Monday, September 27, 2010

You should have all of the bs in the same form...

Well. I know it has been a whole 4 days.... so lets recap. Don't worry, I am going to keep you interested by letting you know that there are pictures!
Champion. You show that rock...
 And Ill start with them! I was walking down a very little used stair case, when I noticed this little guy. I though of Wall-E, and had a little moment bonding with this little plant... It could persevere, I could persevere.
So last Friday, with the exception of class, was spent working on Machine Learning homework. But for class we went on a field trip! This would be my ethnography course, we walked from campus to Schenly Plaza (across the street from the Cathedral of learning) for some practice observations. I chose to look at how people converse, both in person and on the phone. So I just meandered around the area, I ended up covering about 5 square blocks, part of which was PITT. Not really all that interesting... people have a hard time talking when there is a lot of noise (like cars, or loud music), people tend to not talk on their phones while in groups, bla bla. Really it was a time to practice note taking, which was much needed for my homework (which I will get to in a bit). So after class I ran in to one of the guys from my Computational Photography course, we confused ourselves even more... after spending and hour discussing what the heck the problem we were trying to solve for, I headed home.

Now I will introduce to you Scooter Algorithm for catching a bus on Friday around 4 PM. If a bus passes you full, walk up to the next stop. If it takes you less than 5 mins to get to the next stop, keep going. Once there, wait for the next bus. If that one passes you, replete until your either get on a bus or you make it home. I don't know if I have explained it yet, there are a set of "61" buses, as in 61A, 61B, 61C, 61D. These buses all start downtown Pittsburgh. They all travel past Duquesne University, then travel through Oakland, then pass Carlow University, then pass PITT, then they get to CMU. Full. Every time. From CMU they travel to Squirrel hill, where they all split off and go their separate directions, mine towards Braddock and Wilkinsburgh. At Squirrel hill, half of the bus gets off, and the rest of the ride is easy going. Last week, when I had way better things to be doing than waiting for the bus, on average 2 full buses passed me each day. With 61A's only coming every 30 mins, this means I end up waiting for over an hour! Not cool! Then you get on the bus and it hits traffic, and a 15 bus ride turns in to a 2 hour ordeal.

So on Friday, I really did not want to stay at school, so I started to implement my "Scooters Algorithm." I ended up making it 1/3 of the way home before a bus picked me up. Ugg... simply frustrating.

So for dinner I made perogies again. They were great! I took pictures this time! If you are wondering they were potato and cheese perogies, cooked with onions and peppers, topped with more cheese.

I am supporting James!
That is right. I found Reeds!
As I enjoyed my dinner, I watched the latest episode of the Office and Big Bang Theory, both of which I missed because of homework... The two episodes I watched made me realize two things: I love the Office and Big Bang Theory, and I really miss watching the Office after eating enchiladas with Bill, Jake, James, Dannica and Jamie (Alana, you ate with us, but never watched the office...). Those were great times.

Enough being sentimental. So I get to work. Friday night I spent a lot of time working on Computational Photography... I only had 20% of the program working, and it was going to be due on Tuesday (tomorrow). I had spent a lot of time working on it, and by working on it, I mean starting at an ugly equation trying to figure out what it means. The TA and the professor were both out of contact, so I was on my own. After talking to my other classmates, I was farther, and had a better understanding than them, so they were not useful. I got to a point where I could think of nothing else, and looked up at the clock... 1:20 AM! AH! I need to go to bed! So a sleep I went.

As a side note, I have a really hard time going from working on things like homework to sleep... my mind stays on the problem, and I just stay up. This was and is a re-occurring problem.

So the weekend ended up blending together a lot. If you were to take the expectation of my weekend, in terms of what I was looking at, you would get my computer screen. And if you were to take the variance, you would get the post-its right next to my computer screen.... Saturday morning I had a really good conversation with Chelsea about the Photography homework. It is full of linear algebra, something that I was never formally trained on. She was able to clear out the cobwebs and get me to think of the problem in a different way, which was awesome. Turns out, we were not close to the right track. But it was still good to work with here... yes at one point I did say: "you should have all of the bs in the same form" I was referring to the multiple b vectors.... Chelsea, come on, we were being serious!

At one point I went to the store for food. Larry asked me to pick up some double stuffed oreos. Now, 2 days later, they are gone. And I did not eat any...

