Friday, October 28, 2005

Site Changes & Improvements (I Hope!)

Hello! Please take a moment to check out my new webpage! It might be a bit rough around the edges at the moment since I basically generated the whole thing this evening, but it has some nifty content. I hope to use that site for static content - my research interests, short personal biography and so on, while posting more timely comments here. This new layout has also been designed to compliment the layout of this blog. While they are not identical (it doesn't use CSS or anything fancy), they do share much of the same color palette and layout. I decided to do this to try and keep some visual consistency between the two sites so they don't feel like two totally separate entities.

I also turned off the posting requirement for this blog - you no longer need to have a Blogger account to post. I'll have to see if this opens me up to SPAM posts, but I can take care of that if that is the case. Hopefully what will happen is that more of you will post! Hint: I am more likely to update if it seems like someone is reading this! :-P

I've got more to talk about but for now I need to sleep. Hopefully I'll post more this weekend.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Case Photos

Check out the Case Screensaver! Case folks can submit photos online to go into the screen saver. You can also browse all the photos on the web page. Quite nifty!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Case 125th Anniversary Weekend

This weekend is the Case School of Engineering 125th Anniversary. Big deal? Apparently so - since I got to go to all sorts of spiffy events.

First of all, I attended Dean Kamen's lecture on Friday afternoon. Dean Kamen is probably best known as the inventor of the Segway scooter and the iBot wheel chair. He also founded DEKA Research & Development in the early 1980s which has churned out innovative, successful products regularly since its inception. He had some interesting words to say to the CSE - some witty, some acerbic, some insightful, some incredibly funny. But he had one driving message - that not enough Americans are becoming engineers and that this will be the downfall of our nation if not addressed soon.

Dean believes that our failure to produce engineers is not a failure in our educational system, but a failure in American culture. He noted that more degrees were awarded in Sports Management last year in the U.S. than in all engineering fields, combined. He believes that an ignorance of what engineers do and who engineers are in young people keeps them from setting their sights high enough to go to engineering school. To combat this ignorance, he founded a group called FIRST, which runs a large-scale science olympics every year with the goal of getting kids excited about learning. Check it out. All in all, it was a very thought-provoking lecture.

Then, I went to see Dennis Miller Live at Severance Hall on Friday night. I scored some free tickets about 30 minutes before showtime (excllent!) so I went to check him out. I am generally a fan of Dennis Miller, mostly because his comedy is so timely and relevant. However, he must have decided to recycle some old material for us... we heard quite a bit about his opinions of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky... and about global warming. Not very timely, if you ask me. Although he did get some quips in about the constitutional referendum in Iraq and Bush's abysmal approval rating... and even if he wasn't relevant, he was pretty funny. Anyway, for the cost, it was definitely worthwhile. :)

Finally, tonight, I went to the CSE Banquet downtown. The picture at the top of the post is of one of the banners at the event. Check out that hot girl at the bottom right. I could totally date her... Anyway, there were a lot of Case celebrities at the reception so it was a good time with some excellent conversation. The dinner speeches were not the best, but the food was delicious! Now, if only I had done some homework today...

Binary Walkway

The fruits of the Baker building's destruction are about to come to pass with the new Binary Walkway. I submit to you that the walkway is not nearly as obnoxious as many have made it out to be (usually after only hearing about it second-hand). Although it is covered with ones and zeros (the language of love!), it is to be noted that it is tastefully covered with ones and zeros in muted shades of grey. Of course, as an EECS student, I may be slightly biased - but I think it's quite aesthetically pleasing. The green space makes the quad just that much more inviting as well. You be the judge!

Oh, and yes, that is my bike in the picture there. Yea bike!

Hundert's Fireside Chat

On Thursday, President Hundert visited us in the great room of House 4 of the Village at 115 to talk about the upper class experience and the future of the university. We broke the ice with him by discussing the bad acting in the Star Wars prequels - which I though was immensely entertaining.

At the very least, Dr. Hundert definitely has a vision for the University, which is a Good Thing (TM). He totally believes in SAGES (Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship) as the future of undergraduate education, at least at Case. As for me, I am in with the last of the old-timers and I've never had a SAGES class, so I can't pass judgement on the program, specifically. However, I am a staunch supporter of learning by doing -- and interacting with others. It remains to be seen how well Case will implement this new style of teaching and learning (especially for the upper-level departmental SAGES courses that don't exist yet), but the motivation is good.

Of course, SAGES wasn't the only topic du jour. Some notable notes:

- Case is putting out request for proposals for developing the quardangle and the parking lot at Ford and Euclid next month. He envisions a Case "University Town" that is par for the course at most other universities. Embedded in the RFP - the proposal must include plans for a grocery store and a drug store. Right on.

- Case will be getting a new student center some time in the indefinite future. Currently, the plan is to put it on Freiberger Field (near KSL and Thwing). Specifically the center will include a huge tower that will be a beacon and orienting point for all of the Case Campus and University Circle. Well, OK. But, will it have an arcade? :)

- Case planned to bring in about 900-950 freshmen this year - the >1100 who showed up was totally unexpected. One of the primary goals of the enlarged enrollment was to fill more seats in the humanities and undergraduate management departments. Of course, a horde of new BMEs came along for the ride.

- Glenn Nicholls, V.P. of Student Affairs projected that we will need to put students on the top of the hill South Side next fall. He also predicted that there will be undergraduate students on South Side for at least 5-7 more years. So much for the unified undergraduate housing plan...

- Case is entertaining the notion of a smoke-free campus. The Medical quad is already implementing this. All I can say is it's about time.

In general, Dr. Hundert was really down-to-earth and listened attentively to the questions posed by the students in attendance. Surely a good sign.

Oh, and one more thing. Dr. Hundert does in fact read the Athenian - he even shows some of the caricatures depicting him in the Athenian to his kid. One of the reps of the Athenian was present at the event and asked Dr. Hundert to be the next Athenian faculty advisor. Unfortunately, he declined. C'est la vie.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A Decent Weekend at 115th St.

Heya! I took the above picture this weekend after the Spartans Football game. I had a great seat to watch the fireworks show from my apartment. I took a bunch more pictures as well, but that one was particularly nice.

I got a lot of homework accomplished, although not as much as I would have liked. But, I am in pretty good position to start the week.

I bought a used iBook this week from another student here at Case. It's less than a year old and in great condition, so I'm pretty pleased with it. The specs are decent too - 60 GB HD, 768 MB RAM, CD-RW / DVD drive, 14" display, 1.2 GHz G4. It's very similar to the PowerBook I was using as Apple Campus Rep, except for 14" instead of 12." I have to say that I prefer the 12" model for portability, but the 14" is much easier to look at.

What else is new? I got a nearly perfect score on my Statics test. I missed points due to a stupid mistake, but that is nothing new for me. I imagine the next test will be more difficult since this one had an average of 85 and covered difficult topics like vectors - ooohh. No tests this week, but lots of homework to turn in and lots to get done in the lab, so I'll be busy. OH! I guess that's not entirely true - I have a CPR test tomorrow. :)

Guess that's about it for now. I'll post again soon, hopefully with more pretty pictures.