughts.


I've only had one session of this so far because of the snow and the fact that it meets only once a week. It seems like the final project is something like a ground-up implementation of SSH, which sounds entertaining. This is also my only stereotypical CS class this semester.

Experimental Game Design

I haven't been to this class yet, and it looks like that might continue being the case for at least another week: I wasn't in it yet during the first meeting, and the second was canceled due to snow. Next week there's a chance I'll be out of town for interviews. Regardless, I did the first project, which was to write a rough draft of a game in a week.

I wrote a multiplayer multitouch (for the desktop; you use Magic Trackpads/the built in trackpad to control it) cross between some of my favorites: Osmos, World of Goo, and Geometry Wars, entirely with CoreGraphics (read: no GL, so it's easier/faster to write, but it just barely runs at full speed on my machine when you've got a ton of bodies on the screen). It's not even remotely in a state to post at the moment, but it sits in a GitHub private repo that I'll publish after the class is over (if I determine that I'm even allowed to do that at all).

IT and Society

This is going to be a repeat of Biology: I do it because I have to, not because I want to. It fulfills two graduation requirements in one class, but it is not fun (it's a freshman class, full of reading and writing and silly IT-y things that I really don't enjoy at this point). My section's TA seems pretty awesome, though, so that'll help.

We have to form fake corporations and respond to RFPs and stuff... it makes me feel like I'm living inside Hacker News.


I'm working on Notebook for credit for RCOS this semester; I'm giving my first presentation in less than an hour alongside Matt and Peter and probably others. Fun!

Final Semester Schedule

2011.01.11 in school

As it stands at the moment...

Achievement Unlocked: CAPP Report

2011.01.11 in school

The code-related post I promised yesterday is going to have to wait, as I'm waiting for Amazon to bring up another Cloudfront distribution and for a new DNS entry to propagate, both of which need to happen before I can make that post.

Instead, I'll leave you with this little bit of awesomeness that I woke up to this morning (after having someone at the registrar's office correct for a bug in SIS regarding my current registrations):

Just a few more months!

Busy Week(s)

2010.12.09 in personal and school

Obviously the posts that I promised last week when I wrote about my new camera haven't come yet — I'm busy trying to compute depth based on bokeh so that I don't fail Computational Vision, and it's starting to work. But then I have to finish a ten page paper on that, so I probably won't have a chance to spend too much time writing until I get home late next week. Luckily Bio is mostly done now, and I'm definitely not going to fail! Yay.

Back to work.

RPI Flyby

2010.10.28 in personal and school

During RPI's family weekend, the Rensselaer Aeronautical Federation was doing their normal semesterly "RPI Flyby", in which they take students up in their tiny (four-seater) planes and skim the skies above Troy and Albany. Matt and Gino went a few years ago, and somehow I convinced myself that it would be neat to go myself, if only for the photographic opportunity. So, I reserved the Sunday 10AM block for Matt and I to go, and... we went!

That's our little plane! We had a pilot and a copilot, and Matt and I got the back two seats. It was hard to get in, but once in, there was plenty of room for the four of us. We had headsets, and could hear both our pilots and the ALB tower, though we weren't able to talk back (luckily!).

I didn't realize how small Albany International Airport was; I'm pretty sure it's quite a bit smaller than Burlington, now that I see it from the air (Wikipedia says they're comparable (with BTV winning) in the number of aircraft which call them home, but Albany sees almost twice as much traffic).

That's the center of our campus in the middle of autumn. You can see pretty much all of the important buildings except Low and West Hall, and from this angle it's even more clear how ridiculous EMPAC looks next to the rest of the buildings. The smallest building, just to the right of center, is the home to my department.

The symmetry of Freshman Hill looks much more awesome from the sky than it does from the ground. My old home, Cary, is the topmost L-shaped building (in the upper-left, directly to the left of topmost-Barton's double-L structure). Davison, though worth less of a mention, is the white-topped L-shaped building in the bottom right.

Carol's house! (also Andrew, Christine, Jillian, Kim, Nick, Ryan, and Zarin's)

It was a really small plane... Before we got started, they asked us if we were OK doing negative Gs; I said "not really", and Matt was all "definitely", so, of course, we did them :-) They handed Matt a pen to hold on his palm and watch it float; I hadn't considered all of the repercussions of the word "negative" (I was thinking "zero"), so my camera smacked me in the face. Good fun.

Empire State Plaza! It's been a while since I've been there on the ground, but it looks pretty neat from the sky.

First Week of Senior Year!

2010.09.05 in school

The first week of my senior year at RPI is now quite over! I have to say that while I do miss San Diego a bit, it is really nice to be back in the Troy swing of things...

Next week is Amy's first week of college, at MCPHS; she's still a bit nervous, but I'm quite sure she's going to have a great time! Apparently last night she was out and about Boston on a school-run scavenger hunt, which included a trip near a totally-packed Fenway Park. FUN! (not, apparently...)

My schedule has been under a great deal of flux over the course of the week, as it always is; since I got here, I added Rhetoric and Writing, then dropped it, added Computational Vision in its place, and dropped Processes, all for various reasons (mostly trying to balance the things that will make me crazy during the semester with the things that I'll enjoy). Initial impressions:

Computational Vision — While the professor didn't show up for the first class (instead sending recordings of himself for the TA to play for us), it seems like this is going to be a great class (I finished the first homework almost a week early, if that's any indication of enjoyment). Lots of image processing and fun stuff like that (the professor actually founded a company that makes panorama-stitching and medical-image-registration software, so it should be good).

Bio — Ha! I really can't stand the fact that I have to take this... but I've gotten around that problem this time (so far) by making friends with awesome people in my class! (I don't normally manage to do that). I do need it to graduate, though, and I've started taking it two or three semesters in the past only to drop it during the first week. Should be good this time...

Open Source Software — It's a class with Moorthy (and a few people from Kitware), so of course it's going to be great! Should be a relatively relaxing class, I think... we'll see!

Computational Finance — Malik (who I previously had for Machine Learning, which was probably the hardest/most-stressful/greatest-payoff class I've taken here so far) spent something like twenty minutes during the first class explaining how we should probably leave if we don't have calculus, multivar, linear algebra, and statistics down pat. I haven't taken any but calc... we'll see how it goes (I vaguely remember the same warning before Machine Learning). I learned more about economics in the first day than was taught in an entire semester of Econ 101 last year, so I guess that's good!

Fall 2010 Schedules

2010.08.24 in school

This is going to be a nice calm semester.

Matt's got a lot of manipulation to do, I guess. MAKE UP YOUR MIND!

I have no words except sorry for that one...

See Older Posts