Later in the day I went over to Mitch's house. We pounded away at the homework. We eventually got all of the math parts done, however the 5th part of our homework was writing two different programs. Later this week, I will have Mind-Blowing ideas #3 going in to these... Cassidy, Mitch's wife made us pizza again. (dang, I need to get a wife!). By the end of the night (1 ish again) I had the first, Naive Bayes classifier up and running.

Sunday. Sunday was a feat in computing power. The ISB Mainframe II (that is my desktop) was pounding away at full power all day. First it was solving linear algebra, then it was processing images by the end. If you take out all of the time I spent on homework, my day was about 3 hours long. I woke up, took a break for breakfast (eggie-in-a-basket!), then later I took another break for dinner and for taking a load of laundry down. Then more laundry. Then I got to have a very nice conversation with Jamie, via skype, that acted as a much needed and much appreciated break from the work. All in all I figured that left my room 5 times. I never showered, and I never changed out of my PJs (yeah bullet proof and Darth Vader!). Again, I stayed up way late trying to write up the problems... but hey this is college right?

So today, I went to school early, again to continue the write up. I do all of my work in a not-so-neat form, so that once I know the process I can then go back and write it up again. So I was working on that all morning. I finished 5 miniutes before class started, and turned in 45 pages of HW, 41 handwritten, equation filled, pages on engineering paper, and 4 pages full of typed explanation. Dang. I felt good turning that in. Certainly felt like I accomplished something. And I feel as though I understand it too... I don't know how well I would do if I had a test on it tomorrow, but I get the general idea.

The rest of the day I treated as a resting day. I headed downtown to work on my Ethnography project, Ill tell you all more about it when I write it up. But for a fore taste, I looked at this for an hour:
Ill let you try and guess why.

 My evening has been filled with very productive Computational Photography work. This is the fun part now, I am trying to come up with examples to show off my code. Mom, watch out! You are a subject of some of my examples. ;)

And now it is time for bed!


  1. SO impressed with my little nephew!!! You are WAY TOO SMART!! I can not wait to hear how you did on the project ... something tells me you WOWed your prof!! I think you have gone well beyond the Gramps theory of needing to learn something new everyday!! Maybe you are storing up for days in the future?!

    Love your little tree ... grow little tree grow!! You never know, it could be the inspiration behind someone's Halloween costume someday!! :)

    Welcome to the world of staying in your PJ's all day ... getting dressed is overrated! I firmly believe I get way more done in a day if I stay in my pj's!!

    Thanks for the FB chat this morning ... you made my day and it is only 8:45am!!! :)


  2. I am glad you took time to stop and smell the roses (or in this case bond with the champion plant) I am teaching my students about Creating images and making connections... I visualize you and this plant as both having the strength to persevere! I can also visualize Bullet Proof and Darth all day!!! I am also glad you took the time to eat perogies, find Reeds, and at least try to sleep. Don't worry about finding a wife too soon (especially if she wants you to live EAST of the Rockies). And tell your Aunt that dressing as a tree for Halloween is overrated!!! XOXOX Mom

  3. I want to know if anyone else has fun imagining the meaning of the word you have to type in to get your comment to post, or is it just me???

  4. It is NOT overrated - Mr. Snowman!!!

    Yes ... I think the random letters / "word" could be the beginning of a new game! Hey ... maybe we need to create the game, make a million dollars, and then retire!! Hmmmm ... guess I should keep my day job ... oh wait ... I don't have one!!! (just made myself lol - must be time for bed!!)

  5. OK ... my word was "micusnes" ... a new spelling for "my cousins"!

  6. Or does it have to do with microphone usage???

  7. I just am in awe of your connection with the persistant little tree. Your concern with your class and the big blank wall that keeps staring at you is just like my wall at JM this year. My project, to build a London telephone booth. Had to have a door which could be opened and shut. Had to be open in the back. Had to be 3 dimensional, Aaron and I got it built but we could not get the door to work properly to save our souls. Finally, on Tuesday evening, I threw my hands up and said I was stumped. I had hit that wall. I even started thinking of alternative set pieces I was so desparate. Finally I mentioned my problem to one of the house "teachers". Told him about what I saw as the problem. (The wood that I had on the hinge side was not strong enough to hold the door without warping.) He went over to the side and fabricated a steel reinforcing piece and handed to me. That solved the problem immediately. You know me, I just don't do steel. But you have to use all of your resources and your own brain power, but most of all stick to itness. Just like the little tree. I am proud of you.

    the grampanator

  8. Put that picture of the little tree where you can see it every day.