Archive for March, 2005

Capstone

I learned some fun facts last night. Like how the Odegaard Copy Center is closed at 4am-4:45am and how the sprinklers in the Quad go off at 4:30am. Not bad lessons to learn at the completion of one’s senior Capstone project, if you ask me.

Today at noon, Trevor, Rufino and I presented our final system recommendations to our client and handed in our ninety-seven page bound report. Our client even brought food and invited the organization’s director and staff members to attend the presentation. It was great to finally present our work to an organization, in contrast to the usual class presentations I’m accustomed to. The presentation and susbsequent discussion lasted a little over an hour. There was a lot to cover, but it went over really well. So what exactly was our capstone project about? For those of you who haven’t had the delight of sitting through our in-process presentations in INFO 490:

Abstract:

The value of online content management and successful user interface design is important in its ability to convey information and enable broad audiences to better access it. Additionally, streamlining information management processes within an organization are of high interest in its ability to improve the efficiency of an organization’s operations, thereby allowing its members to focus more of their energies towards accomplishing organizational goals. The Center for Innovation and Research in Graduate Education (CIRGE) was administered a four-week needs assessment which found areas for improvement in regards to these matters. After a seven week engagement in design and evaluation methodologies for system design, it was possible to devise recommended solutions and implement systems to serve the information needs of CIRGE. The project is significant in that it addresses major issues in information management such as self-sustainability of systems without staff member technical expertise, user-centric design of online content, and the centralization of information to facilitate more efficient operations.

Clear as day! So there you have it. I am done with Capstone and thus my time in the Informatics program. Yesterday was another 22-hour day wrapping the project up and one final late night session in the TE lab. As I sat there, listening to the banter of a group of INFO fifthies in the Group Room studying for their CSE final, couldn’t help but think of all the crazy good times they have ahead together as a cohort—as an INFO crew and couldn’t help but count my lucky stars for the experience of these last five quarters (yes, terribly meow meow, I know). INFO fo’ life. But for now, time to switch gears to begin studying for Friday’s final. And with that: <econ>

OMGWTFBBQ

Mad props to Dan and Jessica for hosting last night’s end of quarter party! It was good to see the entire crew. Still can’t get over the tastiness of the oysters Tho brought. Pictures before my camera died can be found here. Can’t believe we’re basically done with the INFO program. It’s been quite the trip.

Dan's place
Couldn’t have said it better.

the BBQ
Around the grill.

Untitled #8

Yesterday, for the first time in what seems like months, I spent most of the afternoon and the entire night at home. Jules was in and out during the night, but for the most part, it was the first time in a while that I had significant time to just chill at the condo by myself.

Felt spent from the previous days’ Capstone-toil and wanted to “do nothing” for entire half day. So after class and IHOP with the guys, I napped. Then I cooked pasta, ate some leftover babinka and turned on the TV. I started reading one of the books Ryan gave me for Christmas, read some articles in Newsweek, and sat and wrote for almost two hours. Started cleaning the mess that I call my room and spent the rest of the night listening to 3eb, organizing the heaps of clothes and paper that laid all over my floor, chatting online, staying up til 3:38am talking with an old friend. It was a good night.

Today

Rewind. These last forty-eight hours have been a flurry. Spent nearly nine hours yesterday editing all seventy-five pages of our final Capstone report, spending 5PM-1AM in the company of the INFO crew (minus the Koalafire folks) in the lab, followed by nearly three hours of prepping the course deliverables (i.e. printing). Ended the night off around 4AM after we finished running through our presentation slides, grateful for the upcoming three hours sleep.

Right around here would be a good spot for me to reflect on our last late night crunch in the TE lab with the INFO crew and the completion of this final epic INFO group project. You know, ponder the finality of it and reflect on all the fond memories I have of crazy crazy nights like these. But I don’t think I can muster the brainpower at the the moment. Insert nostalgia + exhaustion + intense conflicting desire to sleep and go out for pancakes.

But since I blog to chronicle these adventures for my own archival purposes, I’m gonna slap a read more tag here and call it cake. What? Did I really write that? Haha

Read more

Grandfather Clock

Microsoft’s Festival of Future.

So this link was sent out on one of the iSchool mailing lists and I couldn’t help but smile at the following excerpt:

Microsoft researchers have put a new twist on telling time, creating a digital wall clock with hands for each member of the family. Instead of numbers, the hands point to places — work, school, home — and can track a person’s location to show where he or she is at any time.

Oh snaps. Now read from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2):

Mrs. Weasley glanced at the grandfather clock in the corner. Harry liked this clock. It was completely useless if you wanted to know the time, but otherwise very informative. It had nine golden hands, and each of them was engraved with one of the Weasley family’s name. There were no numerals around the face, but descriptions of where each family member might be. “Home,” “school,” and “work” were there, but there was also “traveling,” “lost,” “hospital,” “prison,” and, in the position where the number twelve would be on a normal clock, “mortal peril”.

Ha! Bring on the magic, Microsoft.

Untitled #7

Weather’s been perfect lately. After class yesterday, went out with Capstone Team KDK, Trevor, Sean, and Ryan for lunch at Agua Verde. Not so into the food, a little to veggie-cetric para mi, but I dig eating outside in the little park area by the water. So it was cool to spend time outside away from the usual Ave/HUB lunch routine out by the water. Hung out and fed chips to the ducks and sparrows before walking back to campus.

Yesterday IUGA hosted our second faculty lead workshop. As with anytime you invite a speaker to present, turnout becomes a large concern. But turnout was good. The topic was data mining and it was interesting stuff. Looks like people who are taking Advanced Databases next quarter are in for a treat.

Later that night, caught the bus up to the Hill for Susan’s surprise birthday dinner. We had sushi at Hana’s. Didn’t think we could fit a party of twenty-one in that tiny place but found out there’s upstairs area, just large enough for the table, haha.

Susan's Birthday

Good times were had. It was awesome to see Susan’s face when she showed up to see us all there. The food was pretty good. Ryan and I split a boat of sushi and some chicken teriyaki and katsu. (Ah I could use a roll right now.) Afterward we ended up waiting for a while for the bus ride back, but no worries. Had fun hanging out and repelling Tho’s attempts to ninja attack me when I wasn’t looking. (Tho–I pwn your FACE).

Wrapping up Capstone now. Next week: our final presentation and report due for class. The following week: the deliverables for our client (website, prototypes, system recommendations) and giving that final presentation to the usual staff and their director who has been out of the country for the entirety of our project. A lot ahead. It feels weird to come to the end of the quarter.