I've procrastinated writing this for a week but I guess that is long enough. For anyone who doesn't know, I spent most of last month in London. I would have written more from there but I had webserver issuez (which should be fixed for good now), so let me summarize the trip. I was there to work on a project, it was pretty crazy, I saw a lot of London, the tube is cool, made friend with and hung out with some locals, went on a crazy road trip to Scotland and all over England, my bag got lost... Ok, maybe a little more detail than that.

too much detail for the front page )

All of my pictures
Keywords:Travel | Projects | Jobs
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Summer Plans

It's about time that I speak about what I'm doing this summer, since it officially starts in only a few days. I know previously people heard me whining about my troubles finding a summer internship. My friends were not inclined to hear it since they just assume that I'm awesome and should have no problem getting a job. I won't go into right now some of the problems I think there are that prevent me from doing well at a job search. But those reasons aside, part of the problem was a lack of effort. I started my search a bit late, didn't apply as many places as I should have, and wasn't prepared enough to show all my best work and have it make me look good.

Well, I was lucky enough to land an internship opportunity with one company that I'm pretty excited about. I will be in Atlanta working for a relatively small startup company called PlayMotion. I met the founder of the company at the IAAPA trade show back in November. They work on projection systems that allow people to interact with their whole body creating a fun installation for a museum or other public space.

This will be my first real internship, but also my first summer not living in some place I'd call home (if you don't count my summers at camp when I was younger). The logistics are tricky I'm still working it out. A new city, new people, and a new job. All things that both scare me and make me excited. I am someone who doesn't like change or to do anything different. I've spent the last 4 summers living in Pittsburgh and working for Randy at Stage3.

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Keywords:Summer | Jobs | Projects
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Dreams and Projects

The weirdest thing happened to me this morning. At work my project group, Animateering, wants to do a specific thing with the 3D engine we're using. I know what to do in the code but we can't figure out how to export the model from the modeling package correctly for it. I know that Jesse did this at Disney so I planned to ask him. This morning I had a dream that I was at work and that he told me how to do it. This wasn't the first time I had a dream that I solved a problem I've been having, but it was the first time that the solution still made sense when I woke up. It probably wasn't how they actually did it at Disney but I think it will probably work.

A little update on the things in the last entry. I ran all this week. I haven't missed one day (that I intended to run) since I've started! And I've been getting faster every day. I'm down to 30:10, only slightly slower than 7:30 pace. That's very good for after only 2 weeks. Juggling is going really well. I'm starting to juggle continuously now. I didn't go to Jeopardy because it was only for undergrads. :-(

The last project I want to mention is one my roommate is working on for the house. My roommate bought our house from the landlord. The carpets are fairly gross and he was thinking about replacing them. We discovered that there is hardwood floors below so we converted the dining room tonight. It still needs work, sanding and finishing, but it still looks better than before.
Keywords:Dreams | Animateering | Projects
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If you've been in contact with me lately, you know that I've been very busy with this experiment I have been running. You may even know the significance of the phrase "Report your status, Bravo Leader." Basically, I have been running a lot of subjects through this experiment. It requires a lot of work on my part, but it also require a lot of sitting around and waiting. I've taken up drawing as a way to pass the time. I thought some people might like to see the doodles I came up with.
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Keywords:Stage3 | Projects | Art | Busyness
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Media Lab Woofie

At work on Wednesday, Alex and I settled on an idea for a joint project for our Ambient Intelligence class. This was a load off my mind. First of all, the toughest part of a project is getting the idea. Being able to brainstorm with someone else was only the beginning of what make me prefer not working alone. Having an idea is a big load off my mind. Also, knowing that I'm not going to have to do it alone, but will have someone to help me get over the obstacles, makes it feel much more bearable. I'm glad to be working with Alex both to be working on any sort of group project and because we are good friends and it will be good finally to be able to discuss a project we have a shared investment in. Finally, I think our different skills and preferences will complement each other well.

