October 2012

Applying for Internships

As a computer science student at Michigan State University, I have been told repeatedly that one of the best things I can do for my career at this point is take on an internship for a semester (usually summer). I have already done one internship (at NASA ARC) and am hoping to do another one this summer with a well known company.

I have sent applications with my resume and such to Google, Microsoft, Zynga, and IBM. I was impressed with the ease of the process — all four employers made the application process quite efficient.

Of course, I could always just work full time at my current job at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory over the summer. That is my default plan. However, if I get an offer for a nice internship, I probably would not turn it down. It is always nice to get away from campus for a bit and learn some new skills.

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Weekend Plans

It is the weekend!!!

I actually will be pretty busy, still. I have a software design assignment and two artificial intelligence assignments to work on. Too much fun

Tomorrow I have a driving lesson from 11am to 12pm. I am looking forward to getting my driving skills better before the road test

Tomorrow night I am going to see Christopher Carter at the International Center. He is an illusionist. It should be a good show. If anyone wants to go with me, I can bring one non student guest. Just let me know.

This semester has been very satisfying so far. I really really like my job at the NSCL.

There is a root beer party at a neighboring dorm Sunday night. I may go, depending on how much I get done before then.

I have next to me a tentative set list for my first album. I really wish I had my cello here at the dorm so I could practice the pieces! i hope to do some recording over Thanksgiving break, my Dad’s schedule permitting, and the rest during the mid semester break.


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Ouch! Back pain.

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I ended up in the hospital yesterday morning because my back/headache got so bad. Not fun. Fortunately, they gave me a nice medication that made me sleep and when I woke up the pain was gone.

Now it is starting to hurt again. But, I have doctor’s appointments the next couple days to try and get to the bottom of it.

Class is going well. Huge “step assignment” project in my software design class is threatening to eat all of my time, but I’m making sure I get some fun in too.

Work went well today. We had an impromptu meeting in the early afternoon. My project is coming along nicely.

Ouch! Back pain. Read More »

New music!

I have made a few more quick, messy recordings of my music that I will share here. These four are all solo cello. The last is a rather long, 4 part improvisation. It cuts off at the end, sorry about that. I may upload the full version when I have more time.

The first piece is Run right in.

Next, we have Waltze to the gate.

And now, Waldorf the Great.

Last, but not least, is the long but good one: Wanderlust. Sorry it cuts off at the end!

I will be recording a CD of some of my music this year. Consider these a sneak preview for those of you cool enough to read my website.

If you are curious how I composed these, here is a little insight. I get in the mood to make a piece. I might see my cello, and think, hmm.. I think I’ll write a piece for it. I then pick it up, adjust the bow, adjust the end pin, make sure I’m in tune, and then switch on the recorder on my iPod.

Then I start playing some open strings, and a few small forms and phrases that come into my head. Sometimes this is all that happens. Often, however, a large phrase or musical idea pops in, and I give it form as best I can.

The recordings you are listening to below are first recordings. This means I composed them right on the spot. That is why there are occasional hesitations, squawks, and out of tune bits, or parts when I might start singing along or such. This is all part of my creative process. When I make the CD, most of these artifacts will vanish, as by then I will have played the pieces several times and know the hard parts better.

I do not plan and write the music out first, as some composers do. I just “hear” the music internally while I am holding the instrument and play what comes to me.

Before I became a composer, I always wondered about how composers made their music. If you have that same curiosity, you now know how I do it. For now, at least. I have been known to put something together in Finale before, just to get an idea down. Now that I have a recorder, though, more and more I just will sing a tune if it comes into my head when I am not ready to compose.

New music! Read More »

A winter break project

I have found that over breaks in school, it is really nice to have a project to work on. This year I am thinking I will make some programs in C# and .NET on my Windows machine. It has been a very long time since I have used Visual Studio, so this should be a treat.

I am currently in the brainstorming ideas phase of the project; hopefully I’ll have a bit of a plan by the time break starts. I will probably do a few test programs, like, hello world, maybe implement an algorithm or two, and see about user interface designing and such, and then I will go about making some cool programs.

My current ideas are utilities for the Windows desktop. Possibly Widgets. I am considering making something to organize the desktop icons into groups, or implement a tabbed desktop sort of system, or multiple desktop interface.

I am also considering making something for the Emotiv Epoc, the EEG headset that you put on your head and then it reads your brain waves to control the computer. I think I would start with a simple launcher type utility, that can be used to make launching programs using the head set easier than controlling the mouse with head movements and clicking on the icons. I am thinking something like a gaze analysis box, that based on where you look can select one of several prearranged applications to launch.

With this, I could also have the application slots automatically populated using a determination of which applications are most frequently run when the head set is in use.

Just some ideas. One of these breaks I want to get to learning Java, too, but I think I’ll save that for a different one.

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