Wrapping Up Spring Semester

This is super cliché, but it’s amazing how fast time passes by. I still remember being all excited for this semester, and now, as I write this blogpost, my semester ends in eleven days. I have to say, this semester turned out to be more time consuming than I had anticipated. CS32 is pretty much eating up all my time, and I keep having to walk up and down the hill to finish up my photography assignments during the weekends. However, I feel like my Java skills are now at superhuman Asian level (okay, maybe not really), I know why my brain decides to binge on junk food during stressful times (I blame the fact that I’m under cognitive load), I know what Q-Learning is (although I’m not sure when exactly I’ll have to use it), I can develop and enlarge my own photographs, and I can play the Javanese gamelan. But okay. In all seriousness though, I definitely learned a ton this semester.

This Thursday I had my first final exam of the semester. It was for my Artificial Intelligence class, and for some reason the staff decided to have two finals for the class…I mean, what the hell, right? On Monday, I’ll have my final project presentation for CS32; my group and I created Zebracode, which is an online application that teaches its users the basics of programming. Right now, we’re teaching Python and Java. We created it with the aim of installing it in libraries in Botswana (apparently, they’re really excited about it!) The basics are pretty much done, and all we need to do is add some final functionalities and make sure it doesn’t break.

I finished my Social Psychology research study last Wednesday, and I chose to do mine on the effects of gender in Computer Science. I wanted to see whether or not gender mattered. For instance, if I had two men with the same CS experience, but one of them being really masculine and the other one being really feminine, would people see the more masculine one as the one being a better software engineer, or the other way round? Through this experiment, I discovered one very important thing: the power of Reddit. I posted a survey up on /r/SampleSize, and within four hours, I had 40 people fill out the survey. That is pretty incredible, considering the fact that one of my classmates sent out his survey to his other class of 400 students, and only received 4 responses. The study I conducted was not a professional study by any means, and the date I collected was rather inconclusive. It could have been due to varies reasons: poorly designed study, not having enough data, not gathering data properly, or maybe I just didn’t analyze the data properly. The day after it was due, our professor, Fiery (yes, his name really is Fiery, and pronounced the same way), joked about how most of our experiments failed, and that he had expected it. We’re just a bunch of non-concentrators anyway! Aside from that, the Social Psychology final is on the 12th of May, so I still have much time to prepare for it.

Photography’s going pretty well, and I have a pretty clear idea of what I’m going to do for my final exam. The idea is to create a series of photographs that will convey a story (I’m thinking it should be a funny one), and I want to incorporate some idea of multiplicity or duplicates into it. The idea came to me while I was watching an episode of Make Way For Noddy on Youtube. In the episode, Noddy used a spell to duplicate himself, which made me think, what if I could duplicate myself? That would be fun. So I tried it out, and my classmates seemed to like the idea. Here’s the photos I created for last week’s critique. Beware, they’re kinda silly, and the point of it all was just to see whether there would be any technical issues in doing it.

Series 1

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Series 2

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I found out that the final project critique is going to be on the 12th of May, 1-6pm, which is not good since Social Psych is also on the 12th, but 2-4pm. Thankfully, my photography professor, Jenny, is really understanding and said I can come late.

Gamelan class has also been a blast. I think one of the reasons I’m enjoying it so much is because it gives me a way to get in touch with my roots, and it’s also really, really relaxing. For our concert last Saturday, we had guest stars from Boston, Cornell, Seattle, and even Indonesia. I played the slenthem in three of the pieces, the demung once, and the bonang once. I was a total wreck playing the slenthem; in every piece, there would always be a point where I got lost, and one of the guest stars, Chris, who was sitting in front of me, even had to babysit me though it. It was kinda embarrassing, haha. I will, however, continue doing it in the fall. 

On top of the gazillion things I need to do, I still have to finish up my CPT application so that I can do my internship at Vistaprint this summer. Not to mention packing, thinking of summer storage, and getting my Canadian visa. On the bright side though, I’m flying to Seattle on the 13th, and then to Indonesia on the 15th. In my mind, I’ve got so many things planned out for the summer, and I’m so excited to make them a reality. For one, I want to finish redesigning my website, and then, I also went to get into shape. I gained twenty pounds ever since coming to the land of Uncle Sam, and it’s about time I lose the fat and gain the muscles. I’m also planning to venture into the world of mobile development this summer. We’ll see what I can come up with.

Gotta get back to reality. 

Kærlig hilsen,

Indira

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