23 February 2014
This week is just another normal week, but I’m quite relax as there were very minimum number of quizzes.
On Monday, I accompanied the juniors from Medan who had taken NTU UEE on the 2 previous days and on that day they were taken on tour at NTU. Their first destination was SCE at 9 am. Well, I and Peter accompanied them until 9.30 am as on that slot we got a lab of CZ1007 Data Structure. After lunch, I visited Gaming Wellness Week by C3-NTU at SAC where I quite a lot of freebies. The lecture of Engineers and Society got quite interesting as we moved on to the next topic: History of Singapore. The first hour, the lecturer presented while in the 2nd hour, he showed a documentary. The documentary (as well as his presentation), in my opinion, biased towards the government of Singapore (especially Lee Kwan Yew and his party, PAP) and not covering everyone’s perspective. It’s almost the same like Indonesian history during Suharto era, where the only perspective available was only from the government. These times, the condition was better since most of us got access to Internet to know more perspective about an event.
On Tuesday, as the lecture of CZ1008 was on e-learning week (as arranged by the lecturer), we got no CZ1008 lecture this week! After the CZ0001 “mass tutorial” which was conducted in lecture theater, I, Peter, Zillion, and Aristo went to SCE Student Lounge to relax by watching Mr. Bean, spending time to wait for the CZ1006 lab session on 1430. The first lab of CZ1006 Computer Organization and Architecture turned out to be as interesting as when I first encounter CZ1005 Digital Logic lab. Although this time the quiz was easy as we are allowed to refer to our notes, even to use the computer.
On Wednesday, after the 2 tutorial on CZ1007 and CZ1006, and also the lunch, Aristo took us to the Gaming Wellness Week event again to play around the free gaming console the club provided there. Well, I, Peter, and Zillion played the Xbox 360 + Kinect dancing game. It was super tiring and shameful but it was fun! Then I proceed to CM8001 lecture which got a lot of attendance because the lecturer held a Clicker session. This time, he put on a timer, to also test how fast we can search the notes. After the BU8201 tutorial, I rushed out because Resource team need to prepare for NTUBS Dhamma Class, but Ivan told me to just meet Chun Hee to receive the pens from him. After receiving the items, I went straight to the venue which Ching Bing was alone there. After the other came, we went to have dinner at Canteen B, where Ivan treated us a fruit, yay! Before the class started, we held a Dhamma Quiz, in which the questions were from the Resource team, setting up questions according to a book titled “The Four Noble Truths” by Ajahn Sumedho. The class, conducted by Ven. Chuan Guan, was about the four noble truths. In this class, he touched the first (and the second, maybe) noble truth(s). He also touched until Dependent Origination. The class ended with the announcement of the top scorer (sounds like football match :P ) of Dhamma Quiz: Steven Awi, Si Hui, and Zhi Xian; and with Andy’s birthday celebration.
On Thursday, it was Computer Engineering Club (CEC) Techfest 2014! And I participated in the Hackathon. The hackathon was a competitive programming contest consisted of 5 problems with very undetailed rules, but because I think we participate quite often in that kind of contests, we already knew what to do and what not to do. The first 3 questions were easy: I solved them in less than 40 minutes.
The fourth question, first led me to think that it was a Minimum Spanning Tree problem. Hence I navigate to LX-Athena to retrieve my code submission on MST problems during Pelatnas I TOKI 2013. But turned out it was just normal shortest path problems, and I chose Dijkstra’s algorithm to solve it, as I have another code submission on Dijkstra’s algorithm there at LX-Athena. Quickly the Dijkstra’s algorithm implementation was able to calculate the minimum cost, but was not able to output the minimum path yet. I encountered some big bug here: first I tried to incorporate queue to the struct that was used at the heap on Dijkstra’s algorithm implementation, but failed because of some errors I can’t recognize; then I switched to implement a large array there along with a variable determining the size of the array, this time it failed again because arrays cannot be passed to some functions just like that: it passed a pointer; I then fixed that error and IT WORKS! After some cleaning up, I quickly submit the solution and got Accepted!
Normally, if some program got error that big, I will just work on another program first before going back, but on this day it was different, the other question was too hard for me (it was one of the scariest topic in competitive programming: computational geometry). Around that time when debugging, I actually took my lunch.
The last problem was just a short one: “Find a circle which covers a set of points and has the smallest area.” Input were the number N, followed by N points in Cartesian coordinate. Output was the circle coordinates and its radius. After that, I just search the net about the problem: “pack points in circle”, etc. until I encounter the right keyword: “minimum spanning circle”. Right after this I found a source code that can solve the problem generally for N dimension space. I modified the codes to match the input and output for the problem but I did not dare to submit because I think that this is cheating. Instead I just submit to check whether it ran correctly or not after the judge said “times up”. Although I did not win, as I also did not expect to win, the participants were treated nicely: we were given 16GB SanDisk flashdisk and a micro-SD card reader. The competition relive my memory of competing onsite. The last time I was in that environment was at Pelatnas I TOKI 2013. Since then I just focused myself on the UEEs and then the training of my juniors.
