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Finally registered for my course

I have one week left in Italy, and due to the shoddy connection and excessive heat lately, I’ve been doing almost nothing. Not to worry, my postgraduate degree starts on the 2nd of September, and I have registered for it. Finally, doing something useful again!

So far, the courses I’m registered for in Semester 1 include:
Algorithms and Logical Methods
Computer Architechture & Operating Systems
Internet Programming

I’ve already got a basic idea of C++, which is one of the langauges I’ll be learning, according to a guy I know who’s done this course. I suspect the one on Operating Systems will cover Linux and Windows – got some experience there, although I’ll have to keep reminding myself that I’m not an expert. All in all, it sounds like this is going to be an interesting degree.

Of course, being back in Galway means I get a better Internet connection that doesn’t randomly disconnect just because I go up a flight of stairs into my room – hence the lack of posts. I’ll start actually blogging properly once I get back there.


What a great birthday present – the Higgs boson!

CERN is planning to announce the possible discovery of the Higgs boson tomorrow – which also happens to be my birthday. What a coincidence! 😀

There’s a good summary of what the Higgs boson is here. Now, CERN have mentioned that they’ve seen something that is consistent with the Higgs boson, no the boson itself. However, they’re combining the results from two experiments that were within 4-sigma (i.e. four standard deviations away from the expected value, or a 1 in 16,000 chance of the results being a statistical fluke) to try and get 5 sigma, which means there is less than a 1 in 1.7 million chance of a fluke.

Either way, watch this space!

Full results breakdown

Well, I got my results an hour ago, and I definitely hold a 2.1 honours degree (if only by the skin of my teeth)!

The results are as follows, from lowest to highest, with the marks out of 100:

Optoelectronics: 25
Solid State Physics: 28
Nanotechnology: 55
Digital Signals and Image Processing: 58
Problem Solving: 59
Applied Optics: 63
Project and Laboratories: 67
Electromagnetism and Special Relativity: 78
Quantum Mechanics: 73
Atmospheric Physics: 85

What really surprised me was that Problem Solving didn’t go quite as well as I had thought, and the very high ones are much higher than I expected. What’s particularly interesting is that QM and EM are both more abstract topics, and yet I did better in them than I did in the more practical courses for Signals and Nanotechnology. As for Optoelectronics and Solid State…I fucked up in the exams for those two, and suffered a memory block in Optoelectronics.

Still, the average works out as 61.63 for this year. That makes up 80% of the degree, and the other 20% comes from the results for 3rd Year (55.5%), so the degree is 60.4% – see what I mean when I said “by the skin of my teeth”? But regardless, it’s time to celebrate!

Back in Italy

Okay, I am back in Italy and I’m just trying to get my new laptop sorted out – installing Firefox, getting OpenOffice and sorting out the anti-virus.

The new laptop is a Lenovo G570. It came with 6GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive, which is more than what I need for photos, games and programming. It also has a webcame (like just about every other laptop now), which includes a few silly effects like giving myself a gas mask or putting my face on a public advertising TV…and other stuff like that. It also has an Irish keyboard, which is going to make typing on Abair Leat a lot easier – I can just type out the fadaí (the accents over a vowel that make it longer) instead of waiting for the site to correct it for me.

Once I get it set up, I’ll start blogging properly.

I am now a physicist!

I have the provisional results for my final year and my degree as well – I now hold a 2.1 Honours degree in Experimental Physics! Which means I am now (un)officially a physicist!

I don’t have the results breakdown yet and the graduation ceremony isn’t until October, but I now have a place on the M.Sc. in Software Design and Development I applied for – so, I have at least two more years in Galway to look forward to. But for now, I’m just going to take it easy and listen to a new CD I bought earlier today: 40 years of film music by John Williams, including the themes for the Indiana Jones and Star Wars films.

U mad?

Exams are over!!

0mG i R f1N1$h3d!! YAY LOL!!!!!

My exams are over, which means that I am on holidays now. I’m going out to Kelly’s tonight with the class, and we’re having lunch in Riordan’s tomorrow. As for the next few weeks, I have no plans at all except improving my programming skills in C/C++.

Back in Italy

I’m back in Italy for the holidays and study. So, sadly, I won’t be able to post as much, especially since I have an actual study timetable! O_O

The only one I’m really worried about is Nanotechnology: there are a LOT of concepts to cover, and it’s based quite heavily on solid state physics, which I did rather badly in last semester. Still, sitting around worrying isn’t going to do anything to help!

Electromagnetism isn’t too easy either, but I just need to put the work in: the exam questions won’t be as complicated as some of the homework questions we had, and some are even similar (direct quote from Sasha, our lecturer).

Luckily, there are some crossovers for the Signals & Image Processing and Applied Optics courses: the Fourier Transform comes up in both, so that part should reinforce each other. I can also just mess around with Photoshop or GIMP to examine some of the concepts for Image Processing, such as gamma factors and contrast enhancement, so that is going to help.