Applications of Proof Techniques

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A substantial learning aspect for any software engineers, in addition to the academia of computer science, is a topic called discrete mathematics. It is a branch of math that focuses on studying mathematical structures that are discrete (distinct and separate) in nature rather than continuous in nature (calculus, trigonometry). It is also an abstract form where conclusions are based on logical deductions using set theory and other simple theorems. Last spring, I took “Proof Techniques” as part of my CS major. The class is an introduction to proof writing techniques, covering multiple topics such as logic and proofs, set theory, mathematical induction, relations, modular arithmetic, functions, cardinality, number theory, and calculus.

proofs1

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Onto C++ Programming

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The most difficult and assignment-intensive class I have had so far at Denison is Intermediate Computer Science, which I took last semester. In this class, I covered a new programming language, C++, and learned how to work with the Linux Operating Systems. C++ is a much more raw / bare-boned coding language than Python, which I learned previously; thus, it takes way more effort to grasp concepts like abstraction and remember all the syntactic nuances. Continuing my tendency to reflect on academic materials I learned, this post shows some of the important concepts in C++ programming and their real-world applications.

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Break Away 2015

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“Our guys have the same goals and the same aspirations as you do too, but only with a different timeline.”

Susan said this sentence many times over the last few days when we were volunteering in Springfield, Missouri. She is the director of Champions Athletes of the Ozarks, an organization that focuses on training and improving the lives of people with disabilities, majority of them diagnosed with autism, in the local area.

She is a caring and compassionate woman, who has an incredible passion for this nonprofit, as she has been with it for 40 years. Who knows how many lives she has saved, but according to David – the autistic friend we have just been close with, she is everyone’s protective guardian. Helping her to arrange the office last Tuesday morning, I came to realize that there are basically too much work for this woman to handle: legal documents to archive, emails to read, grants to apply for, curriculum to design, and most importantly, individuals to care for. And I guess she’s old-fashioned, that’s why she refused to follow my suggestion when I mentioned Evernote as a tool to keep track of her work.

Anyway, what definitely attracted us were the fascinating stories about the individuals we were working with that she told us. There’s Alex, a 16-year-old boy who’s obsessed with Tomas Trained reading. There’s Cory, same age with Alex, who enjoys playing his Gameboy more than anything else. And there’s David (mentioned above), who’s been living with Susan for years and becoming much more high-functioning than he used to be. I, Cubby, and Ryan worked with David on Monday reading in the first day and immediately made personal connection with him. Talking about Monday reading, it’s the training program to teach mentally low-functioned people math (under coupon ads) and basic levels reading.

Tina and Kristine working with one disabled individual

Tina and Kristine working with one disabled individual

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2014 Year-in-Review

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Inspired by James Clear’s annual review post, I decided to create a version of my own, including the things that worked, the things that could be improved, and the things I need to focus on for the year of 2015. Borrowing the format from James, here are the 3 questions I am attempting to answer:

1 – What went well this year?

2 – What didn’t go so well this year?

3 – What am I working toward?

For each question, I will provide areas that are important in my life and tailor them for specificity and number crunching. Let’s get to it! Continue reading

Neo-Confucianism and the Art of Self-Development

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This past semester, I took a history course on Traditional East Asian Civilization, only to fulfill my Humanities General Education requirement. I was not really interested in the content of the class that much, due to the fact that there were too much readings and dry lectures. However, I managed to write the final research paper on a topic that I found particularly interesting: “Neo-Confucianism.” It is a philosophical movement to revive various strands of Confucian philosophy and political culture that began in the middle of the 9th century and reached new levels of intellectual and social creativity in the 11th century in the Northern Song Dynasty.

Neo-Confucianism and Floating Worlds in Japan

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How to Program It

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This past weekend, I was having coffee with a friend in dowtown Chicago, and was just talking with him about my deep interest for entrepreneurship which has grown over the past summer. He asked me to define what entrepreneurship is and what it really means to me. After pondering for a while, I replied that, in my opinion, entrepreneurship is all about solving problems – from a minicule level to global / multinational issues that currently exist in the world. Although for most of you, that sounds very cliché, but I want to stress that an entrepreneur solves a problem logically, from a rational perspective and in the most creative way as possible.

This semester, I am taking CS 110 – Computing Through Digital Media, one of the three intro classes for Computer Science majors in Denison, with Dr. Ashwin Lall. The class is fun and I have learnt a lot about programming in Python, which is super helpful for a complete novice like me. Nonetheless, what I am getting more out of the class is the concept of designing algorithms to solve problems. The process of actually coming up with the algorithm is way more important than the result you get. Continue reading