Saving Science

It’s coming up to the end of term and I’m in the last week of live development in my group project, for which we’ve been producing an online trading game where players experience gameplay somewhat akin to a form of bartender training. Due to the proximity of our deadline, reports and presentations to Imperial’s Summer Ball though, I might give it a miss. I was looking towards other means of satisfying a desire to suit up since the event was revamped to represent more of a festival and it looks like the RCSU Summer Ball has filled that gap.

The DSTL departmental team building event came and went, and I led my team of 7 through the various challenges to an overall state of success. We got our Belbin test results back also, the results of which showed my preferred team roles to be the Monitor/Evaluator and Coordinator. I also received delivery of my iPad2 a few days ago and hastily upgraded to the just-announced iOS5 development release. So far it’s handling really well, but I’ve yet to have a full session out with it to test it against a busy schedule.

Anyway, while my group project seems to be coming together by way of a fierce, winning combination of front/back end insights and Pair Programming, I’ve taken some time to fulfil other duties I had been procrastinating against and have ended up quite pleased with my productivity. Not only have I begun saving science in the Portal 2 co-op, completed a first draft of the Personal Development Plan for my engineering leadership award, submitted my essay entry to the RCSU Science Challenge, scheduled a three hour Microsoft Certification exam for Wednesday and prepared an application to CERN for a technical internship, but I’ve also identified a potential first use of my award – attending Microsoft’s Build Windows conference in California, showcasing Windows 8 from a developer’s perspective. I won’t go into the various obstacles I had to overcome on the Computing lab machines for the group project work too.

I’ve started to realise that waiting another two years to reconcile my degree with Physics is far too long when my mind craves it so, and in beginning to miss the theory dearly, I’ve rekindled a drive to refresh my knowledge and understanding of quantum mechanics and its consequences in Computing (just in case). This served as good motivation to join open forums such as the BarCamp UnConference. Members can lecture audiences who sign up openly, so I’ll probably be talking on fascinating topics such as the Riemann Hypothesis and Quantum Computational Complexity Classes.

Also, it’s Felix’s last issue of the year next week. Last year, we published a joke issue with fake news all over the place (Link, large PDF). My intent to switch to the Technology section next year has been met with support thus far. One downside of all this regrouping is that I’ve had to prioritise everything again. Consequently, my driving theory test has now expired and I will have to retake it again before I next try to pass my driving test. Never mind.

It’s a very promising future once again, and I anxiously await my exam results next month to see how it will all begin playing out.

Alex Kara

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About Alexander Karapetian

Software Engineer & Computer Scientist from Imperial College.
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