Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A job well done

I gave a farewell speech (sort of) at the end of the undergradute symposium, and gave a summary of what we have accomplished as a discipline. The following is a summary of what i said (pretty long yarn, i basically did a lot of jokes and stuff) but here's the speech that I would have wanted to say, if i were a good public speaker. XD

Three years of undergraduate research and you could see the improvement. I remember when it used to be two one semester software development projects, now its a full year of research, projects utilizing p2p networking, video streaming, artificial intelligence, image recognition, open-source development... Hayup!

Im proud that our SA's have learned how to maintain the lab by themselves. I remember how at the start lab installation was done by attaching a cd drive to all 20 lab computers to manually install windows and linux, and took over two whole days of effort. Then the next year the SA's researched network installation using networked redhat and a windows image, which took just a day. Then this year a single image spanning both OS's installation taking an afternoon. And then next sem, plans to implement a fully functional LTSP server: to just install one server for the entire lab! More time for being lazy. XD

You guys also maintain the webserver, learning to develop online applications... It wasn't so long ago that I taught you how to crimp your first network cable. Now you work so fast now that I get in their way, that's why you do all the work now. ^_^

I am happy that you have begun to take residency at our labs. You guys already consider the laboratory as a second home, spending all their vacant hours there. Yes, it may be a headache sometimes, with you all being noisy, and leaving your trash everywhere, playing games (although i confess that i sometimes join in too =P ). But you discovered the one thing that makes this all worth it: study groups.

My best example is our CS 191. I remember the first CG class last year. I taught you guys Blender basics on the side of a formal lecture. We had a nice awarding ceremony for the short clips that you guys did, basic models and textures simple animations. And that was it, i moved on. But you guys students kept on learning, researching more and more during the last year, and passed it on to the next batch of CG students. Now our videos have advanced rendering techniques like armatures, raytracing, ambient occlusion, radiocity, motion bluring, nice texturing, use of the physics engine, and other such fancy words. You basically produced work that goes above and beyond all my expectations. I hear you want to push the bar even higher, to join UP Baguio's independent film festival with a full length show. That would be really cool, we'd call ourselves "Cyber Sampaguita Pictures" or something like that.

Now, how much more can we accomplish when my co-teachers make thinking of expanding study groups for programming contests, wireless application design, game development with a dedicated research lab... Its a very exciting time to be a student in UP Baguio Compsci. Im happy that you've learned the best lesson in CS: you learn more outside of a classroom.

But you have to work to keep this. We're just four teachers, we can't preserve the body of knowlege you've all gained so far. All it takes for us to start from near zero is for all the best minds (teachers and students) to leave without passing on the knowledge. It happened before. 6 years ago we already had networking application projects, we had an LTSP server, all on primitive computers, but the knowlege was lost, gone, wala na.

So teach! Pass on the knowledge! We can only build higher if we have a broad foundation (something like that, Im not an architect).

So to you, the 2nd years (who hang out at CS Lab 1), the 3rd years (who hang out at the ILC), and the 4th years (who hang out at CS Lab 2), thank you for letting me feel good about your achievements. A job well done to you all. =)

Oh, and if you don't do your job, I'll come back up here and kick your ass. XD

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday night

I read this strip from PhDcomics on a Friday night

She took the words right out of my mouth.