It’s always nice getting a good, month long break between semesters in order to recharge.  I definitely enjoyed myself, and watched what was probably and exorbitant amount of sports.  But this semester, I’m hitting the ground running, with a packed schedule and a lot of important goals to accomplish!

I’m taking 5 classes, and I’ll elaborate a little on what I wish to gain from them:

ITP 499- Professional C++.  This class is not required, but has already offered me in a few short weeks that I knew a lot less of programming, C++ in particular, than I thought.  This class will prepare me for the good coding practices, problem solving, and skills I will need at my internship with Microsoft this summer- definitely looking to go into that prepared!

CSCI 499- Systems Security.  This is a technical elective that will allow me to see what the field of security is about.  As a subset of Computer Science, this is one of the areas I could definitely be focusing if I go to grad school, so this should tell me if I want to pursue this particular subject.

Writing 340- Professional Communication for Engineering. A wise man once said “the world’s worst engineer is one with the best ideas but no way to communicate them”. This class focuses on giving engineers the ability to effectively communicate those ideas, especially in a technical way.  The class also tries to prepare you for the professional world by including oral presentations as well as more traditional papers.   I hope to become effective in communicating my ideas so I can be an asset to any company, especially if I’d eventually want a managerial or design position.

CSCI 485- Files and Database Management.  This class focuses on database design and implementation.  Since databases are at the center of most websites, businesses, and even a lot of mobile applications, I am looking to add this to my repertoire as a solid skill that I can market going forward, as well as to apply database design in my own projects.

EE 454- Introduction to Microprocessor System Design.  This class teaches you the tricks and pitfalls of interfacing hardware components together.  By the end, I should be able to design my very own devices, which will be exciting to employ next year when I take my capstone course, a electrical engineering design lab!


Other than those classes, I’ve also got a few other things going on:

CSCI 102 Course Producer- I get to help out one of our lower level computer science classes as a student “Course Producer”.  Basically, that means I’m an undergraduate who also learned this material very recently- it seems pretty helpful in relating to the kids in the labs I advise.

Research- I am two weeks away from a research paper deadline! I am submitting a preliminary paper to an academic workshop, and depending on how that goes, I may got to a conference to present the paper.  Either way, I will be spending much of the semester building on my previous work and hopefully making tons more progress.

Start-up- One of my friends started his own company, and I’m the “chief software architect”.  Basically, the title sounds fancier than it is, but I’m designing a full-blown software system including a database and a mobile application that should eventually be extensible for when the company makes it big.  Now that’s exciting!

And finally, as I briefly mentioned, I have my internship with Microsoft to look forward to at the end of the semester.  I cannot wait!