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Grade Predictions, Winter 2009

My first grade was just posted, but I haven’t looked at it yet because first I must do my Winter Quarter 2009 grade predictions! This quarter I took my first PMP class and my first Econ class at the UW, so those are new variables, but hopefully my guage isn’t too far off.

Economics 485 — Game Theory — 3.8
I did well on the first test, average on the second, and I feel I did well on the final

CSE P 505 — Programming Languages — 3.8
I averages in the low 90s on the homeworks, and I did well on the final, but so did a lot of people.

CSE M 584 — Security — 3.6
I feel I did well on the final, but I missed a homework and botched a second, and got a bad grade on one of the larger labs because I wasn’t careful enough (although my partner and I very successfully and quickly implemented the exploit). Oh well.

Finals Finally Finished

In quarters past, I have often finished my finals by the Tuesday of finals week, effectively giving me a couple of extra days off. This time around, however, all of my finals were at the end of the week, with Security on Wednesday at 8:30am, and Game Theory and Programming Languages on Thurday, at 8:30am and 6:30pm, respectively. It was a very late way to end the quarter. Nevertheless, I felt that I did pretty well on all my finals.

As evidenced by the late hour of this post, I have already let my normal school schedule slip significantly. The primary culprit tonight was Concurr, the web-based space strategy game that I working on with several others. Tonight, it was Theo and Shai working with me to implement new features, fix bugs, and generally have a good time.

A Wonderful Life

Today I woke up after a wonderful night’s sleep to the sound of a bird chirping and to the sight of a absolutely goregeous Seattle winter morning. What a way to live!

Tuesday and Wednesday I was suffering from a cold, but Thursday I was on the uptick and today I feel even better. I mananged to finish in my programming languages assignment that I started yesterday and was due yesterday, my Game Theory class is still awesome, and I have a great partner for my security lab which is pretty fun.

I have some laundry to fold, some homework to get a head start on, and some working out ahead of me today.

Life doesn’t get much better than this.

Poetic Justice: Fighting Bureaucracy with Bureaucracy

While munching on my post-lunch cup of ice in the Hub today, I saw a set of posters I have seen many times before. The posters look similar to the following:

Along with the images go catch phrases like “Too Fast and Furious — Need Legal Help.” The posters are advertisements for “Student Legal Services,” one of many underutilized (I am sure) services paid for by Washington State Taxpayers and UW students. Normally I don’t pay much attention to these posters, but now I am in legal trouble, so this time I did.

It turns out the the office is not far from where the posters are, so I paid them a visit. I filled out a green sheet with the information about my legal troubles, and I now have an appointment to meet with Devin and Ivy, two student lawyers (I believe) tomorrow.

I plan to ask them about:

  1. Advice on challenging the ticket
  2. Whether the police officer issuing the ticket acted appropriately in “kind of” demanding my license (his intent was clear, even if he was trying to dance around the question legally)
  3. What, in general, the law requires of police and myself during this kind of stop and other kinds of common police-civilian interactions. For example, can IDs be demanded? What if I refuse to give identification?

It will be interesting to see how it goes.

Oh, by the way, Washington State taxpayers: this and many other departments like it all around the UW and throughout the state government would be a great place to get back a good chunk of the 5.7 billion dollar deficit.

A Full Week

– Monday I had a Economics Midterm. I think I did very well. In security we learned to pick locks, a skill I had to put to use several months ago to “break” into a room in my house. That afternoon, I TA’d a robotics lab session, and then went on a run with Bobby, Spencer, and Theo.

– Tuesday I worked a long time on Robotics, trying to finish up the lab before the students (this effort was mostly successful)

– Wednesday we started on Dynamic Games in game theory.

– Thursday was my long day, but I was able to go to the later section, so I was done with school in 12 hours instead of the normal 13.

– Friday I finished up my Security homework, shot some pistols, and watched Benjamin Button.

– Saturday I blogged.

Caught In The Act

On Thursday, the Silicon Valley tech company Palantir came to the UW to give a “Tech Talk,” a self-promotional display of technology used to get CSE students interested in working for the company. The talk is usually accompanied by food and, sometimes, raffle prizes. I decided to attend because I figured I would be hungry around 5:30 (definitely true), and I had heard lots of good things about the people at Palantir and what they were doing.

The food, as it turns out, was pretty good — we got to make our own tacos, and I greatly appreciated it. However, I had a 6:30 class, and was unable to stay until the end of the talk, which I heard went until about 7:00. This is where it gets interesting.

At the beginning of the talk, the Palantir folks passed around a cup into which we were to drop our names to win a fabulous iPod touch. Being all about gaming the system, I decided to enter my name several times — six or seven times, that is — using varried sizes of paper. Furthermore, I went around with the cup, allowing other to place their names in it, before placing my own names into the cup, to give me a superior placement within the cup. Apparently my techniques were effective — very effective.

In fact, I won the raffle. Or at least, my name was drawn first. However, because I had to be present to win, and instead I was attending my 6:30-9:30 Programming Languages lecture, I did not actually win. So they placed my name aside and drew again. And then my name was drawn, again. I still was not present, so I still did not win. Finally, someone who was present did win, and the raffle ended.

It seems that my actions grated on at least a few people, although the student who reported the incident was “nice” (?) enough to omit my name, while nevertheless accusing me of having no integrity. I decided to thank him or her for the post, and take full responsibility for my actions in a comment to the post.

But, I would like to hear from my readers as well: Were my actions unethical? Am I a shmuck? Should I be ashamed of myself? (Right now I’m not.)

Winter 2009 Schedule

It took a while to settle down, but I finally have my Winter 2009 schedule finalized, or very nearly finalized. The key blocker was getting into Econ 485, the Game Theory class that I have attended lectures to in hopes that I could get an add code. The add code arrived yesterday (Thanks Professor Lawaree!), and I signed up for Game Theory, dropping the Systems Seminar and Distributed Computing Capstone along the way.

The UW visual schedule is failing me because half of my classes have no officially assigned times, so instead I will convey my schedule in writing:

Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00 am – 10:20 am I have my CSE M 584 Security Lecture

Mondays and Wednesdays, 12:30 pm – 2:20 pm I have my Econ 485 Game Theory Lecture

Mondays 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm I have CSE 481c, Robotics Capstone labs, which I am TAing

Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:30 am – 11:50 am I have CSE 481c, Robotics Capstone Lectures

Tuesdays 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm I once again TA the Robotics Capstone Lab

Wednesdays, 4:40 pm – 5:30 pm I have CSE 590G, the Architecture Seminar

Thursdays 6:30 pm – 9:20 pm I have CSE P 505, Programming Languages

Fridays I have free of scheduled classes, but will probably be doing homework and Robotics Capstone Lab Preparations

In short, I will be busy!