Software Design

First of all, let me apologize for my sporadic blogging. It's extremely easy to say "oh, this is a great project! I'll talk about it in my blog!" and then forget to blog for awhile. So one thing I've been meaning to talk about this semester is my Software Design course. I think the course is great because it's the perfect blend of instruction, self-teaching, implementation, and projects.

It also has one of my favorite tools thus far, that I get to experience four times per week- one hour lectures. Both my Software Design class and my Circuits class have one hour lectures. These times are nice because it's really easy to tune in and focus for an hour, and it's enough information that you can keep it in your head without forgetting half of it.

So the point we're at right now is the transition between the learning phase with lectures, homework, and labs, and then the large project that we're starting. The homework was a lot of fun because it ranged from things like moving turtles around a drawing canvas to create letters and pictures in various ways, analyze words and letters building up to a Markov generator, and programming a Monte Carlo simulation.

Now we're moving into the project phase. I'll be working with blogger Jeff Moore ('10) and Nick Hobbs ('11) to develop something that Jeff and I have been talking about for over a year, without enough time to do it. We're going to be building an inventory tracking system for the student government, CORe.

Our overall goal for the system is to be able to give an object a barcode, read in that barcode so items can be checked out to a specific student using a mag strip reader and our student ID cards, and then keep a complete database of all of the items that CORe owns so people can find out what they are, and where they are, to keep people from buying duplicate items, or renting things that we already own. I'm excited for making something so tangible for a class, particularly since I know exactly how it will be applied.

Ellen

PS- All of the away blogging makes me extremely jealous. I am planning on studying away next Spring. It's between Australia and France...

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