The idea is one based on a concept we frequently talk about so it is good to have something that already interested us to work on. The project is basically implementing the woofie system from the book Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. He shared this book with me and I loved it. We frequently talk about their respect based economy, woofie being the name of the "currency". While I don't particually care for that name, the idea of respect rating systems is a good one. It's not original, but whether you call it karma, kudos, plusplus, props, or woofie, there is no existing electronic system that is ambient and pervasive like described in Cory Doctorow's book and like we want to build. Most are restricted to a single website or IRC channel for a limited domain of people. Although for our project and demo it will probably still only cover the media lab, it won't be intrisically tied to this population. Not that I expect our idea to take off, but it's fun to think about.
Keywords:Classes | Media Lab | Projects
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The Last Few Days

My first semester at MIT is finally over, but it didn't end easily. Never before have I wanted so much to go home, but never before have I had such trouble doing it. I didn't finally get home until two days ago, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Our story begins two and half weeks ago...

The weekend of the 6th and 7th I visited Pittsburgh. As soon as I returned on Monday the 8th, it was all fab class (How to Make Almost Anything), all the time. Really it had begun before the weekend. I had been up all night before my flight in the lab. All the week of the 8th students from the class invaded and took over the Physics and Media lab. The weekend just got even more intense. We were there 24 hours a day. That whole time was great, working on really cool electronics projects and bonding with my classmates. Monday the 15th was the class open house where we presented our projects. My project turned out great. Miraculously every part of it came together just like I wanted it at the last minute. Neil really enjoyed point out my project as the kind of thing you could really build in 2-3 days. I had written the software ahead of time and experimented with sensor circuits on a breadboard most of that week, but all the components of the final object, the schematic, the layout, the board, and the package, were build and put together that weekend. You might want to check out my fab class project page or some pictures from that week.

Once that project was over it was time to focus on my project for Context Aware Computing.

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Keywords:Classes | Projects | Family
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Getting back to classes, for Context Aware Computing we had to take a look at Ken Perlin's webpage. If you don't know, he is a brilliant computer scientist and genius programmer. He is a professor at NYU. His main area is graphics and he has won an acadamy award, a technical oscar. He was one of the people who did the early CG for Tron. Well his webpage is amazing. I spent hours there. I love all the little projects he shows. It is great how almost every thing has an interactive demo. He has some really neat ideas. I think it is great that he has been able to work on so many of them, even if only a little bit, enough at least to document the idea on the webpage. I wonder about all the idea I lose because I have no way to get them when they happen. Furthermore, I think his humor is immensely funny and insightful comments an quotes are well picked. Check it out, I'm totally inspired.
Keywords:Projects | Inspiration
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as it really been another month? The time flies and I've been really busy. Well, that just means there is more to talk about and I should've been getting it out in small bits, but here goes....

The Big Decision and The Future

I decided to go to MIT. I didn't get the deal I talked about last time, but I was about ready to decide MIT anyway. So I'm very excited for my move. I'll mist things there. The most recent one that I remembered is the spring afternoons as the sun is setting and bagpipe music drifting over the hills.

I've applied to live in MIT graduate student housing. My top choice was some unfurnished apartments. It will be good because we have plenty of furniture at home for me to get, and that'll be nicer than dorm crap, and more mine. I don't find out what I get until May 19, that's the day after graduation, this Sunday, but I'll get to that.

Carly also decided to go to MIT, so that will be cool, being able to hang with my sister. I think we get along pretty well. The 4 years has been a big deal so we've never really been at the same place. I'm excited, because she can give me the low down on the stuff the undergrads learn that they don't tell me.

As far as the summer goes, I've got either this ILM internship or just chilling in Pittsburgh. I won't know until the same day, May 19, about that. I don't know whether I want it or not. On the one hand, ILM would be awesome and it is a great opportunity. Experiencing San Fransisco would be cool. On the other hand, it wouldn't be as a relaxing break as just staying here would be.

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Keywords:Grad School | Carnegie Mellon | Projects
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