Summer in Rome (And Other Stuff)

nathan-2013 Viterbi Summer Leave a Comment

So I got some really great news recently: I was accepted to the Viterbi Summer Abroad program in Rome! I’ll be spending six or seven weeks… something like that… with Tim, Will, and about thirty other people studying there, and I can’t wait. I’ll also have another few weeks for touring around Italy afterwards with my parents.

Every year, Viterbi has offered a summer abroad opportunity for students. Last year’s was to Paris, and quite a few VSA’s went on it. This year, for the first time, there were two locations planned: Rome and London. I’ve been to London before and I wasn’t a huge fan, so I applied to the one in Rome.

While I’m in Rome, I’ll be taking two classes: Engineering Economics and something involving history. Apparently the history class is really fun—we get to explore the city as we learn about it. What better place could there be to do that than Rome, where an everyday building is older than USC, Los Angeles, California, and the United States?

Anyway, I’m really excited about visiting Rome. It’s going to be really cool (or Claire has been lying to me about summer abroad programs). One or the other.

In other news, I’m getting into the other side of the massive computer science project that I took part in last semester. In that class, my team was responsible for the frontend user interface and graphics. Now we’re doing the backend. This has its pluses and its minuses. The good thing is that I don’t have to do graphics anymore. Since I can’t stand them, it’s good. The bad thing is that I’m now responsible for concurrent programming, which is going to lead to a lot of segfaults and race conditions that are going to take a lot of puzzling out to solve.

My team, because we’re overachievers, opted not to work in Java like the rest of the class. Instead, we’re doing it in C++, which is good because it’s a way better language, but bad because it’s a lot easier to get some inscrutable error message that takes and entire day (or night) to figure out. Our front-end team is going to be working in C++, too, using the Qt framework, which is good. No need to figure out how to integrate two languages this semester….

So that’s about it. Discrete math is hard (shocker), finance class involves a calculator that does all the work for you, and my EE class has reassured me that I made the right choice in not becoming a third-generation electrical engineer. Oh yeah. Mac OS X Lion. Can’t say anything about that, though. NDA. 😀

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