This week I grabbed a picture of the lab setup I mentioned for my ITP 380 class
Not pictured are the Wii U’s and Xbox 360’s though the computers themselves are pretty cool. It’s a really great lab setup that I think is going to really help out with the goals of the class. So far it definitely seems like a fascinating look at learning to program video games and the professor is very knowledgable and has some great real world experience from AAA game studios. The most interesting thing I’ve noticed about it so far is how easy it is to pick up on the C# syntax after learning C++. You always hear that once you learn one language you can learn the rest pretty easily but I’m really seeing it now. The logical structure is so similar that all the ideas translate.
Speaking of logic, I’m having a ton of fun with my EE 101 course. It’s really just an exercise in logical reasoning and the binary math we are currently doing makes me feel pretty cool now that I know how to properly use all those 0’s and 1’s. We all get a circuit board like this
to work on for our labs. The wires are hooked up to various logic gates which are hardwired into the board. For example, our first lab was to create a home alarm system using various logic gates to properly set off the alarm based on a set of conditions. It was a lot of fun to try to figure out not only how to do the lab, but to find the best solution. Since really, as engineers, we aren’t just trying to solve problems but are trying to solve them in the optimal manner. I think this class is really going to help with the idea of finding optimal solutions and the hands on nature of working with our circuit board seems like it’s going to be awesome.
If you can’t tell from the pictures, my classes this semester are very focused on hands on learning. I’m a big fan of this in computer science because it’s such a practical subject. Instead of just listening to lectures we are writing code and putting together systems. For me, that makes the experience way more fun and it’s great that the Viterbi School of Engineering puts in such an effort to provide us with the equipment to make this happen. I’m just hoping that we don’t have to wait too long before we learn how to make games for consoles as well as for the computer!