After the hackathon, I went around the Techfest to see that there was a booth of NTU Open Source Society. There was also Autodesk which they demonstrated the virtual reality goggles (which I forget the name), and after asking some question which I just randomly guess the answer, I was correct and then I got a mouse, yay! At the stage of Techfest, the emcees were having “guess the product” game, which I participated and then I won another 16GB SanDisk flashdisk (along with a micro-SD card reader), yeah! After the some times hanging around there, I went to the lecture of CZ1007 and CZ1006. In these lectures, it was the final lecture of the current lecturers as next week will be SCE e-learning week and then the next half of the course will be conducted by another lecturer. Then I went to the EE8087 lecture which was getting more and more boring. I think that the coolest part of the whole course was on how to measure a tower far away from you by just using a protractor and short ruler. Then after dinner, I went to meet my group mates at SAC, discussing about BU8201 Business Finance presentation next week. This meeting ended with a combined slides and we should be able to present already, but to perfect the presentation, we will meet again on next Monday night.
On Friday, after the normal CZ1008 tutorial and lunch, I went to work part-time. Today I was amazed on how many lost thumb drives are there in the “Lost and Found” drawer at the IT help desk: there were 12, even with 1 external hard disk. The PC checking went quite long as there were some computers initially seemed to be broken, but in fact after some restarts, were indeed okay. After the work, I went to help setting up NTUBS 31st Anniversary (also NTUBSA (NTUBS Alumni) 21st and LBSCC (Little Bodhi Student Care Centre) 11th Anniversary) event at LT1. The anniversary started with a standing buffet dinner. Then we were asked to take a seat inside the LT. First there were speeches from the LBSCC representative, NTUBSA president, NTUBS president , and then NTUBS patron. Then there was a drama performance, which was very well done. And then there was a choir performance which was also very nice. The peak of the night was on the cake cutting ceremony. Before ending the night, there was “Best Wishes Awards”, given to those who wrote the best wishes to NTUBS in the photo booth, and there was 4 people (Ven Chuan Guan, Bro. Hong Seng, Dr. Ang Beng Choo, and Teacher Cindy) who wrote on lantern.
The anniversary night ended with mass photo-taking session and with cake sharing O:) But end of event means the starting of Resource team work. The stuffs that were here that night was extraordinarily many. After some times, some stuffs that was not keepable were given to those who wanted, some stuffs were kept at Benny’s room (through the transportation provided by Bro Hong Seng), and the rest were kept at Ivan & Rizky’s room.
On Saturday, on the morning I did the laundry routine, but this time I did a larger scale one: I also put my bed sheets for laundry. While waiting for the laundry, I cleaned my room. After lunch, I did the CZ1006 tutorial questions and then relaxed by watching Sherlock Season 3 Episode 2 “The Sign of Three”. The story was almost completely different from the novel which the title comes from, “The Sign of the Four”. In this novel, the story was about a stolen treasure which Sherlock & Watson chased and then the convict told the story of how he got the treasure in the past times, shared among the four who found it (they signed a paper and hence, “the sign of the four”) and how the treasure was “snatched” by Major Sholto. In the end, Watson met Morstan and proposed to her. While in this series, it was about Watson’s marriage with Morstan and most of it was about Sherlock being the best man giving speech, telling stories about murders, and then prevented someone from killing Major Sholto.
On the evening, Ivan called us to his room to return things to the cabinet. After that, we went to play basketball. It was my first time playing basketball. I still somehow got a reflex to bounce back the ball from an air ball as in volleyball. This game resulted in: my broken bracelet, a ball hit my face, and I got a nice moment of stargazing. While stargazing, by focusing on only one star, the experience was like meditating with a star as the meditation object (like candle-light meditation). Around 11, we were finished and we went back. Along the way back, I smashed my cellphone to the cement pathway and whew, it just got a minor scratch. I’m amazed on how strong a Nokia is.
On Sunday morning, I went to Diego’s room to have a Dhamma discussion among the members of the “secret” meeting during the break after BAW 2nd Volunteer Workshop and NTUBS CNY Steamboat session. We discussed about Karma and Vipaka. For me, they two exists, but not absolute in determining everything in this world and were subjective, meaning that one can treat an event was because of Karma (and/or Vipaka) but for others, they can treat it as not because of Karma (nor Vipaka). Thus a debate occurred and the conclusion was Karma (and/or Vipaka) were unthinkable. :P We had lunch together at Canteen 13 before going back.
Going back, I went to do the CZ1006 e-learning including the Interactive Lab session which I found comparable with CZ1005 Digital Logic FPGA programming lab session. This Interactive Lab session was done remotely: we program the micro-controller in our own computer using Energia IDE, run the files to the micro-controller via web interface, and then view the result from the webcam provided also in the web interface. It was a nice experience of the interactive lab session.
This week was a week of a lot of stories, fun and sad ones were there. Next week will be a relaxing week as SCE will have e-learning week.