TheTouchets.com

Hello School

Yep. Grace had her first day at school yesterday.

She loves it!!! when she got home, she had to call Daddy at work and tell him how much fun she had. Let’s hope the love of learning stays with her forever like it does with her parents.

On that note, now that I’m out of BCW and almost caught up with all the other things I have to do….I’m back to studying for the GRE to apply for graduate school. After a few months of thinking about it, I want to stay in computer science. For a while there, I was thinking about 3-4 other professions that I may be interested in. What they are isn’t really important, but what’s important is that I’ve rediscovered why I like computer science so much.

The reason has to do with the French word for computer science…science d’informatique. (spelling may be off, I haven’t had to write french since LSU back in the 80’s). It translates to Information Science…and that’s me….Mr Information. All the things I truly enjoy are really just a love of information/knowledge/intelligence. So I can still love Physics and Biology and Ecology and be a computer scientist. In fact, I think I want to help out scientists in those kinds of fields more than before. Where does this lead?

Well, my next big question (assuming I can get into grad school) is what sub-specialty of computer science do I want to pursue. Getting a Masters or PhD requires you to write a thesis or two and that means you really need to decide what area you want to specialize in. I have some favorites like anyone, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Robotics, and Simulations. I’m also very good at Databases, Systems Architecture, Debugging, and Computer Languages as well. This is too big a list and I still have to narrow it down. Here’s my thoughts on them. (1) AI has two main subfields that I like, Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms. The problem with AI is I know of only 2 employers, the US Govt (NSA and DOD mainly) and Game makers. (2) HCI is great, but it may be too subjective and into ‘pretty’ design for me, it’s still on the list though, (3) Robotics is great but it’s also the ‘In’ thing and I’m not really into what’s popular, and that leaves (4) Simulations which on the surface seems to be everything I want. It helps other scientists by giving them simulations to gather information on ‘their’ topic. It also touches on performance and parallel computing which is fun and challenging (I like those two together). It’s also something I can start getting into right now before I start my education again. So right now Simulations is my #1 thought about school, but I like to stew about things a while before making up my mind so I’m trying to map out some plans of things I’d like to study in Simulations and see if I like the fit. I’ve also got a couple of ideas for simpler simulations to write to get things going. My ultimate goal is a scalable, general-purpose,  easy to use and configure, simulation framework that can be used to rapidly develop simulations. I’m still pondering using the framework to do genetic simulations to sort of run simulations side-by-side with known inputs and see which match the outputs best and do the whole genetic algorithm stuff to weed out the best simulation configurations. We’ll see how that goes.  The other list I gave is stuff I’m good at, but really I find too boring to do for a living forever.

So, I’ll keep everyone updated on how things are progressing….for myself and for Grace.

Later,

-Duane

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